Listen To Bob Dylan’s Surprise Cover of Grateful Dead’s ‘Friend of the Devil’
ROTHBURY, MI - JULY 05: Bob Dylan performs during the 2009 Rothbury Music Festival on July 5, 2009 in Rothbury, Michigan. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Bob Dylan surprisingly wrapped up his three-night show at Oakland, California’s Fox Theater on June 11 with a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil,” as part of his ongoing Rough and Rowdy Ways North American tour.
Ever since the tour started in November 2021 and for the past 37 concerts, Dylan has been playing the same setlist, but instead of closing the set with his usual “Every Grain of Sand,” he decided to perform his most-covered tune from the band’s catalog. It was his first time playing the song since 19 July 2007.
There wasn’t any explanation for the sudden change, but it could have been a tribute to the late “Friend Of The Devil” co-writer Robert Hunter, whom Dylan collaborated with on his 2009 album Together Through Life. The recent show has been also Dylan’s first show in the area since the September 2019 passing of the lyricist.
It was also might have been just a coincidence, but Dylan’s set-closer occurred the same night and only hours away from the opening night of Dead & Company’s 2022 summer tour at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Dylan is set to host another three-night performance in Los Angeles that will kick off on June 14 with more dates to be added into the first week of July, just in time for the T. Bone Burnett-produced re-recording of “Blowin’ in the Wind” to go up for auction.
Stream the fan-record of the performance below.