Monday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 18, at the Midland Theatre.

Bob Dylan and Merle Haggard  

Monday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 18, at the Midland Theatre.

Some late night during 2004's ballpark tour, in the middle of a high-stakes cribbage game, perhaps, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson negotiated for the rights to the Red-Headed Stranger's old picnic-concert concept and Dylan walked away with the prize. This summer, Dylan's tour with Merle Haggard may be slightly more strategic (albeit taking place in renovation-pending theaters), because after that half-second hesitation, it's clear they're a natural match. Both Dylan and Haggard have to be well aware that their pre-concert, parking-lot-guitar-jamming followers have, for decades, segued "Mama Tried" into "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," simply because both songs give them the gleeful shivers. During this big, happy indoor picnic, everyone gets a chance to refresh his or her memory of those same three chords.

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