Bob Dylan Pulls a Bob Dylan, Plays New Set of ‘50s Covers and Deep Cuts at Outlaw Fest: Videos + Setlist

This weekend marked the kickoff of the 2024 “Outlaw Music Festival Tour” (get tickets here), and though fans didn’t get to see Willie Nelson (who had to cancel his set “per doctor’s orders”), they did get to see Bob Dylan pull a wonderfully Bob Dylan move by playing an all-new set of ‘50s covers and recent deep cuts.

Dylan’s performances on Friday and Saturday night marked the first time in a few years that Dylan has made major changes to his setlist, which has mostly been populated by cuts from his 2020 album Rough and Rowdy Ways, as well as older original songs.

Get Outlaw Music Festival Tour Tickets Here

Dylan opened Friday’s show with a cover of Willie Dixon’s blues standard, “My Babe,” followed by renditions of Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie,” The Fleetwoods’ “Mr. Blue,” Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart,” and Sanford Clarck’s “The Fool.” In between, he performed songs from his more recent albums, especially 2012’s The Tempest, which had four tracks included on the setlist.

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He included a few more classics in Saturday’s sets, including “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Ballad of a Thin Man performed by Bob Dylan” (which marked the first such performances of the first tracks in five years), as well as “Shooting Star” from Oh Mercy, “Love Sick” and “Can’t Wait” from Time Out of Mind, and “Things Have Changed.”

Beyond changing up his repertoire, Dylan also made some shifts in his band, bringing in drummer Jim Keltner (who he played with in his gospel days) and parting ways with his longtime pedal steel player, Donnie Herron.

Additionally, fans reported that the merch Dylan was selling at the tour kickoff was simply the tour t-shirt from his 2012 outing in support of The Tempest. A 12-year-old tour t-shirt for sale seems cryptic enough already, but eagle-eyed fans noticed that the shirts had a 2024 copyright, and oddly included a seemingly-fictional show in Rosemont, Illinois, that never happened.

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The “Outlaw Music Festival Tour” runs through September, featuring featuring appearances from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp, Billy Strings, and more. Tickets are available here.

Setlist — Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, GA, June 21st, 2024
My Babe (Willie Dixon cover)
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
Simple Twist of Fate
Little Queenie (Chuck Berry cover)
Mr. Blue (The Fleetwoods cover)
Pay in Blood
Cold, Cold Heart (Hank Williams cover)
Early Roman Kings
Under the Red Sky
Things Have Changed
The Fool (Sanford Clark cover)
Scarlet Town
Long and Wasted Years

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Setlist — PNC Bank Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC, June 22nd, 2024
Highway 61 Revisited
Shooting Star
Love Sick
Little Queenie (Chuck Berry cover)
Mr. Blue (The Fleetwoods cover)
Early Roman Kings
Can’t Wait
Under the Red Sky
Things Have Changed
Stella Blue (Grateful Dead cover)
Six Days on the Road (Paul Davis cover)
Soon After Midnight
Ballad of a Thin Man
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight

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