Legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne moves toward the “stage” at Zuccotti Park.
It was a cold and windy afternoon at Zuccotti Park, with the thermometer stuck at 46 degrees, as Jackson Browne and Dawes took the stage around 1:15 pm. Well, it wasn’t really a stage, but a marble planter that they teetered on the edge of, as a small crowd of 300 or so huddled around them.
Browne sings “Casino Nation”
Still looking somewhat youthful – but also a little like Iggy – Browne made a few prefatory remarks. Unfortunately, what with the wind and construction noise from Ground Zero and the passing traffic on Broadway, his words remained largely unheard.
You see, there was no P.A. system, and thus the crowd had to strain just to hear a note or two, as an overkill of cops looked on from the sidelines, nearly outnumbering the listeners.
Dawes was up there, too, and a couple of back-up singers. Browne launched into “Casino Nation,” strumming lightly on his guitar, and turning his face upward toward the skyscrapers that surround the park, the better to be heard:
“In a weapons producing nation under Jesus
In the fabled crucible of the free world
Camera crews search for clues amid the detritus
And entertainment shapes the land
The way the hammer shapes the hand.”
Laurel Canyon band Dawes traded songs with Jackson Browne.
Next, Dawes launched into “When My Time Comes”:
“Oh you can judge all the world on the sparkle that you think it lacks.
Yes you can stare into the abyss, but it’s staring right back.”
After 20 minutes, the concert was over, the crowd dispersed, and only a few people were left, holding signs.
All in all, the concert was just another chapter in the strange history of OWS and Zuccotti Park: two California Bands (Third Eye Blind did not appear, but were seen giving a press conference on the sidelines) on a cold day in New York testifying for what they believe in, but perhaps disappointed that so few folks were there to enjoy the music.
From the sidelines, Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind gave an impromptu press conference.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 1, 2011