Last night Bob Dylan visited the Stockholm Globe Arena. Him being a legend, I sure didn’t want to see him live. I mean, he has influenced so many people through the years and written so many good songs that have been interpreted by many artists. With that said, Mr. Dylan wasn’t having a good night yesterday.
But let me start from the beginning: Due to a misunderstanding, my brother Martin had bought me tickets for the concert, but so had I. Trying desperately to get rid of the extra two tickets to friends, colleagues etc, failed miserably (and with the quality of the concert in hindsight, maybe it was best so). So after some dealing and wealing outside the arena, we managed to sell the tickets to a couple of guys that wanted to sit far down, rinkside (since the arena is also an ice hockey arena). They asked if it was close, and my brother said:
Yeah, sure, it’s just by the rink.
Their dealing friend also looked at the tickets and said:
But this is row 4, isn’t there a row three too? (We never replied to this, but of course there’s a row one and two. We have no idea why he asked something like that.)
They paid for the tickets and Martin and I went by Mickey Dee’s to grab a hamburger before it started. Once in there, we met someone I’ve met a couple of times before, Kim Sulocki (a Swedish artist). Good to see him again, we chatted for a short while and then attacked our hamburgers. When we got into the arena, we realized where the location of the tickets we’d sold to the other guys. They were sitting, height-wise, in the middle of the arena, at least 30 meters up from the rink; we weren’t even sure they could see the rink from where they were sitting. Anyway, our conscience didn’t feel that bad, they got the tickets for a number of kronor cheaper than what we had paid for them.
Once Bob Dylan started, everyone got really happy, but it was soon replaced by a feeling of apathy. It was a long time since I saw someone as uninspired, giving such a dull and meaningless performance. Yes, I know, he goes his own way, doing as he pleases, and I don’t have to hear How many roads to be happy. But this was so bland, so without feeling that it was really disheartening to see. It was definitely more entertaining to hear Gunnar Franklin at iBizkit doing his Bob Dylan impersonating once when we jammed a little.
Naturally, this lead to starting to watch the audience instead. And man, was it a freak show! Nothing bad to these persons, they were just different and misplaced in their respective context. And many people seemed to be as bored and disappointed as we were, there were a constant rush of traffic with people walking up and down the stairs. Since my seat was just next to the stairs, I saw some interesting persons. Amongst all, there were three girls, a bit too young, with very low-cut dresses running a round all the time, and once they were gone for at least half of the concert. I have no idea what they were doing there in the first place.
Following their departure, a big man sat down in the stairs next to me; he was the kind of person with normal legs and an upper body that looks like a balloon. Not really fat, just humongous. Anyway, he sat there for a while, trying to read his ticket, and then tried to get up again. It was soon pretty clear that he wasn’t going to make it, and Martin and I watched with fascination. He was almost up, rocking back and forth, started swaying, and then fell down again. Sitting there, looking a little dazed and confused, he decided to give it another try. This time he actually made it and started a shaking staggering down the stairs. Martin turned to me and said:
At one point, I thought he was going to turn into the Hulk…
Just after “the Hulk” got down the stairs, a very drunk person started what looked like a very strenuous climb up the stairs. I guess you should’ve been there to see all of this, but I was laughing so hard I was shaking, and I had to bite my lower lip hard to avoid displaying to the stair-walkers how entertaining they were.
At the end of the concert, he managed to destroy my favorite song all time, All along the watchtower (I prefer the Jimi Hendrix version of it, or maybe the Dave Matthews band one, but Dylan’s version is usually ok, and after all, he wrote the song) with terrible singing. The band seemed mildly motivated, and at least saved the experience a little, but all in all, it was really bad.
Anyway, I got to see Bob Dylan live. And that counts, doesn’t it?