Dublin, Ireland
Point Theatre
November 17, 2003

[Cliff Glover], [Mark Mc Govern], [Adrian Cusack], [Markus Prieur], [John Dunne],
[Jim Murray], [Nick Barwise]

Review by Cliff Glover

I thought I would be ahead of the pack so to speak when attending this
concert, as I have a lot of Boots from 2002. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

It is hard to put into words how much Bob's voice has deteriorated in the
past year - He sounded like somebody with a very, very, bad head cold. His
voice seemed to be far more effective on the faster songs (you could hear
the melody). On the slower songs it was like he was doing a poetry reading
to music.

That said, the show was fantastic and I love the new arrangements, the
piano adds so much to the texture of the music and also the fact that all
songs now have an electric guitar on them means that all of his songs have
been reinterpreted in the last year, mostly to great effect.

I am not to sure about Freddy - I think he must have played a lot of Air
Guitar when a child!!. A little heavy handed (every song needed a guitar
solo, or so Freddy thought)

Notes that Bono and family were in the audience along with Gavin Friday.

Maggie's Farm
This is a great opener, similar to 2002

Baby Blue
The music was fantastic and two lovely Harp solos. Bob vocals sounded like
he was choking / drowning on this one (finding it hard to regulate his
breathing) BUT some how it was still a great performance

Cry a While
Never a favourite of mine, very sloppy musically but a FANTASTIC Harp

Desolation Row
By far the best performance of the night - every word was clear, just
great (worth the price of admission alone) great Harp work. The piano
changes the whole atmosphere of the song.

It's Alright Ma
Great, similar to 2002

Girl from the North Country
Brilliant. Musically top notch (reminded me of 1978 for some reason) but
Bob could only speak the words

Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Very disappointed. From reading recent reviews I was expecting a big
improvement on the album version, but I thought Freddy's guitar work was

Black Coat
The best vocal performance of the night. I felt the Drums were a bit loud
and was not in tune with the atmosphere of the song (some Lyric changes
here "Blood on the Moon")

You go Your way
Standard fare

Highway 61
Standard fare - Pity they don't put Bob's piano way up in the mix for this

Every Grain of Sand
Well sung but nothing special - Didn't think the Harp solo worked well.

Honest with Me

Hattie Carroll
Another song that Bob has rearranged to great effect and for once Freddy's
Guitar work was very fitting and tasteful

Summer Days
Standard Fare

Cat's in the Well
Very disappointing. Did not have a patch on the 2000 versions

Very poor as always and Freddy's Guitar Solos were way out of place -

All Along the Watchtower
Fantastic, mind blowing, ear splitting. Larry's Guitar work was great and
it's a pity he is not given more of the lead Guitar Work. Disappointed
that there was no Harp on this.

Cliff Glover


Review by Mark Mc Govern

I got to the Point at 4:30 and waited 2 hours for the gates to open so I
could get a good spot at the front of the stage. I told my friends to run
to the left of the stage where the keyboard would be, because then we
would be the closest people to Bob apart from the Band.

We waited for about an hour inside at the front before the show started,
Bob came on at 8:20 (2 minutes after Bono took his seat in the balcony
area to our right.  The crowd gave Bono a few cheers and he nearly gave
the unsuspecting girl beside him a heard attack when he sat down and gave
her a hug)

The place erupted when Bob came on, so much so that I didn't get to hear
the introduction properly.  Bob was wearing a black suit with a white
stripe down the side, white cuffs and white on the pockets, the Band were
wearing matching lilac suits. Bob took his place at the keyboard (right in
front of where I was standing) and started off with Maggie's Farm.  What
struck me first was that Bob was in great form, laughing during the song
and the vocal was brilliant.

I was so close that I could see the beads of sweat on the tip of his nose.

Next was Baby Blue, hard to recognise at the start, but again brilliant.

I loved the way Bob screamed out "I'll die before I turn senile", because
it's so true, I gave a big cheer when he said that.

