Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bob Dylan and Leon Russell at Jones Beach

Over the years we have seen Bob Dylan at Jones Beach with opening acts including Laura Nyro, Paul Simon, Ani DiFranco, and Santana. Last night’s opener was Leon Russell who played with Bob at the Concert for Banga Desh in 1971. Leon played a blusey set with songs including Jumpin’ Jack Flash, I’ve Just Seen a Face, Delta Lady, Roll Over Beethoven and Wild Horses. I recognized these cover versions of Top 40 hits, but I was not familiar with some of the other songs played. I was disappointed that he didn’t play A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall or Watching the River Flow. Bob and Leon did not play together.

Dylan and his band took the stage at 9:10. Here is the set list as reported on Bill Pagel’s Boblinks page:

1. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2. To Ramona
3. Things Have Changed
4. Tangled Up In Blue
5. Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6. Mississippi
7. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
8. The Levee's Gonna Break
9. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
10. Highway 61 Revisited
11. Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
12. Thunder On The Mountain
13. Ballad Of A Thin Man

14. Like A Rolling Stone
15. All Along The Watchtower

His voice was better than it was the last few times that I heard him. He didn’t mumble or slur his words as he has done sometimes in the past. The set list was almost the same as other concerts on this leg of the Never Ending Tour. This concert included The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, and the Ballad of Hollis Brown which have political overtones. The people in the crowd were older than they have been in recent Dylan concerts that I have seen. Since many older music fans don’t go to concerts, there were many empty seats. I observed several people using their smart phones during the show. A man a few rows ahead of me was actually looking at the Boblinks set lists. We had paper copies, but couldn’t see them in the dark. There were two large screens that were not working, thus I could not see Dylan’s face at all. Dylan introduced his backup band, but otherwise did not talk to the audience.

Every time I leave a Dylan concert, I am always afraid that I will be seeing him for the last time. He just past has 70th birthday and you just never know when he will stop touring. I am sure that he still enjoys what he does. Hopefully he will release a CD with new songs and complete his autobiography.

Lee is wearing his Dylan t-shirt at the concert

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