Josh Ritter Gives Beautiful Performance at Prospect Park (Photos)

Josh Ritter kicks off a string of summer U.S. shows with rousing free performance at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.
Josh Ritter

It should be apparent that Josh Ritter is one of my favorite artists as I’ve covered his shows at least five times for this site alone. So at the first chance I had to see him with The Royal City Band in 2016, at a free outdoor show in Prospect Park (where he had opened for Damien Rice last year) I leapt at it. Ritter is one of the happiest performers I’ve seen on any stage and there was no reason this show would be different.

Fortunately, Ritter’s enthusiasm was as high as ever for most of the show. However, there was a brief moment after he began the song “Change of Time”, solo and acoustic, when he did express that with the past few days being rough on our country (with two recent slayings of black men and then the five officers killed in Dallas), he would change things up from what was on the setlist. So Ritter went into “Girl in the War” instead which possesses a strong anti-conflict sentiment that surely resonated with the audience.

Ritter was also forced to cut a few songs from his set — specifically, as indicated on the setlist, “Snow is Gone”, “Bonfire Trio” and “Joy to you Baby” — due to time constraints at the bandshell (10:30 pm curfew). Most in the crowd wouldn’t have seen the setlist anyways, so that was no big deal especially given how high his enthusiasm was throughout the entirety of the night. The exuberant songs off his latest Sermon on the Rocks elevated the mood — particularly the combination of “Where the Night Goes” and “Homecoming” near the end of his set. Check out photos and tour dates for Ritter below.

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival will host a lot more free shows this summer including The Wood Brothers with Aoife O’Donovan and Hiss Golden Messenger on the 16th and Jon Batiste on the 22nd. Visit their site to get the full schedule and more info.



Monster Ballads

Young Moses

Me & Jiggs

Right Moves

A Certain Light

Henrietta, Indiana

Seeing Me Round

Where the Night Goes

Good Man

Folk Bloodbath


When Will I be Changed

The Stone

Girl in the War


Getting Ready to Get Down


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July 14 /// Salt Lake City, UT /// Red Butte Garden**

July 15 /// Boise, ID /// Idaho Botanical Garden**

July 16 /// Missiula, MT /// The Wilma**

July 17 /// Alta, WY /// Targhee Fest

July 20 /// Buffalo, NY /// Tralf Music Hall

July 21 /// York, PA /// Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center

July 22 /// Albany, NY /// The Egg Performing Arts Center

July 23 /// Camden, NJ /// XPoNential Music Festival

July 24 /// Pittsburg, PA /// Hartwood Acres Park

August 10 /// Portsmouth, NH /// Prescott Park Arts Festival

August 28 /// Florence, MA /// Look Memorial Park

September 24 /// Atlanta, GA /// Fox Theater (w/ Jason Isbell)

September 25 /// Cincinnati, OH /// MidPoint Music Festival

September 29 /// Louisville, KY /// Louisville Palace***

October 8 /// New Haven, CT /// College Street Music Hall***

October 2 /// Des Moines, IA /// Hoyt Sherman Place***

October 3 /// Grand Rapids, MI /// DeVos Performance Hall**

October 5 /// Hershey, PA /// Hershey Theatre***

October 6 /// Syracuse, NY /// Landmark Theatre***

October 11 /// Burlington, VT /// Flynn Theatre***

October 13 /// Concord, NH /// Capitol Center For The Arts

October 14 /// Red Bank, NJ /// Count Basie Theatre***

October 15 /// Greensboro, NC /// White Oak Amphitheatre***

October 16 /// Columbia, SC /// Township Auditorium***

October 18 /// Fort Myers, FL /// Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Center***

October 19 /// Clearwater, FL /// Ruth Eckerd Hall***

October 21 /// Mobile, AL /// Saenger Theatre***

October 22 /// New Orleans, LA /// Joy Theatre***

**appearing with JJ Grey and Mofro

***supporting Jason Isbell