I won't go through the whole setlist because I am sure you know it.

The main highlight for me was Desolation Row, I was hoping he would play
this, and he sang the verse about Einstein disguised as Robin Hood, which
I wanted to hear him sing.

Bob got annoyed during It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) becasue he
didn't have any water, the was looking around all the time and banging on
the keyboard in anger

Girl Of The North Country's totally new arrangement was excellent.  
Man in the Long Black Coat was excellent.  During Highway 61 Revisited the
crowd really livened up and were loving it. During Every Grain of Sand
everyone was silent just listening with awe. Solos by Freddie on Honest
With Me were amazing, he is a really talented guitarist and my mates were
surprised when I told them that he was the newest edition to the band. 
George was excellent on drums aswell, spent the whole show looking at Bob
and smiling waiting for signals. Nearing the end of the show, Bob would
join the lads in the centre of the stage and do a little dance, reminding
me of a drunken dad dancing at a party.  Really funny, Bob was really
enjoying himself. Hattie Carroll was another highlight, I love this song,
and as throughout the whole concert, the vocal was amazing. Once again
there was an all out Rock N Roll version of Summer Days, I loved it and
again the solos were brilliant with Freddie and Larry standing alongside
playing solos. Love Bob's hand signals like he is shooting two guns in the
air, funny. The Band were great aswell throughout the whole show, Freddie
took charge of most of the solos taking centre stage.

When he introduced the Band he kept it very minimalist, I wish he would
speak more.  After saying each name he would do his little bit on the
keyboard, very amusing.

For the encore the played Cat's in the Well and LARS, this got the crowd
singing and Watchtower had a real heavy Hendrix intro, which quietened
down for the singing.

At the end for the line-up Bob took centre stage and kind of swayed over
and back and you could see the gratitude in his eyes as he surveyed the
crowd.  He didn't bow or say anything, just walked off stage leaving me
wanting more....

Next time I see Bob will be when I go home to my "Mulhall" lifesize
portrait of him this evening.

Thanks Bob,
Mark Mc Govern


Review by Adrian Cusack

The predominant feeling I had when leaving the Point Depot last night was one of

At 21 years old it is reasonable to guess that I will outlive Bob 
Dylan. I am, therefore, both honoured and thankful that I have gotten to see this 
magnificent artist while he is still touring and still producing performances as 
majestic as the one I just witnessed.

It was my third audience with Dylan. The first two occasions had been excellent, 
so expectations were high as the lights dimmed and the intro began. The band 
started up and when Bob leaned into the microphone to sing "ain't gonna work on 
maggie's farm no more..." in a crystal clear voice we knew we were not going to 
be let down. Each song was delivered with the confidence of a singer and band who 
knew exactly what they were doing and why they were doing it.
In the second slot, 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' was slow and deliberate, with 
Dylan considering each word as he delivered it. This was my first concert since 
the release of Bob's most recent album 'Love and Theft' and so it was a treat to 
hear a 'new' song in the form of 'Cry A While'. Then came the dark, brooding 
chords of 'Desolation Row'. This contender for the title Best Song Ever was given 
another careful delivery that worked wonderfully well. During a measured and 
bluesy 'It's Alright Ma', Dylan asked one of the stage crew to get him a drink. 
He looked around for a while and seemed slightly distracted until he was given 
the drink but it failed to affect his delivery of the song, as he produced every 
verse word-perfect.
Then came the zenith of a night filled with highlights - 'Girl From The North 
Country'. This performance must go down as one of Dylan's most beautiful live 
creations of recent years. Time stopped as we listened to this gorgeous lullaby, 
so soft and warm.
In contrast, 'Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum' was a brisk rocking number with Bob 
stretching out the words as if they were pieces of chewing gum. One of the 
songs my friends and I had on our collective wish-list was 'Man In The Long 
Black Coat'. As with many of the songs played this was our first time to hear 
it and we were treated to a truly marvellous version with great vocals and some 
minor-but-nice lyric changes.

