Bob Dylan Plays Government-Approved Setlist in Beijing

Rock legend performed his first show in China Wednesday night

April 7, 2011 8:30 AM ET
Bob Dylan Plays Government-Approved Setlist in Beijing

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.

Choose the Cover of Rolling Stone, Round Two: Vote by April 14!

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."

Rock Tours Target China, Face Government Interference: Rolling Stone's 2008 Feature

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.

Photos: Bob Dylan's First-Ever China Concert

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
Love Sick
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
Forever Young

Photos: Early Bob Dylan

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »