During the encores of Bob Dylan’s concert last night in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Dylan did something he rarely does onstage: he spoke to the audience. “It’s a shame the Dodgers left Brooklyn,” he muttered between band introductions. The show — his first-ever concert in the New York borough — was a mixture of the very old and very new. He didn’t play a single song from the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s. In fact, he split it nearly down the middle with eight songs from the 2000s and nine from the 1960s. Highlights included tender takes on the anti-war tracks “John Brown” and “Masters of War,” a rollicking “Thunder on the Mountain” and a beautiful “Girl From the North Country.”
The bluesy arrangements of his current group — which includes BR549’s multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron — grow a little repetitious at times, though they sounded amazing when they kicked into rockers like “Highway 61 Revisited.” (Still, the vocal harmonies and slick guitar work of his late-’90s/early-’00s bandmates Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell are missed.) At the end of the final encore of “Blowing in the Wind,” Dylan stepped away from his keyboard for the first time all night and stood center stage with his band, grinning from ear to ear while gesturing with his hands. It may not have been the greatest show of the 20 years and going Never Ending Tour, but he certainly seemed pleased with it.