2016-03-23 / Features

Bob Dylan Returns To Forest Hills Stadium


Dylan with Joan Baez during the civil rights "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom", August 28, 1963. 
Photo public domain. Dylan with Joan Baez during the civil rights "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom", August 28, 1963. Photo public domain. Bob Dylan is set to return to Forest Hills Stadium this summer, 51 years after his first and only performance at the Queens venue in 1965. Dylan’s new CD, Fallen Angels, will be offered free with each pair of tickets to the show. If you can’t wait that long, the album will be released on May 20. The July show will also feature gospel and soul great, Mavis Staples.

The last time Dylan was here, in August of 1965, was a month after his historic appearance at Newport Folk Festival, when he “went electric” to the dismay of folk diehards. The August 28th show in Forest Hills was an echo of that pivotal time in Dylan’s career, part of what is known as Dylan’s then-controversial “electric summer.” He performed at the tennis mecca with Queens native and rock hero Al Kooper, who formed Blood, Sweat and Tears, and produced Lynard Skynard’s first three albums; as well as Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, who went on to form The Band.

Forest Hills Stadium hosted numerous other iconic concerts in the 1960s, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, The Talking Heads and The Who, until the 1990s when it got too expensive to maintain. The stadium resumed hosting top stars in the summer of 2013, after a $2 million renovation.

Dylan’s upcoming July 8th performance will again electrify the fans, this time to their great pleasure, as will Forest Hills native Paul Simon’s heralded return to the Queens stadium.

—AnaĆ© Petito and Annette Hanze

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