Dublin, Ireland

The O2

June 17, 2014

[Tiernan Henry], [Simon Wilson], [Adam Curtis & Ben Livings], [Trevor Townson], [Theresa McMullin], [Roger Collings]

Review by Tiernan Henry

And so on to Dublin.
The weather was great, and the mood in the O2 reflected that. The show
hadn't sold all that well (radio and press ads had been running for weeks)
and the upper balcony was closed off, but there was a good lively crowd
in. After Cork's prompt 8pm "let's stick to the schedule" start of the
tour promise the foghorn went off about 8.10 and Stu appeared through the
curtains, and off we went one more time. The set list was exactly the same
as the previous night and Bob's suit looked suspiciously the same too. (No
dancers tonight other than the old crooner out front.) It's a great show,
really well paced and really well thought out and the lights and backdrop
were really used very well. Some additional comments on the Cork show:
he's got a couple of new stop the music dead moments, where the band just
stop and hold, hold, hold and we're back and he's starting to work with
quiet much more effectively. During Simple Twist, Forgetful Heart and What
Good Am I the band drop right back allowing the songs to breathe quietly
and allowing Bob to almost conversationally deliver the lines or to play
some sweetly poignant harmonica. And Long and Wasted Years, what more can
be said about this? There's so much packed into those few minutes and so
much revealed, mostly, I think how proud of the song Dylan is. It's a
showstopper, a real send them home dazzled number, though not one that'll
be appearing on X Factor anytime soon. There's such a joy in hearing him
open up, tilt his head back, grab the mike stand to stop the song sweeping
him away and letting it go. There's always such a buzz seeing him and
while the set lists are now seemingly fixed in stone it doesn't take away
from just how good the whole show is. He's obviously proud of the show,
and proud of these songs, and it shows in the care with which he delivers
them and it's a thrill to see him conduct the  band or gesture to himself
or to us or to whoever as he inhabits the various characters and the
various scenes. He's a treasure.


Review by Simon Wilson

Shining summer evening down by the waterfront docks as Bob rolls in to the
Dublin O2.  Good attendance at this big venue and an appreciative crowd. 
As many have commented, Bob is in very good voice these days ranging from
croon to stern declamation with much less barking and growling (not that I
minded the barking and growling).  Good sound quality showed off band and
voice, particularly the bass-heavy piano interplay with Charlie on lead. 
Several great harp solos.

It's a very well balanced and paced set, and I guess that the standouts
are down to individual preference.  Love Sick was vehement and charged. 
For Simple Twist of Fate Bob stood by the mic, commanding the hall with
his sweet rendition - perhaps the best I've heard.  And then, Long and
Wasted Years.  What is it about this song?   It's a kind of summation.  He
stands there and belts it out and you find yourself crying.

Warm appreciation from the audience in Dublin, some of whom could be heard
singing their favourites as they headed home.  He's in very good shape
this year.

Simon Wilson


Review by Adam Curtis & Ben Livings

As good as Cork the night before. Thought the venue was superb too. Nice
to sit as opposed to standing as in Cork. Lots of familiar and glamorous
Bobcats in attendance including Bob Willis.

Same set as Cork, took a while to warm up again after first 2 songs, but
then build throughout to a climax. Long and Wasted Years outstanding as
per usual

The Cat and the rest of the band looked in great form, with some good rock
n roll moves from them all. Bob immaculate in black with the white boots.
Some good new Bob moves from the man himself, good voice throughout and
lots of smiles

