NEWS – Bob Dylan at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium


Seventy-five year old man gets up in front of a small combo and sings old Frank Sinatra songs – could be the worst wedding entertainment ever, could be cocktail lounge hell but when it’s Bob Dylan and the Never Ending Tour band it’s a rock and roll show.  A real live rock and roll show with noise and vitality and screaming and everything. We tend to think of Bob as some kind of savant, an antenna picking up messages from the near future, but if you read Dylan’s Chronicles what comes through is what a shver arbiter he is (as they say in Hibbing), how each step and change in his music or his writing or his performance is deeply considered, the result of an amazing, amazing intelligence and I have no doubt this new crooning phase of his career is just as thoughtfully reached. The arrangements were precise but the band swung and uber-guitarist Charlie Sexton is back in the group and there was hardly a moment he didn’t fill with equally crooning leads. Bob danced, sat down and played some piano (no guitar), leaned into the mic stand like he was leading the Dorsey band and plaintively spread his arms like a brokenhearted angel. He said nothing to the audience but there was so much more contact than there was in the Paul Simon concert the week before.  There were some familiar, if barely recognizable, oldies (“Blowin’ in the Wind”had a little Stevie Wonder groove going) and a lot of songs from more recent albums which sounded like part of the canon played live. And, of course, the new crooning covers, with Bob putting his all into doing it right.

  1. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  2. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  3. Set 2:

  4. (Cy Coleman cover)
  5. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  6. (Frank Sinatra cover)
  7. (Yves Montand cover)



4 Responses to “NEWS – Bob Dylan at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium”

  1. Lisa Says:

    I loved the sitar toward the end. Sweet.

  2. CDawgg Says:

    The show had its highlights, but was fairly uneven. The crooning slowed any momentum.

    There was definitely more love shared between Paul Simon and his audience (at least on Friday night), possibly because the rain enabled everyone to let their hair down. The crowd for Bob was super-lame.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Worst show that I seen in ages. Left halfway through. So disappointed in Dylan who is an Icon of the ages.

  4. newsornotnews Says:

    i’ve seen Dylan sit center stage behind an electric piano like he had taken a laxative he was waiting to kick for the whole show. i’ve seen him on guitar as part of a five piece band that did a torrid but largely instrumental set. i’ve seen him, maybe, 10 times and his mood and engagement, in addition to his repertoire, were different every time. That night he seemed to be happy to be there, loosey goosey and working hard to get it right. i mean “All or Nothing at All”. You know that song, right? To have Bob standing there, leaning into the mic stand and holding notes as though he was able to? I loved it.

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