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Bob Dylan to launch Rough and Rowdy Ways world tour leg in Spokane on May 28

UPDATED: Wed., April 20, 2022

The answer is blowin’ toward Spokane.

Music legend Bob Dylan is returning to town for the first time in more than 20 years and launching his Rough and Rowdy Ways world tour leg at First Interstate Center for the Arts on May 28.

“Rough and Rowdy Ways,” Dylan’s 39th studio album, was a bestselling album in 2020. “Rough and Rowdy Ways” was also Dylan’s highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 in more than a decade, and it marked his seventh consecutive decade of charting top 40 albums, making him the first artist to accomplish the feat.

Tickets for the tour opener, from $59.50 to $129.50, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at TicketsWest.com. The tour is scheduled to continue into 2024.

Although he co-headlined a show at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls with John Mellencamp in 2010, Dylan’s last performance in Spokane was on Oct. 5, 2001, at the Spokane Arena.

“I’ve been working on getting Bob Dylan to Spokane since early 2019. Later that year, I was the only meeting the booking agent and promoter took at a conference in Chicago and, honestly, Bob was targeted to play late in 2020,” Matt Meyer, director of entertainment for Spokane Arena and First Interstate Center for the Arts, said Monday morning.

“Here we are 3½ years later with arguably two of the top, if not the actual, best songwriters of all time performing in Spokane separated by one month,” Meyer said, referring to Paul McCartney’s first-ever show in Spokane on April 28. “I’m not sure how this streak can continue at this point with such iconic musicians.”

Rolling Stone magazine named Dylan, 80, the best songwriter of all time in 2015, followed by the ex-Beatle McCartney.

“When I announced McCartney, I was already working on Bob Dylan for this year. I really didn’t think both would confirm, but I wanted to make note that McCartney was Rolling Stone’s second-best songwriter of all time,” Meyer said. “I did that knowing there was potential of Bob landing right after Paul and adding to the storyline of the best songwriter of all time coming to Spokane.”

Dylan is an especially notable booking for Meyer.

“I’ve been a personal fan of his since college when I really started diving into lyrics and the cultural influence music plays throughout history. Since then, I’ve always lived my life through a quote of his, ‘All I can do is be me, whoever that is,’ which helps give me confidence in myself as I know what I’m doing is what I believe in.”

Other notable regional appearances by Dylan include a stop at the Gorge Amphitheater in 1998 with Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison and in 1988 with Tracy Chapman.

Dylan has sold more than 125 million records, making the singer-songwriter born in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1941 one of the bestselling musicians of all time. The long list of classics he penned and/or has performed includes “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

Dylan’s many awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 10 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Dylan has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The Pulitzer Prize Board in 2008 awarded Dylan a citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Dylan since 1994 has published eight books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in art galleries.

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