This guy is 82 years old! Bob Dylan made a surprise appearance on Saturday night at Farm Aid 2023 in Noblesville, Indiana. He played guitar (marking the first time he’d played guitar and not keyboard in live performance since 2012) and was joined by three members of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers—Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, and Steve Ferrone—for a performance of three songs from 1965: “Maggie’s Farm,” “Positively 4th Street,” and “Ballad of a Thin Man.”

Dylan, 82, began the set with his first “Maggie’s Farm” since he performed it at the 2011 Grammys, and followed it up with another song from 1965, “Positively 4th Street.” That single, which was released between Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, hadn’t been played since 2013. The closing song was “Ballad of a Thin Man,” from Highway 61 Revisited, which was aired for the first time since late 2019.

Watch it happen below.

Bob Dylan stunned the Farm Aid crowd outside Indianapolis last night (Sept. 23) with a surprise three-song set backed by members of the Heartbreakers, marking the first time he’d played guitar and not keyboard in live performance since 2012.

AROUND 10:20 P.M. on Saturday night, a shadowy group of figures walked onto the Farm Aid stage at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana. This was supposed to be the moment where Wille Nelson wrapped up the night, but there was no sign of the Red Headed Stranger or his band. Instead, another act was plugging in instruments on the darkened stage. There was no announcement of any kind, and the large screens on both sides of the stage went completely blank for the first time all day. It took about 15 seconds for the screams to start once the light hit the face of the guy in the middle.

Bob Dylan was back on the Farm Aid stage for the first time since the inaugural event in 1985, which was inspired by his off-hand comments at Live Aid a few months earlier about helping family farmers. Joining him were 3/5th of the Heartbreakers — guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench, and drummer Steve Ferrone — alongside members of Campbell’s other group, the Dirty Knobs. Dylan was playing electric guitar.

Dylan toured frequently with Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1986 and 1987, but the musicians shared a bill only twice afterwards, in August 2003 in Holmdel, N.J. Dylan also teamed with Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne in the Traveling Wilburys, capping a fruitful late ’80s run which included the surprise 1988 hit “Handle With Care.”

The Heartbreakers, who backed Tom Petty for more than 40 years until his death in 2017, were represented at Farm aid by guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench, drummer Steve Ferrone, and were augmented by Campbell’s Dirty Knobs bandmates Chris Holt on guitar and Lance Morrison on bass.

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