Published Nov 24, 2014Bob Dylan has been filling theatres and arenas for decades, but over the weekend, he performed a far more intimate show. This Sunday (November 23), the songwriting god played a gig at Philadelphia's Academy of Music with just one fan in attendance.
The concert was for the Swedish web series Experiment Ensam, in which participants perform activities intended for large groups of people, with the twist being that they're completely alone. The lucky man was Fredrik Wikingsson, who sat in the second row of the empty 2,500-capacity venue and took in the concert by his lonesome.
Wikingsson is a television personality in Stockholm, and he was chosen as the participant because his friend Anders Helgeson is the project's director.
It's unclear exactly how much Experiment Ensam paid Dylan for the show, but the songwriter and his band apparently bypassed their standard live repertoire in favour of songs like Buddy Holly's "Heartbeat," Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" and Chuck Willis' "It's Too Late (She's Gone)." It took place in the afternoon, and Dylan held a public concert in the same venue that night.
Wikingsson explained that he applauded in the empty theatre between songs. "Nobody took notice of me," he told Rolling Stone. "I figured that maybe it just sounded phoney 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."
The short concert was filmed by eight cameras and a 15-minute documentary will hit YouTube on December 15.
A trailer for this solo concert can be seen below, but you probably won't get much out of it if you don't understand Swedish.