Bob Dylan performed his first-ever concert in China yesterday at the Worker's Gymnasium in Beijing. According to Billboard, the show was met with a very enthusiastic response by a 5,000 member audience that was mainly comprised of young people from China and foreigners from abroad.
Dylan played a two-hour set of songs that had been vetted by China's Culture Ministry to avoid lyrics that would offend the political sensitivities of the Chinese government and its people. As expected, Dylan's early protest songs were not included in the show, but the set did feature performances of many of his most famous compositions, such as "Like a Rolling Stone," "All Along the Watchtower," "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Ballad of a Thin Man."
Dylan had originally planned to play a concert in China last year, but that fell apart as a result of complications with the Culture Ministry and a reported financial dispute with a Taiwanese promoter. Last night's gig in Beijing is part of a larger Asian tour that also includes stops in Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Here is Bob Dylan's Chinese government-approved setlist from last night in Beijing, courtesy of the Dylan fan site Bob Links:
Gonna Change My Way of Thinking
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
Tangled Up in Blue
Honest With Me
Simple Twist of Fate
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
Rollin' and Tumblin'
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
Highway 61 Revisited
Spirit on the Water
Thunder on the Mountain
Ballad of a Thin Man
Like a Rolling Stone
All Along the Watchtower
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