MAY 06, 2009




1. The Wicked Messenger

2. Girl From The North Country

3. Man in the Long Black Coat

4. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again

5. Blind Willie McTell

6. Desolation Row

7. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

8. Po' Boy

9. Highway 61 Revisited

10. Ballad Of A Thin Man

11. I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)

12. Ain't Talkin'

13. Summer Days

14. Like A Rolling Stone

15. All Along the Watchtower

16. If You Ever Go To Houston

17. Spirit On The Water

18. Blowin' in the Wind

Whereas during the first show on the 5th of May Bob Dylan seemed to have more
fun, the second night on the 6th of May seemed overall to be more serious to
me, all business, with less clowning around. Granted, the first night had
serious songs as well, as the second one had its share of fun and rocking
songs, but the balance seemed to be shifted somehow. Anyway, I was glad to be
back, this time directly at the rail, to see the last show of this European
spring tour of 2009. And what a show it was, with Bob Dylan singing extremely
focused for a longer period of time than I can recall in my recent concert
experiences. This concert, Dylan's 25th on the Emerald Isle, was a grand
finale of a fine tour, and I am glad I went up from Cork to Dublin for those
two unique shows, my 62nd and my 63rd Bob date, twelve of them on this island
(all the Irish shows since Vicar Street).

Ok, this time the repeats from the first night were not only two of the three
last songs of the second, as it had been back in November 2005, but a grand
total of seven of the seventeen songs from the first night were among the
eighteen songs played during the second night, one of the best of these being
a repeat I can easily live with, the still fantastic "Ain't Talkin'", again
as song number twelve in the set (and this time one of only two "Modern Times"
songs during his second Irish show since the release of that album). Also
interesting was "Stuck Inside Of Mobile" with no harp solos on the second
night, whereas he did play four harp solos during this song the night before.
The other very memorable repeat was another very fine performance of the brand
new "If You Ever Go To Houston", which featured two short harp solos this time,
and was sung even better and more focused than on the first night. Very
enjoyable to see it live for a second time around, still working extremely
well in a live setting.

The show started strong with great rocking arrangement of "The Wicked Messenger",
followed by two songs with Bob playing guitar, the second of which was an early
peak for me, an outstandingly beautiful and focused version of "Man In The Long
Black Coat", which was the first one I saw live since 2003 (within the same
walls). It was also one of only three of the 28 songs we heard on both nights
written and released between 1967 and 2001. The other two were "Under The Red
Sky" from the first night, and the fifth song of the second night, a very
focused "Blind Willie McTell", for the second time performed in Ireland (after
Cork 2006). This was followed by a fine rendition of "Desolation Row", which
was the first of seven songs during the show which featured Dylan on harp, the
most intense of which was a very strong version of "Ballad Of A Thin Man",
which I also saw last in Cork in 2006.

Which leaves me to mention my personal peak of the show, which was the only
song of the night I had not yet seen live before, and had never hoped to see
live before this tour was already two weeks old, an awesomely jaw dropping and f
ocused rendition of "PO' BOY" (with harp and all, and the strongest delivery
during the last verse). "PO' BOY" is one of my two favorite tracks on "Love &
Theft" (the other one, "MISSISSIPPI", I had the pleasure to witness already
in Jérez in 2008). After "PO' BOY was recorded, it was performed live very
rarely from 2001 to 2005, and only in the US; before almost four years later,
in April 2009, Dylan surprised a lucky German audience in Saarbrücken during
one of those fine Sunday shows with his first ever European performance of
"PO' BOY". This was followed by eight more appearances of this gem in front
of French, Dutch, Italian, English, and Scottish audiences, before Dylan
decided to play it one more time in Europe, this time to the Irish. So during
the last month of the 2009 spring tour Bob Dylan chose to perform "PO' BOY"
ten times, which is more often than all eight US performances from 2001 to
2005 combined. And to be present during one of those European performances
of "PO' BOY", especially during a mighty fine one as the Dublin version, was
worth the trip alone, even without the two versions of "If You Ever Go To
Houston" and the 26 songs I had already seen before. Well done, Bob.