On August 28th, 1965, Bob Dylan made one of the most infamous appearances of his career at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY. Many fans will point to Dylan “going electric” at the Newport Folk Festival as the turning point in his career, and in rock music at large, but the legend doesn’t stop with Newport. Dylan’s performance at Forest Hills in 1965 was hotly contested, with fans rushing the stage and throwing fruit immediately after Dylan took out an electric guitar.
Of course, we now look back at that with bewilderment. Dylan was able to win over the crowd with his then-new songs, “Ballad Of A Thin Man” and “Like A Rolling Stone.” He won over everyone else too, and soon electric guitars became something of a mainstay for live performances. When Mumford & Sons tried to capitalize on the whole “going electric” phenomenon last year, music fans just rolled their eyes. Been there, done that.
It took Mr. Dylan a good 51 years before he would make his return to Forest Hills, settling in last night at the beloved venue. Dylan’s set lists have become more predictable now, mainly focusing on his two latest releases, Shadows In The Night (2015) and Fallen Angels (2016). In that way, the 1965 and 2016 shows are similar; they both feature Dylan playing new and unfamiliar tunes, yet powerfully captivating an audience all the while. Dylan will always remain the voice of his generation.
Still, Dylan makes time for one of his most classic songs in his shows. Watch “Blowin’ In The Wind” below, courtesy of Ny Kingyo.
It’s good to have you back, Mr. Dylan. You can see the full setlist from Forest Hills, below.
[Cover photo via cb.photo.shoot/Instagram]