Yesterday I saw Bob Dylan in concert. My experienced was a mixed influx of emotions. I was far, far away from him up on the far seats, soley watching the sliver of his white hat move as he danced and played harmonica, longing to get a closer look at him as I gave a dirty look to the people with binoculars on the row in front of me. I was happy to be there, happy that I could be salvaging one of the greatest influences on music. But I was also deeply sad. As I watched the 50-70 year olds crowd the audience with their leather jackets and grey balding heads, seeing faint remnants of what seemed to be their nostalgic hints of hippie style, I couldn't help but think I really missed out.
Some these people were there with their kids or their grandkids. But they once loved Bob when he was young, not that It makes a difference really when, but my point is that they were young in a time when Bob Dylan was the popular kind of music, they loved Bob at a time when the terror of people like Justin Bieber (no offense to him) weren't around.
This article does a good job of describing the concert No direction home for Bob Dylan in Vancouver | CTV British Columbia News
Sometimes I wonder If I'll ever truly be happy with my lifestyle and this modern world, If I'll always be caught up in this innate feeling of a strange regret, a fake nostalgia. I'm afraid of realizing one day that I spent my life immersed in pretty pictures of the past and daydreams of another time, instead of appreciating and learning to love the world and life that has been given to me.
Which leads me to my next point. When the concert was finished, me and my brother went outside to see If we could spot Bob. He had already left (ofcourse), and on our way back we saw a big van. It had a peace sign at the front and was a brown-yellow color; It looked like it had been pulled straight out of the 70's. Naturally, I was fascinated. We approached it and a girl, maybe in her twenties, greeted us and offered us tea. I never saw inside, but when I asked my brother how it looked, he said there was a ton of hippie-like people just drinking tea and playing guitar. When I asked the girl who they were she said, "We're basically a group of people who live together in this van and follow people around, like right now we're following Bob Dylan. Sounds super cool right? Sounds slightly cult-like right? Not surprisingly apparently they are a cult. Twelve Tribes. They have been accused of child abuse, racism, and sexism. But on the other hand, when seeing them they just seemed like a bunch of sweet people. So what's the truth?
One of the twelve tribes buses
Who knows these days. What I did take from this though, is that this dissatisfaction with the modern world, this loss of purpose and feeling of wasted life is what leaves people vulnerable to resorting to extremes, like joining a cult.
As for Bob, a few things seemed apparent to me. He was a down-to-earth guy. He just got up, played, mentioned each member of his band, played some more, said "thank you friends", played an encore song and left. That was it. Some people might interpret this as rude, but what I got from it is that he really wasn't into the whole fan-adoration thing (I.E. Justin Bieber), but just simply wanted to get up there, play his music, and have us listen.
Bob Dylan Today
And that was the other thing. He must be devoted to music and truly believe in it and love it, or otherwise he probably wouldn't still be playing it.
Finally, I have to acknowledge I am eternally grateful for the experience.The electric excitement that sparked when I heard Bob's signature harmonica skills and crazed, gritty, unclear voice made me feel amazing.