DOWNTOWN — Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, armed with an acoustic guitar, but not a microphone, played a 15-minute set at Zuccotti Park on Thursday, where more than 100 protesters gathered to hear "Lives in the Balance" and "Casino Nation."
The afternoon concert was a hushed affair in the privately-owned public space that had been cleared of its tents and sleeping bags in a early morning police raid on Nov. 15. Browne was backed up by the Los Angeles folk rock band Dawes.
Browne, who is famous for songs such as "The Pretender" and "Running on Empty," said he has been supporting the movement since the beginning.
"Whenever I sing this song I always dedicate it to the people occupying America," he said before covering the Steven Van Zandt song "I am a Patriot."
Filmmaker Sandi Bachom gave Browne her 99 percent button after he played.
"I grew up with him," said Bachom, an active anti-war protester against the Vietnam War. "The Occupy movement for me is the 60s all over again — except with Twitter."
Younger occupiers said they appreciated his performance, even if they weren't as familiar with his music.
"I certainly like him a lot more than that Third Eye Blind guy," said Zack Cunningham, 22, about the band's lead singer, Stephan Jenkins, who played before Browne.
"The fact that we have older people supporting us gives me some heart."