The next few songs maintained the high standard. 'Most likely (you go your way 
and I'll go mine)' again featured Dylan playing with his own lyrics. After the 
line "but this time I'm not going to tell you why that is" he wryly added "maybe 
next time I'll tell ya!". A forceful Highway 61 and a thoughtful 'Every Grain Of 
Sand' followed. During 'Honest With Me' Bob emerged from behind the keyboard he 
played on every song and gave a typically idiosyncratic stage walkabout. He 
meandered around the stage slowly with his arms outstretched, looking as though 
he was imitating a cartoon mummy.

The sold-out then crowd hushed for a perfect, quiet rendition of 'The Lonesone 
Death Of Hattie Carroll'. Forty years have passed since he penned this tale of 
injustice but you could never tell from the songs performance, as it was 
rendered with conviction and care. The main set closed with a bouncing 'Summer 

The encores were the dessert that follwed a wonderful main course. 'Cat's In The 
Well', 'Like A Rolling Stone' and 'All Along The Watchtower' were each given a 
fine treatment.
As the crowd showed their appreciation for a terrific show Bob wandered along 
the front of the stage and tapped his heart to indicate that he was touched by 
their ovation. Apart from addressing the crowd as 'friends' during the band 
introductions, he didn't speak all night. He didn't need to, for the performance 
said it all and left us in no doubt that we had just been in the company of a 
living legend. 


Review by Markus Prieur

On the way back from Dublin I was wondering how I would have experienced
"The Point" if it would have been my first show this year; if my wife and
I would not have revisited our native Germany (seeing the shows in
Frankfurt and Düsseldorf); or if we would not have gone to Sweden for my
40th birthday (seeing the shows in Stockholm and Karlstad). Probably I
would feel even stronger about this magnificent concert we saw at the
right side of the rail, just below the speakers, with another perfect view
across the stage floor toward Bob.

These two opening sentences of this review I had just written down on a
piece of paper, while sitting on the ground, and leaning against the
entrance door of Millstreet’s Green Glens Arena, hoping to get an even
better view for my last show for this year, when the door opened and the
two dozen people already waiting were allowed inside to hear the press
release read: "Mr Dylan is ill. He has severe viral laryngitis. After
consulting with doctors in Dublin and Killarney, it was strongly
recommended that Bob Dylan not perform tonight’s show …."

By now I know that Bob had arrived by bus in Killarney around four in the
morning after the Dublin show. So he must have consulted said "doctors in
Dublin" already on the day of his concert at "The Point Depot". He stayed
at the Killarney Park Hotel, consulted doctors there, and left by bus for
Sheffield around nine in the evening. In Dublin his voice had been
brilliant, however upon Bob’s request his guitar technician provided him
with something to drink during the show.

So the concert in Dublin was the fifth and last one for me this year, and
a strong concert it was, very strong. Contrary to the previous show I saw
in Düsseldorf, which had a slightly better set list for my taste, I could
see most band members most of the time this time, as my vantage point was
a little further to the centre than last time. But I did not know yet that
there would not be a next time for me, well, not this year at least. The
sound was perfect for me, as I had the speakers right above me, so this
show at the rail was very enjoyable.

As I said before, I would have even stronger feelings, if I had not seen
all but two songs before in the previous weeks. Only the opener "Maggie’s
Farm", and "Most Likely You Go Your Way" I had not yet seen on this tour,
the latter rarer one I had seen last in Glasgow 2000. "Desolation Row" was
performed very well in Dublin, but I had experienced an even better one in
Karlstad. The Dublin version was shorter as well, "only" seven verses plus
three instrumental ones: postcards / cinderella / moon / dr filth /
ophelia / (Koella) / einstein / (harp solo) / letter / (instrumental).

