Review by Kieran Flood
I dreamed I saw St Augustine – or was it just Bob Dylan, wearing a big
After the excitable tannoy (“in the 1970’s he found Jesus!...ladies and
gen’lemen, Columbia recording artist – Barb DYLAN!) he mooched across the
floor and teased out his standard opener – a surprisingly clear –
‘Maggie’s Farm’ which gave way in an instant to a gem: ‘Tell Me That It
Isn’t True’, sung in its original arrangement, but nigh on 40 years later,
and all the wiser. You KNOW it ain’t true, Bob.
But that didn’t stop him returning to Nashville Skyline for ‘Lay Lady
Lay’. Did I say the guy sounds sexy?
He tore through ‘Watching the River Flow’ and I stood stock still to
attention. Game on. His band was tight as two coats of paint.
Bob’s a bit like smattering glass – you always turn and look. His voice
was set to its default growl, an occasional rumble and sometimes – but
only sometimes, mercifully enough – he’d try to sing. Tenderly and with
gentle affection he’d lift the end of each line of a song like he was
lowering a precious love down on her death bed.
He sang ‘Shelter from the Storm’ – which was startling. And he sang
‘Hattie Carroll’ with such an accusing tone that I bet William Zanzinger
was sitting in the front row.
He sang the glorious ‘I dreamed I saw St Augustine’ – and although the
beloved saint wasn’t ‘put to his death’ as Bob surely knows, mention any
saint to me and my soul soars. He dreamed he saw St Augustine, and I
dreamed of all the martyrs, God-lovers and saints who fill my waking hours
He sang ‘The Ballad of Hollis Brown’ and I don’t think he forgot a word of
it. Tough blues. And when he gasped the words “pray to the Lawd”, I
prayed for mercy, searching the rafters of the hall with sadness.
After the encore he split. We cheered and whistled, and when I turned
around a pretty woman was glowing. “He ain’t coming back,” I told her. It
was for her own good. She screamed up towards the stage. “I know these
things, sweetheart, after ‘Rolling Stone’ and ‘Watchtower’, that’s it. He
I surmised that he was in a car by now, chancing his arm in the blocked up
traffic. But guess what? It was encroyable. Angel Face was correct.
I think he musta known about my friend – ‘The Eagle’. I could think of
nothing else when he returned, country charm beneath a wide rimmed hat,
and performed a word perfect ‘Forever Young.’ He doesn’t do that – he
doesn’t come back, but he did.
Some blokes grumbled that he never spoke, and I asked them what they
wanted him to talk about. Does he disrespect his audience? Hardly, since
it’s his 4th time round for Ireland in as many years.
Downside? On the way out some clown said that he couldn’t sing – that he
was an invalid.
Give yourself a shake son, I told him, and I headed for the door.
Review by Trish Slattery
Dylan sauntered on stage at around 8.10 pm, wearing a brown suit with
diagonal stars on the sleeves and pants and a cream coloured hat. From the
very start it was a strong show. Opening with 'Maggie's Farm', he was in
good voice and in good form. This band are really excellent, they suit
Bob's style and don't drown his delivery in a wall of sound. Highlights
for me were the exquisite 'Shelter from the Storm' and hearing both 'The
Ballad of Hollis Brown' and 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll' in the
same show. 'Highway 61' is always good to hear and I had to phone a friend
so she could listen to 'Stuck Inside of Mobile', which had a great
arrangement this time out. Nice version also of the rarely heard 'I
Dreamed I Saw St Augustine'.
From my position at the front of the stage the sound and the view were
both excellent. When Bob did a little shuffling dance step, a young guy
behind me said 'he dances like my grandfather'! The crowd was having a
good time, both reverential and rocking.
The encore started as expected with 'Like a Rolling Stone', all of us
singing along just a little ahead of Bob. As an extra treat we got a
second encore, with Bob's guitarist having to change from electric to
acoustic as the song began, so it was obviously not expected.
During the show Dylan would occasionally wander over to where an acoustic
guitar stood, he would almost reach out for it and then he would turn
around and go back to the keyboards. Keep us hoping, Bob!
Review by Darragh Mulhall
My First Time........Nov. 26th 2005
Well, How do you review your first Bob Dylan concert?
I'd read all the reviews and the set lists, and I'd wondered what was
going to go on. Maggie's Farm came and went, perhaps, apart from the
encore (1st), the only predictable tune from all of the afore mentioned
setlists. This made it no less enjoyable, although in fairness the song
passed without me affording it a proper listen, spell bound by Bobs
presence before my eyes, live and in person for the very fitst time!
