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Published: 2012/07/02

Bob Dylan Moves From Keys to Grand Piano

In 2002, Bob Dylan surprised his fans by switching from guitar to keyboards for several songs during his set. While no official explanation was ever given for the switch, Dylan stopped playing guitar live almost entirely from 2003-2006. Since then he has alternated between guitar and keyboards depending on the song. In an interview with Newsweek, Dylan said he liked the “fullness” of the keyboards’ sound while others have speculated that the Bard was suffering from Arthritis or another medical condition.

A decade later, Dylan introduced another instrument into his arsenal. A few songs into his set at England’s Hop Farm Festival, Dylan moved to grand piano for the Time Out of Mind track “Love Sick.” For the rest of the show, he alternated between guitar, harp and grand piano, taking the rare piano solo on several numbers.

Dylan will perform at Berlin, Germany’s Citadel Music Festival this evening.

Here’s a look at Saturday’s setlist via

Saturday, June 30, Hop Farm Festival, Paddock Wood, England

Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob on keyboard)
It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob on guitar)
Things Have Changed (Bob center stage with harp)
Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage with harp)
Cry A While (Bob center stage with harp)
Love Sick (Bob on grand piano)
Ballad Of Hollis Brown (Bob center stage with harp)
Spirit On The Water (Bob on grand piano)
High Water (For Charley Patton)
(Bob center stage with harp)
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (Bob on grand piano)
Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on grand piano)
Can’t Wait (Bob on grand piano)
Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on grand piano)
Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp)
Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on piano)
All Along The Watchtower (Bob on grand piano)


There are 4 comments associated with this post

Dank, Dog July 2, 2012, 16:27:39

This is news? Pianos are Keys.

Yossarian July 2, 2012, 19:11:28

It is news for Bob fans. He’s been using a crappy organ sound for years- a lot of people have been hoping he’d go back to piano.

Bernie Martinez July 3, 2012, 03:13:54

In his Book he said he suffered an injury to his hand.

timmy July 3, 2012, 11:42:42

I’ve seen Dylan about 14 times and his live shows are truly getting terrible. This really started when he switched to keys around ’02. In the 90’s, I saw some incredible shows. Around “Time Out Of Mind” he was still really good live. He doesn’t even pretend to sing now. I guess 60 years of cigarettes will do that to a man. I still love him and support his musical adventurism, but goddamn it’s just distracting. The band sounds great, but that voice. Nails on chalkboard. I think my Dylan days are done. :(

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