The other fourteen songs I had even seen in Frankfurt or Düsseldorf, and
most of them also in Sweden. But that by no means depreciates any of them
performances in Dublin, on the contrary, most versions were the best I had
witnessed on this tour. "Baby Blue" was the strongest I heard, and the new
sublime "Girl Of The North Country" was even more beautiful than the one I
had the honour to hear in Düsseldorf. This new arrangement and the way Bob
Dylan delivers this song is simply amazing. Also another fine version of
"Man In The Long Black Coat" was a welcome addition to the set.

Not one song during the concert was even remotely boring, every single one
was performed with real commitment on Bob’s part, and also on the part of
this finest band on planet earth. I have nothing but respect for all five
musicians and what they have created on these European stages during this
tour, which I am tempted to call the finest European tour since 1981. And
they had so much fun in Dublin, especially during those numerous rocking
songs, as they performed to a most appreciative Irish audience, which
recognised songs fast, and often cheered after opening words.

Freddie and Larry traded many a guitar solo, and the rapport between them
was very good, as was the one between Bob and George. A great Bob moment
was during "Most Likely You Go Your Way", as Bob sang "you say my kisses
are not like his, I’m not gonna tell you why that is", and immediately
afterwards threw in a very fast "maybe I’ll tell you next time", laughing
over to George as if to say, I told you I could fit it in before I would
sing "I’m gonna let you pass". Priceless stuff.

All the rocking numbers during the show were as good as they get. It was
the first Bob Dylan concert on the Emerald Isle since the release of "Love
and Theft", and I had the feeling that "Cry", "Tweedle", "Honest", and
"Summer Days" were performed particularly well, as were the three rocking
encores. I did not mind at all hearing them again, especially "Cat’s In
The Well", and the way it is followed seamlessly by "Like A Rolling
Stone". The band intro followed before the final song, "All Along The

However, the finest songs of this Dublin concert for me were the slower,
more pensive songs sandwiched between the fast ones. "Girl" I had
mentioned above already, but also "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"
was even better than the already fine Düsseldorf version. It is hard to
describe, but to be present during a performance like this is something
very special and impressive.

The finest of all Bob Dylan lyrics I got to hear for the fourth time
during this tour, as he chose to perform yet another sublime word perfect
"Every Grain Of Sand", which surpassed even the great versions I witnessed
in Frankfurt and Stockholm. Bob was really into that song in Dublin, very
committed to convey those beautiful confessions contained therein. So
there was only one Bob Dylan concert in Ireland this year, but I am
tempted to say it was the finest he ever performed on this beautiful

Markus Prieur


Review by John Dunne

First the minor good news: no sign of the messianic Mr Bono or the 
dreaded Ron Wood.

Now the real good news. From the opening line of Maggie's Farm it was
clear that Dylan was really up for this show. The vocals were loud and
clear and, as the evening progressed, an object lesson in commitment and
expression. Whether belting out Cry A While or silencing the audience with
a hushed, goosepimple version of Hattie Carroll, this was Dylan the singer
at the height of his powers. It was only during the awkward new
arrangement of Girl From the North Country that he seemed less than
supremely confident. The bad news. To my ears, the band failed miserably
to reach Dylan's exalted heights.  While seldom, so to speak, putting a
finger wrong (though see below), Larry spent much of the night scanning
the crowd as if searching for a missing relative, while Tony was equally
expert, but seemed to be going through the motions. George Recelli was ok
but I think it's fair to say that neither he nor Tony are well-endowed in
the charisma department. And so to Freddie. What in the name of God is Bob
Dylan doing on the same stage as this mickey mouse practitioner? I simply
can't understand how he tolerates the abject banality of his playing and
allows him to step into the spotlight as often as he does? The times he
prowled the stage like a crouching tiger while sounding like a clapped-out
tomcat, were comical.  His solo on Like a Rolling Stone, for instance, was
awful but, strangely, it was Larry's intro and outro to an otherwise
brilliant Every Grain of Sand that took the accolade for the night's most
incongruous guitar moments. In fairness though, it has to be said that
both guitarists were incendiary on Highway 61 and Summer Days came close
to conjuring  up a similar firestorm Finally a few random impressions:
Dylan's enthusiasm was phenomenal throughout. I was close enough to see
the threads of silver in his hair, and every nuance he put into his
singing was a wonder to behold. I'll leave it to others to speculate
whether his occasional unsteady rambles around the stage (and accompanying
hand movements) were, as a friend of mine suggested, mere manifestations
of an odd sense of humour, or inspired by a more illicit source. The
band's lack of dynamics may actually be Dylan's own fault. Since he's
taken to the piano, there's very little light and shade in the music and,
I for one, hanker for the return of more acoustic songs. It was great to
see so many young people in the audience. 

