Bob Dylan / Aug. 12, 2008 / Brooklyn, N.Y. (Prospect Park Bandshell)
A sold-out crowd gathered at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell to hear the man romp and growl through 17 cuts from his storied catalog, from iconic acoustic staples like "Highway 61 Revisited" to latWhile a summer thunderstorm pummeled Bob Dylan's old Greenwich Village
stomping grounds a few miles away, a perfect sunset and breeze settled on
the sold-out crowd gathered at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell Tuesday night (Aug. 12) to hear the man romp and growl through 17 cuts from his storied catalog. By the time he intoned the lines "everybody must get stoned" during opener "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," many among the mellow mixed-generation audience had already taken his advice.
In this relaxed, welcoming setting it would have been hard for Dylan to go
wrong in either setlist or arrangement. Indeed, casual fans only familiar
with his iconic acoustic staples -- "Highway 61 Revisited," encore opener
"Like a Rolling Stone" -- grooved along with whatever came up right
alongside hardcore Bobcats who hooted appreciatively on their first-note
I.D.ing of some of his later, less universally known material ("Honest With
Me," "Nettie Moore").
In a black hat and suit and stationed behind a keyboard, the 67-year-old
delivered every song in his famed nasal phrasing atop arrangements infused
with everything from blues, skifffle and rockabilly to touches of dark, ‘70s
jazz. A smoldering take on "Masters of War" and a surprisingly body-moving
version of "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" were among the highlights
of the evening.
Brooklynites partied on adjoining brownstone rooftops and blankets in the
park outside the boundaries of the bandshell while the band served this
entertaining low-key night of music. Guitarist Denny Freeman may have hit a
few clams during "Spirit on the Water," but he led a couple of irresistible
rave-ups, including an excellent "Summer Days." Tony Garnier's standup and
electric bass wove Freeman's lead, George Recile's drums, Stu Kimball's
rhythm guitar, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron, and Dylan's vocals and
keys into a cohesive whole. In fact, practically the only time Dylan spoke
all night was to introduce them.
At the tail of the two-hour set, Dylan and his band walked off stage
directly following a rollicking version of the classic "Blowin' in the
Wind," ducked into the giant tour buses parked 100 feet away. They motored
on down Prospect Park West with an NYPD escort while fans lined the park's
boundary waving like it was Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. In some ways, it
was probably the rock’n’roll equivalent.
Here is Bob Dylan's set list:
"Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"
"Lay, Lady, Lay"
"Lonesome Day Blues"
"Girl From the North Country"
"The Levee's Gonna Break"
"Spirit on the Water"
"Honest With Me"
"Highway 61 Revisited"
"Beyond the Horizon"
"It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
"Masters of War"
"Like a Rolling Stone"
"Thunder on the Mountain"
"Blowin' in the Wind"