NOVEMBER 26, 2005




1. Maggie's Farm

2. Tell Me That It Isn't True (Bob on harp - center stage)

3. Watching The River Flow (Bob on harp)

4. Lay, Lady, Lay

5. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)

6. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine (Bob on harp)

7. Cold Irons Bound

8. Shelter From The Storm

9. Floater (Too Much To Ask) (Donnie on violin, Bob on harp)

10. Highway 61 Revisited

11. Ballad Of Hollis Brown (Donnie on banjo)

12. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again

13. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (Donnie on electric mandolin, Bob on harp)

14. Summer Days

15. Like A Rolling Stone

16. All Along The Watchtower

17. Forever Young

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 to see these shows 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 seen live.

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
wear (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
think "Ok, H61 again, ah well, it'll pass, let's see
what's next." But not on 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 was to 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 mentioning, 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 second of the two songs
which would be repeated the following day. But as I
said already, this I didn't know yet.