Bob Dylan Shocks Fans By Playing Grand Piano at Summer Tour Kick-Off

Through half of his show at England's Hop Farm

Bob Dylan performs during the Hop Farm Festival in Paddock Wood, United Kingdom.
Gus Stewart/Redferns via Getty Images
July 2, 2012 9:50 AM ET

Bob Dylan fans knew they were in for something special at England's Hop Farm Festival on Saturday when roadies wheeled a grand piano onto the stage before the show. Over the past decade Dylan has played a keyboard (while standing) for much of his set, but at Saturday's show he totally abandoned that instrument after opening the show with "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat." For eight of the show's 16 songs he sat behind the grand piano; during the rest he stood in the center of the stage while singing and playing harmonica. If he sticks to this set-up, it will be the biggest change to the look and sound of his stage show in a decade. 

The 10 Greatest Bob Dylan Songs

Check out this video of Dylan playing "Love Sick" at the grand piano from the show. Fast forward to 2:45 to hear him play an amazing, jazzy piano solo.  

Dylan's European tour wraps up July 22nd in Carhaix, France. His North American summer tour kicks off August 10th in Lloydminster, Alberta and runs through September 9th in Hershey, Pennsylvania. According to the usually reliable fan site Boblinks, Dylan may be touring the upper Midwest and East Coast in November with special guest Mark Knopfler. He is rumored to be releasing a new studio album around that time, though nothing has been announced.

Here is video of Dylan performing "Tangled Up in Blue" at Hop Farm on Saturday:

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


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »