Kilkenny, Ireland
Kilkenny Source Festival
Nowlan Park
June 24, 2006

[Cliff Glover], [Conor O'Mahony], [Sean O'Rourke], [Markus Prieur]

Review by Cliff Glover

The first thing I've come to learn is, that if Bob plays in Ireland for 2
nights, invariably the second night is always better (2005, 2000....) and
I guess Cork set list tonight will go to further prove my theory.

There were plenty of rumours flying around about Michael Jackson doing a
duet with Bob but thank God this did not materialise.

The Set list stuck rigidly to the 60's material with only 4 exceptions and
two of those came from Love & Theft

Bob was in great form, smiling & laughing throughout the whole show. 

A quick word about each song:

Maggie's Farm: Not near as good as 2003, the sound was too thin with Bob's
whiny organ, but his vocals were the best ever - It could have been 1965

She belongs To Me: Without doubt the highlight of the night - This was
worth the admission alone - I have heard quiet few versions from 2005 and
none of them come close to this version. Bob sang in a VERY LOW register
and kept stretching out the last word of each line or else pausing before
the last word, which was always sung in a very low register. No Harp on
this one but there was no need

Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum: Did not like this at all, Bob was singing in a
key that was way higher than normal

Lay, Lady, Lay: This was believe it or not another high of the night. The
organ suited this song very well. He sang with very unusual mannerisms but
it all came together when he played the harp that was in a similar style
to his vocal mannerisms.

Stuck Inside A Mobile: Harp here again - I think the band ruined this song
and the music included too much steel guitar for my liking, which lost the
whimsical nature of the music

Love Sick: I love this song but not tonight

Watching The River Flow: Never liked this song live & tonight was no

Ballad Of A Thin Man: Harp on this one also - A very good attempt with Bob
having great fun with the lyrics, grinning & smiling throughout

Absolutely Sweet Marie: Did not like the Fiddle on this one - I love this
song but tonight was a disappointment

Highway 61 Revisited: Not as hard rocking as last year

Masters of War: OK

Summer Days: Never liked this song & tonight was no different

Like A Rolling Stone: Terrible

All Along The Watchtower - Very unusual version with Bob singing in a very
stop start manner & was exceptionally good because of this

In summary, Bob, if you don't want to be referred to as a throwback to the
60's then please don't have your set dominated by 60's material. Oh! and
switch the keyboard to piano for some songs!!

PS I was hoping for Winterlude - Very suited to this band!!!

Thanks & regards,
Cliff Glover, Galway, Ireland


Review by Conor O'Mahony

Bob arrived on stage about ten minutes late; the whole crew dressed all in
black, Bob in in regulation cowboy hat. I'm not going to do a song by
song, suffice to say that Bob sounds as good as ever, but the most
noteable difference from the previous times I've seen him was his humour:
he was having a blast! I was standing right at the front and he was
laughing and joking all the way throught the show. Donnie Herron seemed to
get the best out of him, by the way. Anyhow, the setlist was great, he
obviously picked up No Direction Home as he opened with two picks from the
soundtrack: Maggie's Farm and a great She Belongs To Me. I've heard him do
Love Sick before, but this was by far the best I've heard it. The pedal
steel and Denny's lead were fantastic, highlight of thw show for me. He
also threw in a few I hadn't heard before live: Watching The River Flow,
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Mr. Joooooooooones) and a nice surprise Absolutely
Sweet Marie. Overall it was a great show, I think the band have made a
concious decision to get the arrangements a lot tighter this time around
and if Bob's good mood continues, who knows what surprises lie ahead...




Review by Sean O'Rourke

There was a long delay before Bob while the gantry was lowered to clear 
paper streamers off that the Flaming Lips has left. The crowd grew
restless.  When Bob emerged he seemed to be a little grey around the
temples. His keyboard  was centre stage and there was no empty mike like
on previous shows. The band  all wore black and the backdrop was a black
sheet. Bob's black stetson seemed to  have a purple sheen. Bob was in
front of Donnie Herron, with Stu Kimball behind  his right towards the
crowd, George, Tony and Denny across the stage, where Tony  would lean in
to George and the amp during solos, which the two guitarists  took turns
at from opposite sides of the stage.

