For a musician who’s been on a Never Ending tour around the world for 26 years straight, Bob Dylan frequently finds ways to keep things fresh. He’s reworked classic hits to sound like totally different compositions, he’s rotated members of his backing band, he’s even swapped instruments he personally plays. The latest curveball? Changing the composition of his audience … to just one lucky fan.
As Rolling Stone reports, Dylan and his band performed a concert at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music on Sunday afternoon. In attendance was Dylan superfan Fredrik Wilkingsson, and only Wilkingsson. The unique concert was part of a Swedish film series called Experiment Ensam (Experiment Alone) in which individuals experience things completely alone that are usually reserved for large audiences.
Wilkingsson’s personal concert included performances of Buddy Holly’s “Heartbeat”, Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”, Chuck Wills’ “It’s Too Late (She’s Gone)”, and a blues jam.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Wilkingsson described the experience:
The light dimmed 10 incredibly anxious minutes after [Wlkingsson] walked in. “It was completely dark and empty,” Wikingsson says. “Then a guy walks onstage and started talking to the lighting guy. Turns out it was Dylan and he nodded at me. There wasn’t any ceremony at all. He just started talking to his bassist and drummer about how they were going to start the first song.”
He broke out into applause when the song finished. “Nobody took notice of me,” he says. “I figured that maybe it just sounded phony or weird. During the second song, ‘Blueberry Hill’, I realized I had to say something. It was just too weird. I screamed out, ‘You guys sound great!’ That caused Dylan to burst out laughing. Now, I have two kids and their births were great, but him laughing onstage at some lousy fucking comment of mine was unbelievable.”
For everyone else, a recording of the concert will air on YouTube on December 15th. Or, you can go see Dylan in person as on tour. He has upcoming dates scheduled in Washington, DC, Newark, New Jersey, and New York City.