Then finished the night off in a good boozer, a great trip. Roll on Kosice

Adam Curtis and Ben Livings


Review by Trevor Townson

Tell Me, why would she be called that then,
What are you on about now,
Judith Durham,
What about her,
I thought she was from the North East but she turns out to be a bloody
Australian, You cannot place someone by their name, But she sang about a
Geordie Girl, I think it was Georgie Girl, Anyway what do you mean saying
that I talk crazy when I have had a drink, What has having had a drink got
to do with it, Bob has this amazing ability to teach not only about life
but the world and different cultures, What do you mean, Bob can take away
our ignorance and educate us through his songs as he is universal and
appeals to all peoples in all lands, Can you explain that, Well without
Bob I would still have no idea what bagels and chitlins are for example,
So what are chitlins then, Not sure but at least I now know what a bagel
is thanks to Bob, So not totally educated and still pretty ignorant even
having listened to Bob as much as you have, Well as you know I do not have
too much interest in food that does not go with Yorkshire pudding or taste
better with gravy on it, unless it is Fish and Chips of course, Been quite
a while since you last saw Bob, Yes but glad that I decided not to go to
Japan with all those standard set lists, I thought you said that you could
not afford to go to Japan, A minor technicality, good decision though as
it would have been like following Mark Knopfler on tour, well apart from
Bob having better songs than Mark, Bob having better music than Mark, Bob
wearing smarter clothes than Mark, Bob having a better band than Mark, Bob
having a better sound crew than Mark, well may be not that but I bet Bob
had a better bus than Mark, Bob played a new song first time live though
in Tokyo, That would have been a bit like going on a Mark Knopfler tour
too, I could have shouted out "why don't you play something we know Bob",
Not the first time that you have seen Bob in Ireland though, No, seen him
in both these venues before and on more than one occasion but I bet that
this is the first time that I have heard the same set list from him end on
end in both, Will you be doing a review, How the hell can I do a review
for the twelfth time with the same bloody set list, what would there be to
write about, how many times can you call something Brilliant before it
becomes boring, What about that new book about Dylanologists, Load of
bollocks, Have you read it, No, How can you give it such a comprehensive
in depth appraisal then, I read part of the intro, Where, Expecting Rain
or some such place, anyway why does it matter, Well you travel everywhere
to see him like some of those fans, Used to, used to, before he decided to
reside in Japan, anyway I am not like those people, I have never been to
Malibu or Minnesota, if anything it is me being stalked by Bob, at least
twice I have nearly been knocked down by one of those huge black Beat The
Street mobile hotels, Well it could be construed as quite coincidental
that you were in the same vicinity, Needs to be beyond reasonable doubt,
or as the legal profession would argue, purely coincidental, Do you think
it will be the same band as Bob had last time, Nothing is certain with Bob
but it is certain to be exactly the same band as last time unless he has
employed one of those key board players out of Mark Knopflers band to give
him the opportunity to stand up front for the full set, They were good key
board players that Mark had, Yeah they were probably proper musicians,
properly trained who know what crotchets and quavers actually are, Do you
think that Bob is more play it by ear, Yes, if Mozart were to listen to
Bob he would probably think that he was playing it with his ear, That is a
bit harsh, Words of praise serve only to beguile us, anyway Bob is
philosophical and would understand and it is not as though I am ever going
to be able to say that to him so no damage done, put it this way, guess
how many Mozart albums I have got, correct, none, not even his Greatest
Hits, guess how many Bob albums I have got, correct, hundreds, even all of
his Greatest Hits, only Bob could have so many Greatest Hits albums,
actually it is probably the perfect time now for The Complete Bob Dylan
Greatest Hits Collection, Vol 1, That gets mentioned in that Dylanologists
book as well, What does, People who have many hundreds of Bob Dylan albums
not officially released, OK, so I may have the odd Crystal Cat buried
away, but that is the fault of his bloody record label not us, if they got
their finger out and released at least a hundred live albums a year then
we would buy them instead, You could get yourself into trouble having
pirated stuff like that in your possession, it's illegal, So is driving
down the motorway in excess of the legal limit but I have not had to look
through bars yet, anyway for me and most of the rest of the hard working
get up on Monday morning and face the crap "Community", looking through
bars with all that free time is not that unappealing, so do your worst
Columbia as it is about time that I got some of my tax back, There is
mention of Bob bringing out another album soon, Yes, seems some people
have mixed feelings about this one already though, a bit like they did
about that Christmas album, What were your thoughts on his Christmas
album, I loved it, in fact I wrote a piece about it and sent it to ISIS
magazine but it did not get used, Why was that, Not sure, could have been
various reasons, maybe because it had little of any significance to Dylan
historically, maybe it was deemed to have been of no interest whatsoever
to the Dylanologist genre, maybe it was not technical enough as it never
mentioned a crotchet or a quaver even once, maybe it just went into the
spam folder and never got read or, maybe more probably, Derek thought it
was a load of crap, Early flight in the morning to Dublin and England are
on the telly later tonight playing Italy, Not a problem, when a flight to
a Bob show is to be caught sleep is optional, Well we made it to Ireland
on time despite you stopping up late to see England lose, OK, don't rub it
in, Just need to travel down to Cork now for the first show, Big mistake
hiring a car for the job, there is just no easy way to park a car in Cork