John Dunne


Review by Jim Murray

I must have attended a different concert to the other reviewers. I am a
great fan, and will normally give Dylan the benefit of any doubt, but I
thought the show was hugely disappointing. Dylan looked totally spaced
(maybe the medicine had kicked in) and his voice was just a croak.
Obviously the viral laryngitis had already taken hold. His piano playing
was terrible (when we could hear it - which, thankfully, was not very
often) and so off-key that the rest of the band struggled to play along.
The rest except Koella, of course. Who is this guy? And what's he doing
playing with real musicians like Campbell and Garnier? Dylan himself was
never renowned as a great guitarist but he's head and shoulders above
Koella. With Recile laying in loudly at various times, most of what I
heard (standing about 50 feet from the stage) was a cacophony of sound.
All in all, a great shame.

Jim Murray


Review by Nick Barwise

I have read earlier reviews with interest, and unlike so many, I should preface
this by mentioning that before Monday's concert I was a "Dylan concert virgin". 
Unless repeated playing of my copy of the 1966 "Royal Albert Hall" concert 
counts. And therein may lay the problem, how could he live up to my 
expectations after such an incredible concert being recorded? Still, nearly 
40 years on from his legendary tour, the only possibility of there being a 
"Judas" cry from the audience would have been because he didn't play guitar. 
Which is kind of ironic I think.   
Speaking of guitars leads me to my next point. I have to agree with earlier 
reviews about lead guitarist, Freddy Koella. Who is this Muppet playing his 
guitar like it was an extension of his manhood? I lost count of the number of 
times he took centre stage, trying to bask in the glory of being on-stage with 
Bob Dylan. Lets face it no one was there to see Freddy play his guitar. The 
band as a whole, while competent enough, had a tendency to veer towards cheesy 
rock at times with a bit too much of the blues. As for the matching suits, 
well enough said.

What an incredible set list though, packed with great songs most of them well 
preformed. The highlights for me undoubtedly being Desolation Row, Girl of the 
North Country, Every Grain of Sand, Highway 61, Hattie Carroll, It's all Over 
Now Baby Blue, and the final two encore songs - Like a Rolling Stone and All 
Along the Watchtower. Desolation Row and Hattie Carroll in particular stood out 
from this great set list, incredible songs with haunting performances. If 
there's one minor quibble about a song not being included, and there always 
will be, it's "Vision's Of Johanna". A solo acoustic rendition by Dylan of that 
incredible song would have gone down really well.

I've always been a fan of Dylan's singing style, I think his is the only one 
capable of properly singing his own songs. I know that his age and the Never 
Ending Tour are affecting his voice. But I have to say I found his voice pretty 
croaky. Knowing now that the following day's Cork concert was cancelled due to 
viral laryngitis, it's clear that he must have already been suffering from it 
in Dublin. Although I was incredibly relieved that it wasn't the Dublin concert 
that had been cancelled. That would have been especially difficult to bear, 
especially considering that it has not been rescheduled. 
Overall I went home incredibly satisfied to have seen him live in concert, and 
lucky enough to have got tickets. Despite some of my negative comments, I would 
definitely go to see him again. Although I must confess that the first thing I 
did upon getting home was to listen to the 1966 concert again. 


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