Whoops and hollers abound, the band led into Tell Me It Isn't True, which
for me, as early as the second song, provided one of the highglights, Bob
on Harp, Centre Stage! A refined shuffle to boot. It looked as though he
was putting on a special show, though I'm sure everyone who has ever seen
him feels the same. Watching The River Flow again afforded us the
opportunity to see and hear Bob on his Harp, ebbed and flowed into a
beautiful Lay, Lady, Lay, which used some lovely lighting effects to
compliment the sentimental amble of the song. The Riff! Most Likely
You'll Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine was one of the most recogniseable
songs compared to the studio version. The unmistakable riff being hummed
by all those around me. Strong performance, I'm begining to think this
can't get much better. Some times it's good to be proved so wrong! I
Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine brought some spot on harp work out of Bob,
while Cold Irons Bound was positioned unfortunately between two of the
standout performances of the night, St. Augustine and Shelter From The
Storm, imminently recogniseable from the first strums. Floater played out
as you would expect - Violin piercingly clear - leading nicely -after some
serious harp- into Highway 61, sung in the same vein as all of the other
tracks, but a style suited to this song more than most. Onto some of the
more visually stunning performances, The Ballad Of Hollis Brown brightened
up literally, while the haunting picking on the banjo did anything but.
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again is probably the most
frustrating song to hear Bob sing nowadays, as from "Oh, Mama......" you
hear it as on the album -shame on me, I know- but Bob goes right on,
rearranging the phrasing. And more power to him. I'm not going to say
much about The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll. Visually stunning. Top,
top drawer performance. Has lost nothing from this slight rearrangement.
Summer Day was a rollicking end to the main part of the concert. Good
performance, although again, I was impatiently waiting for the encore -
and hoping to God that it would be as I expected. Boy was I not
disappointed! Like A Rolling Stone. Sung by Bob Dylan. I was there.
Life Is Sweet. A fantastic Hendrix inspired version of All Along The
Watchtower closed the most enjoyable concert of my life to a close, as
predicted. But, wait! There's More! Forever Young ended the night as a
double bonus, left thoses of us who read this site feeling we'd gotten
something extra, something special. And We Did!!!
Review by Ian S. Blagbrough
The set list (spot on as reported by Bill Pagel) that we got followed the current
14+2 story for this penultimate European gig of 2005. The audience? Well we
responded well and appropriately, we even did earn (if not deserve) a 17th
number - we were rewarded with a harp-filled Forever Young as a true encore,
that after a swift "Thank You Friends", and the band intros featuring Stu from
Boston (loud cheer) "Is there anybody in from Boston?", big smiles all round. This
was an excellent set, without Larry Campbell and with pedal and lap-steels high up
in the mix, it was a really different sound to Brixton, much more towards Greatest
Hits vol 2 and Unplugged, it was as good if not better than the NEC two weeks
ago. Several outstanding moments (real highlights) in the gig, "the voice" still in
fine form, and the (rested) guitars so much better than Brixton Thursday night,
bottom line: what a difference a day makes.
The venue of The Point Depot is a 30 min walk eastwards along the northern bank
of the River Liffey, in the biting wind of late November 2005. Excellent atmosphere
as people move to queue across the car-park at 6.10 pm, there is but a short line
(from 2 pm apparently) for 7.00 doors and 8.00 pm artist, allegedly. All the Rock
and Roll trucking has arrived (relevant with the newspaper headline this morning
"Ferry strike intensifies" - had mused with … just an acoustic guitar then … please
stand closer). Although described last year as "being like playing in a prison", with
its undecorated grey granite-like stone walls, this (hardly) converted warehouse
(what sound quality at the back? I wondered) is sold-out for both nights. The
queue was swiftly moved forward for the briefest of security checks as 6.30 pm,
bottles of waters were not confiscated (despite the sign), naff merchandising was
doing a brisk trade. In fact, with just a little rake, and also with them throwin'
sawdust on the floor (like sand, I kid you not) and with 4 rows of rails for the elderly
to lean upon and plenty of accessible side-seating downstairs if we tire, it is about
7,000 standing and 1,500 in upstairs seats. It is a good venue, even at 7.10 it was
still possible to be row 3 on the sides. We lean on our rail, row 8 right-hand side
under a speaker stack. It fills up.
8.00 Comes and goes, we are packed in, but the upstairs seats in The Point are
more than half-empty. There is the Oscar on the amp/cabinet, and the red
school curtains awaiting us. Is he staying with Bono or with Ronnie Wood? Will
Van M show up?