with all that parking disc nonsense, perhaps if I park it up and leave it
unlocked someone who does not live in Cork would nick it and run away to
where they could easily park it so allowing us to get the bus back to
Dublin, You can't have an assisted car crime on your conscience during the
show, Well I did pay the excess insurance at Hertz so they are covered and
it would be a way of getting our money's worth so to speak if it got
stolen, bloody hell you will never guess what, What, I have the wrong
tickets with me, these are for Dublin but we are sat outside the Marquee,
So where are the Cork tickets, In the apartment, Pity you got the car
stolen then as you are now going to have to walk all the way back and get
them, I did not get the car stolen, more's the pity, I put it in the car
park, it was the cheapest way of getting rid of it, Only you could hire a
car from Hertz then pay to store it for them for three days, No matter, I
need the exercise, it won't take me any time at all to walk there and back
to get them, it is only about 28 degrees in the shade and as you know I
love a mission, You got back quicker than I thought you would with those
tickets earlier, anyway what did you think of the show, That must surely
be as good as it gets, Bob could not have given a better performance than
that, It was also a very good audience, Usually is in Ireland, they love
their Bob that's for sure, Bob seemed to enjoy it as well, And so he
should, if I could do that I would enjoy it as well, Love Sick and Scarlet
Town were very good, There really were no low points for me, I enjoyed it
all, I agree that Love Sick was really outstanding though tonight, I am
starting to hear the words better now and I can actually recognise some of
the songs that he is singing at times, Steady on, you will be accused of
being a Dylanologist next and somebody will decide to write a book about
you, No need to worry about me whilst there are people like you about,
What about that white figure head of the goddess from the Tempest album
cover on top of his grand piano, or that young couple jiving at the back
of the stage during High Water, what was all that about, You tell me, I
must say his harmonica playing was first class tonight, some real stand
out moments, Simple Twist Of Fate to name just one, I hope that he is as
good as that in Dublin, I would die to see another performance like that,
Well we nearly did die to see that one, what with you stalling the hire
car in the middle of the motorway out of Dublin on the way down here, Yes
we really did nearly die that's for sure, lucky you were spared from
seeing that huge Mercedes bearing down on us from the rear at great speed,
I was crapping myself sitting there helplessly whilst watching that in the
rear view mirror, reminded me of that joke about wanting to die peacefully
in my sleep like my uncle the bus driver did, not screaming in fear and
terror like all his passengers, What happened anyway to make us come to a
complete stand still, I really don't know, anyhow I was too busy watching
my life flash before me, it was really not all bad as I actually got to
see myself listening to Self Portrait for the first time again in
flashback, I think that I got my foot stuck in the pedals somehow, strange
little car anyway that Ka, Why did you not get something bigger then, Do
you know how much it costs to hire a car these days, even a miniature one,
Yes but how much do you value our lives, Well not as much as a three day
hire costs for a Range Rover Vogue that's for sure, life really is cheap
in comparison, Good sound tonight, Yes I thought that, I think he may have
made some changes to his road crew, there seemed to be a few new faces
around, Maybe he borrowed some stage hands from Mark but left his key
board players alone, do you think Dublin will be as good as Cork, Who
knows, anyway I need to go and park the car for Hertz again, I will have
to take it to the multi storey in the next street as we do not have any
parking at this apartment either and Dublin has the same parking disc
nonsense that Cork has, I just do not know how motorists cope here, So
similarities between Cork and Dublin as far as parking is concerned but
how similar did you think the shows were, As similar as it can possibly
get but overall I think Cork just edged it, Why do you think that, Well
not because of the dancers, I really did not know what to make of them or
what they were supposed to be adding to the show or song but I guess there
is a story at the back of it that a proper Dylanologists will be able to
fill us in on later, strange how Bob and the band just carried on totally
oblivious to the goings on behind them as though it was the most natural
thing in the world to be happening, So if not the dancers what was it, I
think it is just tiny almost imperceptible things that can make the
difference, I guess it is a bit like the difference between a 9.5 and a 10
score in figure skating, whilst I thought the harmonica playing in Cork
was especially superb I think the biggest shock was just how strong he was
vocally from the start, was this really the same guy we used to listen to
croaking through the opener and the first handful of songs before he
warmed up, there were just too many stand out songs in both shows though
so it is a bit picky to even attempt to make comparisons and what would be
the point, So where to next, have you any plans, No, that is probably it
for this year although never say never, by the way did you buy a Euro
Millions lottery ticket for Friday, Why would that allow you to see Bob
again if you won the jackpot, No, I was thinking it might be nice to hire
a Range Rover for a day, I guess Bob is in danger of becoming a victim of
his own success by putting on shows as good as that, For sure, if the hard
core fans can get a fix like that they would only need to get it once a
year, still there is one big disappointment in all this, What's that,
Judith Durham is still Australian and I always thought she was as British
in the 1960's as Carnaby Street and the Mini Cooper, Perhaps you should
write to Bob and complain that he never wrote a song about her in order to
educate you properly, Wish he could have educated me on parking charges,
parking my car at Leeds Bradford Airport was much cheaper than it was to
park that car that we looked after for Hertz in Ireland for a few days,
In't Yorkshire Brilliant!