The sound was very clear and for the first half Bob was looking out  at the 
crowd, striking various poses, open mouthed, pursed lips, and a lot of 
pointing, conferring with Donnie and Stu. For example, after singing the
line  "Living in the Land of Nod" from Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee he gave
the  audience a theatrical nod, and on its closing chords pointed his
fingers at the  audience like pistols in a "stand and deliver" pose while
showing a clean set of  dentures. On Lay Lady Lay he sang "His shoes are
dirty but his hands are clean" On "Stuck Inside of Mobile" the verse "Mona
tried to tell me..." got a  second performance. On "Lovesick" there was a
phrase "I feel like I'm being ploughed  under". In Ballad of a Thin Man
there was "You walk in to the room with a camel  that you've found" A lot
of the crowd sang along with "Like A Rolling Stone", nearly every  line.
During the introductions the band where located from Boston or New Orleans
 or other places drowned out by applause. The band had a good sound, and
there were what seemed exploratory  interludes like a series of descending
chords in Highway 61 that was repeated  once for every note in the
ascending scale. In the line out Tony stood on a platform behind Bob. And
then they were gone.


Review by Markus Prieur

Not even seven months after Bob Dylan had finished his previous European
tour with two marvellous concerts in Dublin, he came back to the Emerald
Isle last weekend to start his next European tour with another two Irish
shows. The first one took place at Kilkenny's Nowlan Park, a large hurling
stadium, where Bob Dylan had already performed in the summer of 2001. 

Back then my wife and I had bravely endured the many opening acts
customary at these festival gigs in order to be close to the stage, but
for various reasons we chose to sit on the grand stand this time, so we
came not too long before Bob took the stage, which was situated on the
other side of the pitch. So it was major binocular time for me, and sadly
the music was not as loud and clear as I am normally used to.

As I did not expect any big surprises for the opening show of the tour,
and as I do not mind at all seeing Bob perform songs like "Tweedle Dee &
Tweedle Dum", I had no problem with the fact that all 14 songs performed
in Kilkenny had been played numerous times during the spring tour, from
which many a recording had found its way onto my computer. I simply loved
the new "2006 organic treatment" of the songs, and also the rearrangement
of many songs, so I was looking forward to hear it live myself. 

All of the songs performed in Kilkenny I had seen live before, most of
them many times, but as they are constantly reinvented and performed in a
fresh and different manner, it is always at least interesting to see them
performed again, and often more than that. Bob's voice was strong and
focused throughout the show, and the band was solid. Bob played a harp
solo several times, for example during "Lay, Lady, Lay" (which included an
interesting lyric change ". eat your cake and have it too"), during
"Memphis Blues", and most memorably at the end of the fine version of
"Ballad Of A Thin Man", one of the peaks of the evening.

Another peak was "Absolutely Sweet Marie" (performed for the first time
ever on the Emerald Isle), which was in the top section of my wish list of
songs to hear live on this tour, as on the recordings I heard I liked the
version performed this spring very much, and also since in my 53 previous
shows I only saw this song once before, in Bournemouth, in 2002. But this
Kilkenny 2006 version sure was a nice one, with Donnie playing on fiddle
and bow, and with Bob once more on harp.

My favorite performance however was the oldest song sung by Dylan that
night, a dark and focused rendition of "Masters Of War", with great and
fitting organ playing by Bob. It was the first appearance of  this song on
this island since 1991; and it definitely was one of the better of the
fifteen versions I saw him sing since 1981. To be a part of the audience,
even at some distance from the stage, when he delivers as song like that,
is something very special for me, so it was definitely worth driving up to
Kilkenny from Cork, where Bob Dylan would perform the next day, and where
we would be so much closer to the finest performing art to be found on any
stage .

Markus Prieur


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