Bob Dylan made a surprise appearance with members of The Heartbreakers at Farm Aid yesterday [September 23, 2023], report multiple sources including Jambase, the Jokerman podcast, Consequence and Billboard.
Dylan – who helped conceive Farm Aid in 1985 – played played three songs from 1965: “Maggie’s Farm”, “Positively 4th Street”, and “Ballad of a Thin Man”. Aside from the revelatory nature of the appearance, backing band and setlist, Dylan also played guitar throughout; since 2012, he has played keyboards at this concerts.
This was the first time Dylan had performed “Maggie’s Farm” since 2011, “Positively 4th Street” since 2013 and “Ballad Of A Thin Man” since 2019.
A kind soul has posted the full set on Youtube.
The Heartbreakers line up featured guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench, drummer Steve Ferrone, alongside Campbell’s Dirty Knobs bandmates Chris Holt on guitar and Lance Morrison on bass.
This was Dylan’s first appearance at Farm Aid since its debut in 1985, where he was also backed by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers; Dylan and the band went on to tour together during 1986 and 1987, including the Temples On Flame tour.
Other artists who appeared at Farm Aid, at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana, included Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Margo Price, Bob Weir and Allison Russell.