Dylan Shocks Audience With Version Of Skynyrd’s “Free Bird”

bobdylan2That Bob Dylan, he’s a funny guy. He’s been playing with our heads for more than 50 years. He defined a generation or two with songs of such utter brilliance that nobody else has come close to matching, and yet somehow the joke is always on us when he switches things up and goes off in another direction.

Well Brother Bob pulled another fast one last week in concert at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California. He was coming to the end of his second encore when some yahoo in the audience yelled out “Free Bird”. I mean, who hasn’t been at a concert when some goof shouted out “Free Bird” or “White Room” or some other totally inappropriate request, and everyone laughs reflexively?

But this time Dylan and his band caught everyone off guard by actually playing it. They were coming to the end of Dylan’s 1997 classic “Love Sick”, when suddenly they switched into the extended guitar coda of the Lynyrd Skynyrd chestnut, and it even sounded pretty good. Minds were blown. Here is a brief video clip of the experience:

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What makes this even more bizarre is that on this tour Dylan is supporting his two most recent albums, this year’s Fallen Angels and last year’s Shadows In The Night, two albums of songs that Frank Sinatra recorded from the Great American Songbook. So it’s not as if these concerts are very Rocking affairs to begin with, and then he goes and does this.

But that’s Bobby D. for ya. Just when you think you’ve got him pegged, he pulls the rug from under your feet. Fans going to see him for the rest of the tour maybe should come armed with some more interesting requests. Let’s see, how about “Won’t Get Fooled Again”? “Sympathy For The Devil” might be fun. Maybe he could give “Helter Skelter” a ride. This could bring a whole new vibe to Dylan concerts.


Photo credit: By Francisco Antunes (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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