8.05 Only small amounts of Nag Champa, this is an all non-smoking venue we were
reminded, together with the 7 exits being pointed out on each side, and the 5 at
the back (in the event of an emergency, oxygen masks will fall …). The nth
reminder that BD management will confiscate cameras and camera phones - such
disposable cameras as were on sale just outside at 5 Euros, so enterprising.
8.10 Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man, loud and clear the voice over,
the delay, … L&G CRA … Bob Dylan. They are with us. The band, George in the
trade-mark beret, others in all grey suits and black shirts, the two elderly guitarists
have these buttoned high up in the neck, 2 are in black Stetson hats. Bob is in a
black suit, with large diamond shaped studs down the sleeves and trousers, lots of
sparkle on the shirt collar, and a White Stetson. The jazz formation of a more
genuine sextet, and indeed they are going to play as a quintet often, with Donnie
Herron's array of instruments close to Bob, just slightly stage right at the back.
The piano with its higher microphone this year, and set-lists spread all around the
stage delicately lit by black pencil lamps. The school curtains of the backdrop are
all painted in red light. Eight white spots shine down; we are in business.
1. Maggie's Farm, no power-chords of the (once banned) Rumble as a tribute to
the late Link Wray (died Copenhagen 5th November 2005), no messing around, all
crisp and clear, vocals prominent in the mix, lively guitar work. A note that there
are WWW sites now out quoting: "Rumble is the best instrumental ever" BD.
2. Tell me that it isn't true (from NS). We will later get another from NS - Lay,
Lady, Lay (we like to think it is a result of shouting Hard Rain-style for it). The
electric country feel sound, all bathed in red light, finds Bob front and centre
blowing the harp stone dead, and even (a little) Irish dancing. It had real feeling,
knees bent, and kept the intensity levels from MF, with more lively guitar work.
3. Smoothly moving (that of course means with not a word nor any change in the
staging) into Watching the River Flow (from NM) nice controlled harp solo. So we
are following the NEC set-list, and that was a good gig and we have maintained
high intensity energy levels. This band sounds ideally suited to this electric country
4. Lay, Lady, Lay with the electric country feel of Greatest Hits Vol 2 (played loud).
The slides are very prominent, and above all what a difference a day's rest makes.
5. The red back-drop has moved smoothly to magenta, as you say you love me ...
(B on B) Most Likely You Go Your Way … who's been left behind? The curtains
drift into brown. We are 5 songs in and so far absolutely not hard rock, but rather
lots of electric country with lead Fender (Denny) and lead slides (Donnie). It is
6. A rare JWH treat (last out in 2005 Atlantic City and then Birmingham, Alabama,
the Pagel WWW site says) of I dreamed I saw St Augustine, more harp. Special.
7. Now the change in staging, the intensity has been kept high, the stage is
bathed in only UV light. The two single shafts of white spots are straight down
on the drum riser, no other light save UV. Major drum work in CIB. George cuts
loose, it rocks.
8. The school curtains are pulled away to each diagonal corner to make an arch,
the curtains in red, the archway in magenta. Shelter from the storm, sung with
real feeling, it is a good performance, verses heard in silence, the Irish in good
voice to complete each line, hopefully annoying purists and tapers equally. On
the way in, a local Dubliner told me, one of the main points of a Dylan gig is to
join in the singing. Not a perspective I had read often on this WWW site! It is
already a good set-list, with St Augustine as the gem - will it be all TOOM and
L&T from now on? Surely we are not going to get away without T Dee T Dum?
Shelter was nailed, from MF to LLL, are we really heading towards our own
personal Hard Rain? Loud applause.
9. Floater, with jagged lines across the archway, gets the acoustic treatment,
brushes and double-bass, especially violin, so talented is Donnie in taking his violin
10. H61R. Pounding drum rolls of this version of H61R dropped away twice, as
we clap along, there is almost a bass solo in the jazz quintet style, about 2,000
folk clap along, it moves smoothly back to loud hard-rock, then away again to
our clap-along in the intimate night club style, and finally a really (!) loud last line.
Loud applause, wags cry "Judas", and to "play louder", it has all been done before.
A forlorn voice shouts and swears "play the guitar", an even more forlorn cry of
11. Well, we had had St Augustine, is this really a 1964 night with Hollis Brown?
Totally acoustic, nailed and can you believe lead banjo (Donnie Herron). Eat your
heart out folkies. This man from Tennessee - he is so talented. Both guitarists
switch in turn onto acoustic guitars (away from Fender) during this following section.