Trevor Townson


Review by Theresa McMullin

It was the audience who were late in Dublin.
At 8.20 stragglers were still being shown to their seats.
Honestly. I traveled from Mayo (other side of the country) and made it in
time. Who keeps Bob Dylan waiting?

I have seen Dylan a number of times since 1978 and eh well things have
changed. As noted the Big Songs from the 60s are gone, with very few
exceptions. This is no Greatest Hits Tour.

Many songs from the most recent album featured in the set.
In fact Bob and the band got into such a Tempest groove that I thought we
might get an airing of the Titanic song, especially as we were in Ireland,
but no, not in Dublin. (Maybe in Belfast...)

I was thrilled to hear my own personal all time favourite Dylan song
Tangled Up In Blue.

The final song, Blowing In The Wind, closed the set beautifully.

It's a real privilege to still see Dylan performing live.
Long may he continue.



Review by Roger Collings

At the beginning of the year I had not expected to see a concert in 2014.
Then joy, Ireland appears on the circuit. In 51 years of Dylan concerts I
have never had the opportunity to travel outside the UK. So tickets,
travel and hotels booked and June 12 arrives. Ferry from Pembroke to
Rosslare and onward by road to Cork, which is hot and as we know full of
history, much associated with conflict against  the English ruling Class
of yore. I was staying in a place called Ballincollig which had been a
massive site for gunpowder manufacturing, and after a weekend sightseeing
in and around Cork, public transport was used to the centre and a hike out
to the Marquee. All wonderfully relaxed, with low security at the site.
Joy for an oldie - lots of public facilities, motto from a very good
friend, when you pass 60, never pass a toilet. Spent a hour at my second
favourite pastime-people watching and my estimate was about 80% full. The
show started right on time and crackled and sparked right through. Lots of
volume without distortion and himself absolutely into every song, with
clarity.As others have remarked there was more individuality for each band
member, especially Charlie and the sound mix was, for me sitting back
left, really good.The piano playing is very prominent as the control pace
and they still do not take their eyes off him in case he tries to wrong
foot them. During High Water, the dancing couple were a joy to watch and I
trust they were not in trouble with management. Had to rush back for the
last bus but so what, a hell of a show. Tuesday travelled to Dublin up the
motorway together with six cars, three heavies and a tractor or two, until
you hit the city of course. Stayed right by the Aviva stadium so walked
along the riverside to the O2, an impressive building and a great
conversion to a concert hall. In the premium lounge- where they extract
even more Euros, but with a nice smile- I met a charming Spanish couple
who had travelled from Gran Canary just for the show. I hope I did not
bore them with talk of concerts past. The hall was again about 80% full,
here they have these screens that  cover unoccupied sections which  gives
a more full feeling to the hall. Late start, I guess because so many
ignoramuses cannot be bothered to make an effort to be on time. We had the
same set list as Cork, I am in awe of the mastery they all demonstrate, of
every type of American  (and some English folk derivations) popular music
of the 20th. century. If anything his voice control was stronger and even
more clear than Cork. Of course nowadays each time he puffs on the
harmonica everyone cheers.The absolute triumph tonight was Forgetful
Heart, very emotional for me on a personal level and very respected by the
crowd. No dancers tonight, I hope they were not taken outside and flogged.
Anyone who thinks a 73 year old cannot rock, I refer them to Duquesne
Whistle and All Along the Watchtower - the concert versions. I am writing
this by hand on the return ferry  from Dublin to Liverpool and will have
to transcribe at home. So after all these ramblings I am sure they were
the two best shows I have seen in some years, maybe because of being the
start of a tour, who knows. Last year in Blackpool they were not so
energised apart from the final encore on Sunday. Will you give me one more
chance to get along with you Bob, please?


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