A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss. By Kim Pool

“Why are we going to see an 80 year old sing anyway?” my dad asked. “Because he’s Bob Dylan,” I said, “And he could pass any day.”

We were on the way to Kansas City to see Bob Dylan at the Midland Theater in 2023. My dad, who grew up with hair metal bands like Def Leppard, had not yet been enlightened with the Knowledge of Dylan. (In fact, he found out that evening in the car ride to the show that Dylan had just turned 82, hence his astonishment).

It was the opening night of the 2023 leg of the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour, which Dylan had been touring on since 2021, supporting his most recent album Rough and Rowdy Ways.

In January, Dylan announced that he would be going on tour again in 2024, which resumed earlier this month in March. For 2023, Dylan kicked off his tour in Kansas City (which had me starstruck since that was pretty much like seeing him play in my backyard). He played October 1 and 2 in KC.

I scored tickets for opening night the day they went on sale. Both my parents thought I was insane, but there was no way in hell I was going to miss seeing Bob Dylan live. I had no idea what to expect for the setlist. I had heard rumors that at a Bob Dylan concert, one does not know what song he is performing until about halfway through when someone catches and recognizes a line here or there and goes, “Ah, he is playing this one. . .”

Before the show, I had briefly checked out a few tracks from his album Rough and Rowdy Ways, but I didn’t dare check out the setlists from the prior leg. To preview a previous setlist felt blasphemous, like peeking behind the curtain and seeing Oz is just an ordinary man.
Dylan warned ahead of time that photos and videos were prohibited. The Midland Theatre exuded elegance. Copper and gold walls towered above. I held my breath as I walked in and we found our seats on the upper balcony.


Dylan opened the set with a surprising cover of Little Willie Littlefield’s “Kansas City.” This was the first time Dylan had ever played this song live, and it struck me with a chord of amusement. Half of the setlist was songs from Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways album. In fact, he played nearly the entire album except for “Murder Most Foul.” Dylan played mostly on baby grand piano and the occasional harmonica, not picking up a guitar once. I had somehow failed to realize that Dylan is pretty awesome on piano.

Dylan has never had a conventional voice; however, in my opinion no one can sing like Dylan. The emotions his voice conveys are unreplicatable. At 80 years old, Dylan is still rocking and rolling, although in a different format of piano and a more perhaps relaxed ‘jazzy’ vibe.
Dylan, the man who has reinvented himself multiple times throughout the last sixty years, is someone who I think will ultimately spend his final hour on stage. The man just keeps rolling.

I have seen other aging rockers before – but the atmosphere of Dylan felt nearly church-like. The indoor intimacy of the venue sent shivers down my spine. The crowd applauded and cheered throughout the set; otherwise, the atmosphere stalled in awe. Magic sprung to life on the stage down below. Dylan preached his sermons of history and heartbreak, of love and loss.

The set ended with “Every Grain of Sand,” one of his spiritual ballads. I left that night with a smile on my face. Dylan’s music is good for the soul because it envelops the soul. His sixty year long career is a candle that still burns brightly, long into the night.


Kansas City (Little Willie Littlefield cover) (live debut)

Watching the River Flow

I Contain Multitudes

False Prophet

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Black Rider

My Own Version of You

I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight

Crossing the Rubicon

To Be Alone With You

Key West (Philosopher Pirate)

Gotta Serve Somebody

I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You

Not Fade Away (The Crickets cover)

Mother of Muses (followed by band introductions)

Goodbye Jimmy Reed

Every Grain of Sand


March 1 — Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Broward Center for the Performing Arts
March 2 — Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Broward Center for the Performing Arts
March 5 — Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
March 6 — Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
March 7 — Fort Myers, FL @ Suncoast Credit Union Arena
March 9 — Orlando, FL @ Walt Disney Theater
March 10 — Orlando, FL @ Walt Disney Theater
March 12 — Jacksonville, FL @ Moran Theater
March 14 — Athens, GA @ The Classic Center
March 15 — Athens, GA @ The Classic Center
March 17 — Charlotte, NC @ Belk Theater
March 18 — Fayetteville, NC @ Crown Theatre
March 20 — Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
March 21 — Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
March 23 — Louisville, KY @ Louisville Palace
March 24 — Louisville, KY @ Louisville Palace
March 26 — Knoxville, TN @ Knoxville Civic Auditorium
March 27 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
March 29 — Memphis, TN @ Orpheum Theatre
March 30 — Memphis, TN @ Orpheum Theatre
April 1 — Springfield, MO @ Juanita K. Hammons Hall
April 2 — Wichita, KS @ Century II Performing Arts Center
April 4 — Dallas, TX @ Music Hall at Fair Park

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