12. Stuck Inside of Mobile (B on B, but especially Hard Rain 1976 and a retake
here tonight!), a little up-singing, but we are ready to forgive or tolerate almost
anything at this point, with the archway all speckled as a net of Christmas lights.
Crowd singing of being stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues, with Irish
13. We know an acoustic number will fill slot 13, if not Just Like a Woman, will it be
Forever Young? (of course not). It is to be The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,
it gets us all listening to every syllable, there is intimacy, he is so angry with the
Judge. There is applause for each verse (are we now in a folk club?). You want
to seek out Lonesome Death and play it over and over. It was wonderful. Just
look at this set list, and then compare it (favourably) adding in the previous nights,
with 50 different songs written and performed by one artist, and those not
including without Forever Young. Bill Pagel's WWW site shows 100 different Dylan
songs performed on each annual tour. Hindsight shows 14 different songs on the
Sunday to come. Stunning.
14. At 9.40 pm it is the jam session that is Summer Days. The stand-up
double-bass does not get spun around. We get the Stare from the Formation
(lots of 'phone cameras are held aloft, naughty, but NOT confiscated), there is loud
applause. The V-victory with two mouth organs, even several thumbs-up signs.
The band go off for 5 minutes. We cheer. They will be back, they are not really
even proper encores.
15. Back now for LARS, crowd lighting, we sing it straight. The backdrop is the
crowned purple eye of Horus. "Thank You Friends", band intros and laughter (see
above). The great powerhouse of George Recile (drums) and Tony Garnier on bass,
both from New Orleans remain a wonderful rhythm section. Brief bows, hats doffed,
all over continued background strumming, and then straight into …
16. Watchtower (but without Larry's humorous Intro of the Exodus movie theme).
Once through, George cuts loose, they all cut loose. Stu and Denny both make fair
enough stabs at the Hendrix version, but we know that is our lot. We have read
the leaves. The voice has held-up well. They will be straight away; it is 10.00 pm.
Cheering continues, from a certain angle you can see them sitting down in the wings
off-stage left - the buses still await. Cheering intensifies, as if it will bring them back.
Wiser heads shakes in disbelief, whilst still cheering and clapping. They return!
17. We get Bob straight to the piano for (can it be true) - to shouts of
"Unbelievable" from those who thought they knew - Forever Young. Stu decides a
ways in to change his guitar to acoustic, they were not quite so ready for this! He
conducts for a while whilst it gets sorted. There is an excellent atmosphere. We
listen and cheer the long harp solo. 10.07 pm. We cheer more, but they have
rewarded us, and now are away, surely? We cheer more, those who know cheer
even more, will this Irish magic work again? House lights come on, as the tour buses
are safely away this time, the music to walk out to is not quite "The Liberty Bell
March", but close to it, who picks this stuff?
It remains another step on the NET. We did see Miss "Please, I need a free-ticket"
at the front gate again. It is the same sign that has apparently worked its magic
across this whole tour, not just the UK leg. We met some really nice Liverpuddlians
inside and reminisced about Liverpool, when the circus was in town (12 July 2001).
A brief note to thank those whose reviews I have enjoyed so much when I
read/studied them. My own thanks to Bill Pagel for his continued work, as over
12.2 million hits shows this is important to many of us. Thanks for reading this far,
the bottom line from Sat in Dublin: it was a splendid set-list, actually a great
(refreshed) sound, a special night.
Ian S. Blagbrough
Review by Tiernan Henry
The Observer ran two side-by-side reviews yesterday: Bob at Brixton and
Antony & The Johnsons in York. Glowing reviews. Oddly enough, the pair
were together the previous night at the Point. Bob on stage, Antony
watching from the wings. Antony was entranced.
But then that's what happens when the expeditionary is in town. Worldly
cynics that we are - on the watch for carpetbaggers and snake oil salesmen
- we don't get fooled and we don't get awed. Right. Two hours in the
company of the old charmer and his besuited henchmen and we're ready for
anything, ready to follow him to the ends of the world and then the
lightning struck and the drifter did escape. There was nothing in the
papers the next day but I'm sure the boys had already made it through the
wall at that stage.
