JULY 15, 2001



1. Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie

2. To Ramona
(acoustic) (Larry on mandolin)

3. Desolation Row

4. Maggie's Farm
(Bob on harp and Ron Wood on electric guitar)

5. Ballad Of A Thin Man
(Larry on pedal steel and Ron Wood on electric guitar)

6. Tombstone Blues
(Ron Wood on electric guitar)

7. It Ain't Me, Babe
(acoustic) (Bob on harp)

8. Visions Of Johanna

9. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
(acoustic) (Bob on harp)

10. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
(Larry on acoustic guitar and Ron Wood on electric guitar)

11. Just Like A Woman
(Larry on pedal steel and Ron Wood on electric guitar)

12. The Wicked Messenger
(Bob on harp and Ron Wood on electric guitar)

13. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
(Ron Wood on electric guitar)

14. Like A Rolling Stone
(Ron Wood on electric guitar)

15. All Along The Watchtower
(Larry on steel guitar and Ron Wood on electric guitar)

16. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
(acoustic) (Charlie on electric guitar)

17. Highway 61 Revisited

Well, where do I start? After seeing
Uncle Bob ten times last September (from
Vicar Street to Portsmouth), this was the
only Bob date for us this year. It was the
first time that Dylan performed in two
consecutive years on this Emerald Isle,
where my wife and I chose to move to from
Germany almost two years ago. It was my
32nd Bob Dylan concert since 1981.

It started as "Bob Dylan plus special guests"
and became a full blown one day festival,
with local and Irish bands starting to
"entertain" the audience more than six hours
before Bob hit the stage at 9:05 pm, five
minutes behind schedule. Everything else was
exactly on time. Elvis Costello performed
for one hour from 7:30 - 8:30, but it didn't do
much for me, as I was standing for some hours
already five or six meters away from the stage
(center center), and as more and more drunk
people tried to get up front (that is what you
get for going to a festival sponsored by a

Much more enjoyable was the supporting
act preceding Costello. They had only half
an hour, as the four acts before them, but these
"Blind Boys of Alabama" should have had Costello's
time as well. They were GREAT!!! Supported by
a band, they were some old (two actually blind)
men perfoming the most remarkable black gospel
I have heard in a long time. Well worth mentioning.
They "delivered" four songs, first an Irish one,
"Danny Boy", then "If I Had A Hammer". Then one
of the blind boys asked the audience to "listen"
to the following song, and the band started into
a long bluesy intro, which was immediately
recognized as the tune of "House Of The Rising Sun",
but when they started to sing, it was not
"There is a house ...", but "Amazing Grace,
how sweet the sound ...". Truly amazing!!!
To top even this they did a blistering rendition
of "Soldier In The Army Of The Lord", which had
everybody dancing.

Well, on to the main event. As this clearly
was a festival, I did expect a greatest hits show
as one way to go for Bob. But the setlists from
previous shows (especially Stirling) had me hoping
for some rare gems or some extraordinary choices.
It was not to be. In fact, this was the first show
in 2001 which did not feature one of the 25 songs
performed occasionally this website is focusing on.
But this I noticed an hour after the show, back
in the car, tired and exhausted, with 120 miles
to go home. However I had witnessed my first
"un-tangled" Bob gig in more than five years,
my first "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie" (the one of
the current openers I wanted to hear), my second
"Visions" and my fourth "Desolation Row".

Bob performed the second "Thin Man" of this year,
and also the second show this year without "Blowing
In The Wind", Nashville being the first. Unlike
that festival, Kilkenny was a strictly greatest hits
show, but a good one it was. Bob was on, and he
looked great (including mustache). The acoustic
songs were all delivered brilliantly, soft and
tender versions of "Ramona" and "Visions", great
harp on "Babe" and "Twice", and the new fine
version of "Knocking" featuring the newest (!)
Dylan lyrics of the concert. (Then again, the only
Dylan song since 1974 performed acoustically
these days is "Ring Them Bells"). Besides "Knocking"
and the opener, which was a cover song, every song
was from 62-67, and five of them featured Bob on harp.

The younger songs are performed generally within
the electric sets of the show. But not one of the
numerous songs, Bob has written in the last 33 years,
appeared in Kilkenny. I am not saying, that Bob
did not sing his sixties hits well. Especially
"Memphis Blues" was the best version I have seen
so far. But Uncle Bob had to face two "obstacles",
both inflicted upon the show by himself. The minor
one was the festival crowd, which, presented with
greatest hits, tried (!) to sing along, in a way
they know the songs, which is, as we know, not the
way Bob sings them. This had an interesting (not
necessarily nice) affect on the audience member,
who came to hear Bob performing his songs. This
"obstacle" affected both acoustic and electric songs.

The other (major) "obstacle" affected only the
electric songs, except the last one, "H61".
It was Bob's decision to allow Ron Wood to join
his band on stage for eight (!) of the electric
songs, which were all strictly sixties hits.
I have read recently, that sometimes guest
appearances in Bob shows have resulted in Bob
rising artistically above himself, prompted by
the artistic input of the certain guest. Well,
last night, the lack thereof luckily prevented
the opposite. There was nothing added artistically
by this special guest, who was constantly
"prancing on the stage", making funny faces,
trying desperately to draw the attention of
band members and audience onto himself. This
would have been almost enjoyable, had I not come
to listen to Bob Dylan. So I sometimes fixed my
binoculars on Bob, who on his part succeeded to
stay focused on many verses of those songs while
facing the audience. On the other hand he was
jamming inbetween verses with Ron Wood face to face,
with increasing fun, like two buddies from a
garage band. The audience loved it, like they
loved the greatest hits SHOW. It was Bob's
choice to please the crowd last night.
(Maybe he wants to spend another vacation in
Ron Wood's house after this tour, but to let
him turn a Bob Dylan concert into a Muppet Show
is a dear price for that ;-)

I could compare this setlist with Stirling
(where he performed 4 songs mentioned on this
website) or with other 2001 shows, or I could
compare this show with any of the ten shows I
have seen last year. But what's the use, but
undue criticism? There are far too many writers
(big ones like ..., and small ones like me) who
constantly compare Bob's artistic output with
their great expectations or what they see as
Bob's greatest period/album/tour/songs/whatever.
The only thing I may compare this Kilkenny concert
with would be no concert in Ireland this year.
And I would rather have a good greatest hits show
with Ron Wood joining this otherwise great band,
than no Bob Dylan concert at all.