NOVEMBER 06, 2005




1. Maggie's Farm

2. Seņor (Tales Of Yankee Power)

3. God Knows

4. The Times They Are A-Changin'

5. Watching The River Flow

6. Ring Them Bells

7. Down Along The Cove

8. Can't Wait

9. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again

10. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

11. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

12. Highway 61 Revisited

13. Girl Of The North Country (acoustic)

14. Summer Days

15. Like A Rolling Stone

16. All Along The Watchtower

Today my wife and I came back to Ireland after spending
two weeks on the European mainland, mainly to visit
relatives and friends, and yes, also to see four Bob
Dylan shows. The first three during that fine October
weekend in Rotterdam, Oberhausen and Wetzlar I have
already reviewed, but I also want to share some thoughts
on the fine show in Erfurt last Sunday, which we had
the extraordinary pleasure to experience from the exact
same spot at the rail, close to Stu's guitar rack,
from where we saw the Wetzlar show seven days earlier.

As this was the second Sunday show for us on this tour,
nine of the Wetzlar songs were repeated in Erfurt,
four regulars, and five rarer ones. Another four songs
we had seen already in Rotterdam or Oberhausen, so only
three songs of the night we had not yet seen before
during this tour. Not one song was performed which I
had never seen live at all, unlike in the previous three
shows. But to hear new or rare songs is only one reason
to go to multiple shows. With a vocal performance like
the one in Erfurt, Bob could have sung the yellow pages,
and I still would have loved it. But he delivered not
the yellow pages, but a mighty fine Sunday set list.

I do not recall a weak performance of a single song in
Erfurt, even the numerous regulars were all delivered
very strong and focused, both by Bob and his fine band
of musicians. "H61" for example is one song which
appears every night, and one might think, "not again",
but seeing that they have so much fun on stage while
performing this intense rocker, I think that it would
be a crime to deprive any European audience of this
version. So I am bound to enjoy it two more times in
Dublin at the end of the tour. Even the "Summer Days"
instrumental jam comes along fresh for me, as it is
not only focused on duelling guitars, but also Tony and
George taking center stage.

"Times" featured some nice guitar by Denny, and a rather
long center stage harp solo by Bob. One of the three
songs, which I had not seen on this tour, was the tender
"Girl Of The North Country", which Bob ended with
another harp solo. Another fine part of the show was a
focused performance of "Hard Rain", only the 8th German
"never ending tour" appearance of this gem, followed
by the 10th ever European performance of "You Ain't
Going Nowhere" (the last four of these were during this
tour), with some nice work by Donnie on fiddle and bow.
Donnie had used this instrument already earlier in the
show, to accompany Bob's somber reading of "Can't Wait",
which was a new addition for this tour. A very good
version of this song, which I had last seen in Brighton
in May 2002.

A very enjoyable moment was the ending with
"... baaaaaaaby boooyyyy" of another fine performance of
"Down Along The Cove", exactly two years after I had
seen the first appearance of this new version in
Frankfurt. Which leaves me to mention my favorite three
songs of the Erfurt concert, two of them performed back
to back, as already a week earlier in Wetzlar, and the
third an addition to this tour. The combination of
"SEŅOR" and "GOD KNOWS" after the opening song is a
very strong one, especially when performed focused and
with conviction.

"SEŅOR", which featured fine vocals and another strong
harp solo by Bob, was performed for the 9th time in my
native Germany during the "never ending tour", and
somehow my wife and I seem to be present more often
than not. We saw both German appearances of this gem
in 1995 (Aschaffenburg in March and Dortmund in July),
both in 1998 (Nürburgring and Essen), and both on this
tour. Only the three German appearances in 2003 we
did not see.

"GOD KNOWS", the only constant typical Sunday song
these days, felt even stronger than a week before in
Wetzlar, both versions featuring the rare last verse
of the song, this time even delivered with more
conviction. "God knows there's a heaven, God knows
it's out of sight, God knows we can get all the way
from here to there even if we've got to walk a million
miles by caaaaaaaandlelight". But also sung with the
same intensity and conviction were lines like: "God
knows you ain't gonna be taking nothing with you when
you go", "God knows there's gonna be no more water but
fire next time", and even "God knows everything".

Since 04/04/04, which saw the first performance
of "GOD KNOWS" since July 2001, this song has been
performed only on a Sunday; 14 times in 2004 and
another 14 times in 2005 (and audiences in Zurich,
London, and Dublin are most likely to witness this
song as well during the next three Sunday shows).
Since August 2004 "GOD KNOWS" appears during
every single Sunday concert by Bob Dylan, and most of
the time in combination with two or three other songs,
for which some strong biblical references would be not
hard to find. Some of these other songs appear more
often than others.

During the concert in Erfurt Bob Dylan chose to sing
one of the rarer ones, which was performed for the
third time only in 2005 (and as both earlier appearances
in April also in the same set as "GOD KNOWS" and "Hard
Rain"); his 31st ever "RING THEM BELLS", definitely
the high point of the entire show. It was only the 8th
time Bob pulled this one out in Europe, and only the
2nd time he ever sang it in Germany (after Hannover in
May 2000). The version in Erfurt was as good as it gets,
with Bob Dylan singing these beautiful lyrics with
authority and conviction.

I had the pleausure to see "RING THEM BELLS" already
once before, more than five years ago, during a small
club performance in September 2000 at Dublin's "Vicar
Street" venue, at the beginning of a European tour. I
would not mind at all if he sang it again in Dublin's
"Point Theatre", during the last show of this tour
(in April 1995 he did exactly that once already, more
than four years before my wife and I moved to the
Emerald Isle). Since we live outside of Cork, we have
seen every Irish Dylan show, and I am looking forward
very much to attend the two Dublin gigs at the end of
this fine European tour.