This tour could have been dubbed the Cry A While tour. Mood and tempo
changes, alternating quiet and loud. Sometimes the song works live and
sometimes it just doesn't quite click. Sometimes the set list works and
sometimes it doesn't quite click. Monday in Brixton there were stutters
and stumbles and at the Point Bob struggled with Most Likely., Floater,
and Stuck Inside Of Mobile. The songs nearly worked, but they just never
quite caught fire. In other places fire extinguishers would have been
Cold Irons Bound, a song I can take or leave, shook and swaggered with
urgent menace. Hollis Brown and Hattie Carroll - 40-some years on - still
sound like breaking news, Bob clearly and deliberately singing the words.
Shelter and Augustine bounced airily by, while Watching the River Flow was
tonight's exercise in Bob doing his best early REM vocal take (remember
Rolling Stone describing REM circa Reckoning as the only American band
that muttered?). Though not quite as, uh, idiosyncratic as Monday's
Tambourine Man it was worth seeing Bob wrestle the words into half speed
and double speed lines. I'd hate to be in a car driven by him when he's in
one of those moods.
Rolling Stone and Watchtower brought things to a close and then they were
gone. The noise didn't abate though and a rolling wave of cheering and
applause built and built. And when it seemed to flag it took off again.
The lights stayed down but the guitars were being cleared from the stage.
And then they were back, and the old pro eased us into the night with a
graceful and prayerful Forever Young.
Overall it was a really good show, without the overall consistency of the
2000 shows. The pacing seems problematic in places and the band is a bit
more limited than the Campbell/Sexton driven thing. Donnie Herron gets
lost in the mix a lot while Denny Freeman (or is it really Larry David?),
though a good blues/rock player, seems less comfortable playing on the
quieter songs. His playing is less nuanced and less textured than
Campbell's but when asked to kick in on the louder songs he looked (and
sounded) much happier.
Bob's piano playing remains as stylish and as odd as ever, pretty much
like the man himself.
Comments by Gary Galbraith
I'm pretty sure that the performance of "Forever young" at this show was
Dylan's personal tribute to Belfast-born football star George Best, who
died the day before aged 59.
Having spent the last few days in London and in Ireland where this story
has received blanket coverage, Dylan cant have failed to notice what a
huge impact it's had.
The inclusion at an Irish show of this song, of all choices, plus the fact
that it was (to my knowledge) the only time this year where he has
returned to play a second encore, seems more than a coincidence, even
though Dylan himself didnt mention anything about it.
One '60's icon paying tribute to another. An unforgettable moment.
Review by Markus Prieur
After seeing already four fine continental shows (Rotterdam, Oberhausen,
Wetzlar, and Erfurt), my wife and I were looking forward very much to
attend the two Dublin gigs at the end of this wonderful European fall tour
2005. When these dates were added to the tour schedule, long after I had
purchased already our mainland tickets, I was glad that the Dublin
concerts were weekend shows, as I had no time off work left for this year,
and with a four hour drive from Cork to Dublin, it would not have been
possible during the week.
Since we had moved from Germany to Cork in 1999, we have seen every Irish
Dylan show (Vicar Street and The Point in 2000, Kilkenny in 2001, Dublin
in 2003, and Belfast and Galway in 2004). So two shows in 2005 at Dublin's
Point Theatre, to end the tour and the touring year, was just the ticket.
The first show was sold out in 90 minutes, and the second in another few
days. This review is dedicated to the first show, on Saturday the 26th of
November. It was my 52nd Bob date, and it was one to remember. Seven songs
I had not seen during the four mainland shows, and one of them I had never
After checking into our hotel, we arrived at The Point for some cold and
windy, but dry, waiting time. Not many people were there yet in the late
afternoon, so once the doors opened, we ended up at the rail, in the
center. We were at the left side of the rail in Wetzlar and Erfurt
already, and enjoyed immensely the great sound coming from the speakers on
the rim of the stage, but first row center we had not stood for more than
five years. I was hoping for some surprises, but knowing that every show
on this tour was better than the set list might suggest, I would have
settled for any set of songs.
I was not to be disappointed. Bob came on stage sporting not a black, but
a cream color flat rim hat, which was by far the coolest hat I have ever
seen him with (and that includes the straw hat I saw him with in Hamburg
1984). The first five songs could be seen as a warm up section, sort of.
"Maggie's Farm" opened 23 out of 31 shows this fall. It was fine to see it
again. Many people recognize it, so it serves a purpose to warm up the
audience as well. "Tell Me That It Isn't True" (the 8th of the tour, we
had seen it already in Oberhausen) featured the first harp solo by Bob,
center stage. It was to be one of eight harp solos of the night, during
seven songs. "Watching The River Flow" was already the next one with Bob
on harp, and the last "Lay, Lady, Lay" of the tour featured some nice
guitar by Denny Freeman, whose fine work I appreciated more and more with
every show I went to.
