Bob Dylan and his band broke out into an instrumental interlude of the Lynyrd Skynyrd standard “Free Bird” to close their show on June 9 in Berkeley, California.
Many news outlets that reported on the story suggested Dylan was obliging a fan who shouted out a request for the song. But it does not seem that an audience member shouted out “Free Bird.” The Bob Dylan fan forum, “Expecting Rain”, said the reason for the performance of “Free Bird” was not known. The forum conducted a poll amongst members asking for their take. The full results from that poll are as follows:
5% said the reason was “A gift for his audience.”
9% said the reason was “A tribute to Muhammad Ali.”
16% said the reason was “A gift for his band.”
16% said the reason was “A ‘f*ck you’ to his audience.”
51% said the reason was “nothing. There’s no meaning. Bob just wanted it, classic Bob being Bob.”
2% said the reason was “something else.”
A link to the poll can be found here.
Dylan’s set list of late has largely consisted of songs he has recorded in the last two decades, including songs off of his recent release Fallen Angels, a collection of classic American songs from the 1940s and ’50s.
Bob Dylan and His Band tour the US this summer with Mavis Staples. Full tour dates, and a video of the band performing “Free Bird” are below.
Bob Dylan and His Band Tour Dates:
06/21/16 — Kansas City, Missouri @ Starlight Theatre
06/22/16 — Lincoln, Nebraska @ Pinewood Bowl Theater
06/24/16 — Highland Park, Illinois @ Ravinia Festival
06/25/16 — Indianapolis, Indiana @ Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
06/26/16 — Nashville, Tennessee @ Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater
06/28/16 — Kettering, Ohio @ Fraze Pavilion
06/29/16 — Toledo, Ohio @ Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre
06/30/16 — Lewiston, New York @ Artpark
07/02/16 — Lenox, Massachusetts @ Tanglewood
07/03/16 — Mashantucket, Connecticut @ Foxwoods Resort Casino
07/05/16 — Vienna, Virginia @ Wolf Trap
07/06/16 — Vienna, Virginia @ Wolf Trap
07/08/16 — Queens, New York @ Forest Hills Stadium
07/09/16 — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania @ Sands Bethlehem Events Center
07/10/16 — Atlantic City, New Jersey @ Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center
07/12/16 — Canandaigua, New York @ CMAC
07/13/16 — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ The Mann Center
07/14/16 — Boston, Massachusetts @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
07/16/16 — Portland, Maine @ Thompson’s Point
07/17/16 — Gilford, New Hampshire @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion