Bob Dylan – Simmonscourt 1989 (Thinman-133/134)

Simmonscourt 1989 (Thinman-133/134)

Simmonscourt, RDS Dublin, Ireland – June 4th, 1989

Disc 1 (53:55):  Subterranean Homesick Blues, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Masters Of War, Simple Twist Of Fate, Ballad Of Hollis Brown, Memphis Blues Again, Barbara Allen, It Ain’t Me Babe, To Ramona, Silvio

Disc 2 (30:29):  In The Garden, Like A Rolling Stone, One Too Many Mornings, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Maggie’s Farm

Bob Dylan started touring Europe on the Never Ending Tour in the spring of 1989 with three shows in Scandinavia.  The first in the UK were two dates in Dublin, Ireland, on June 3rd and June 4th at the Simmonscourt.  Because Dylan skipped Ireland on the Temples In Flames tour, these are the first Irish concert since he ended the 1984 tour in Slane.  

For such important gigs Simmonscourt 1989 on Thinman is the first silver pressed edition of either of the two Dublin concerts.  The tape used for the June 4th is very upfront and excellent quality and contains the entire gig.  There is a tape flip before “It Ain’t Me Babe” but no music is lost. 

The tape begins with the mc speaking about the exits and that no taping of the gig is allowed (and luckily one brave soul defied the rule) before Dylan hits the stage with a fiery “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”  G.E. Smith gets so carried away with the guitar solo in the middle that he starts playing “The Last Time” by the Rolling Stones.

And the following songs continue in the same incendiary manner with stage crushing versions of “Masters Of War,” “Ballad Of Hollis Brown” and “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.”

It isn’t until his three song acoustic set that things calm down.  For the mid-set excursion he plays the traditional “Barbara Allen” (making it’s European tour debut), “It’ Ain’t Me Babe” and a fascinating version of “To Ramona.”

The show seems to end way too soon after three more songs.  “Silvio” sounds great with Smith sharing the vocals but the set closer “Like A Rolling Stone” sounds rushed.  “One Too Many Mornings” is performed acoustically with lush guitar fills by Smith.  The proceed with “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” before the band comes in and are joined by surprise guest Bono of U2.  His presence isn’t announced, but the audience cheer in the middle of the song when he walks on stage strumming an acoustic guitar and getting in some lines to the song.  It’s natural that Bono join in on this song since it had been a part of U2’s set.

Bono stays on stage for a full band heavy metal arrangement of “Maggie’s Farm,” except he responds to Dylan’s “I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more” with “There ain’t no work on Charlie’s farm no more” referring to Ireland’s Prime Minister Charlie Haughy.  Thinman package Simmonscourt 1989 in a double slimline jewel case with very thick paper inserts giving it a professional and classy looking production. 

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