Also during the next two songs Denny's guitar solos embellished Bob's
performances. The first one was "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go
Mine)", which Dylan also played on the same stage two years before. It was
a strong vocal performance so far, and I was getting ready for more
frequent songs for this Saturday show, when Bob pulled out the biggest
surprise of the night, and the only song performed in Dublin, which did
not appear in any other show of the tour. It was also the only song I saw
in Dublin, which I had never seen live before. We got to hear a mighty
fine version of "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine", featuring a nice solo by
Denny before the repetition of the first verse, and ending with Bob on
harp. There had been three appearances in the US this year, but this soft
and tender Dublin performance was the first European appearance of this
gem since the one in 1992. The other six European "St. Augustine's" were
the live debut in 1969 (Isle of Wight), and the five Temples In Flames
performances in 1987. A rare gem indeed, and I sure was glad to see it
from my first row center position.
"Cold Irons Bound " changed the pace again, before another fine harp solo
by Bob introduced one of the finest songs of the set, the 3rd "Shelter
From The Storm" of the tour. It featured another enjoyable guitar solo by
Denny, and to top it a second harp solo ended this rare choice. It was one
of the songs I was hoping to hear in this beatiful version. We had not
seen it since Brussels 1996. Next was another rarity, "Floater" (only the
4th of the tour), with Donnie on fiddle and bow, and again Bob on harp,
followed by the obligatory "Highway 61", which was so much more enjoyble
to watch during this tour, than I ever would have guessed.
Normally, when going to multiple shows, hoping to hear rarer choices, this
is one of the songs which make me go: "Ok, H61 again, ah well, it'll pass,
let's see what's next." But not this tour. This version is fun, I love to
watch the way the band brings it down to almost no drums and very subtle
guitar playing, accompanied by Bob on piano, before they take it up again
to maximum audience response. No Bob Dylan audience on this tour should
have been deprived of seeing this (and only the fourth London audience
was), so this song would be one of only two songs of the Saturday show
which Bob repeated on Sunday. But this I didn't know yet.
For another change of pace we next heard the only "predictable typical
Saturday song" of the tour, Bob's 4th "Ballad Of Hollis Brown", featuring
Donnie on banjo (I had seen this song already four weeks earlier in
Oberhausen; and last year in Belfast, and before that three times in
Germany in 1996 and 1998). Then the band and Bob rocked on with another
"Stuck Inside Of Mobile", with another fine guitar solo by Denny, before
the next highlight of the evening emerged, a truly sublime and outstanding
"The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll" (only the 3rd appearance of the
tour), featuring not only another harp solo by Bob, but also for my ears
the finest vocal performance of the entire show. Especially the way he
sang the last verse deserves a special mention, it was simply awesome. To
be present in the first row with a perfect sound and a perfect view, when
this master performs one of his masterpieces so masterfully, it was a real
treat; even better than the fine version he delivered on the same stage
almost exactly two years earlier.
Three usual suspects ended the regular 16 song set, the first of which was
a rocking "Summer Days". It always amuses me to know that the wild
audience applause before the so called encore is entirely irrelevant, as
it has already been predetermined that Bob and the Band will come out for
"Rolling Stone" or "Don't Think Twice", before ending the show with
"Watchtower". So sure enough they came, and "Like A Rolling Stone" it was.
There is something about the combination of Irish audiences and this song
as performed by Bob on stage. I have seen celebrities on Vicar Street's
balcony going ballistic singing along to this one, as well as two hurling
stadiums, and several times the packed Point Theatre. It is always a
pleasure to behold, and it sure was a pleasure this time around.
"All Along The Watchtower" was preceded by the band intro, including a
reference to the Irish American connection: ".. Stu is from Boston. Anyone
from Boston here? ..". But then, after "Watchtower", when I was ready to
go, after a great Saturday show, waiting for the house lights to go on,
they don't. People cheer and clap, and (surprise, surprise) Bob and his
band come back on stage, launching into a fine version of "Forever Young",
which was only the 2nd appearance of this song during the tour. Stu's
acoustic guitar was already put away, but he got it back after the first
verse. So the first Dublin gig was ending with Bob's eighth harp solo of
the night, making this Dublin audience the only one of the tour which got
to hear 17 Dylan songs (6 of which he only played 0-3 times before in 29
shows), and this show the only one not ending with "Watchtower", the other
of the two songs which would be repeated the following day. But as I said,
this I didn't know yet.
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