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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 14:22 GMT 

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I made a post about this in the mirrors thread but I figured the topic in general deserved a thread of its own. Of course, Bob's mixed relationship with his audience can be traced all the way back, and in recent times his playing keyboards off to the side of the stage is an obvious example of his ruining his audience's view (although that could have a purely artistic or performance-related basis). Further back, there was the "hoodie" of the early NET. But I'm referring to the rather dramatic measures he's taken over the last two years or so, including:

--playing shows completely unlit, without a single stage light aimed toward him (even while the band is lit normally)
--cluttering the front of the stage with mirrors, busts, unused instruments and equipment, etc.
--shining bright lights directly into the faces of the audience mid-performance
--erecting a wall of microphones center-stage

In addition, he's had people come out at the beginning of the show and make a weirdly psychological attempt at convincing the audience to not take photos or video--appealing to their sense of "experience" and ruining the authenticity of experience by using your cell phone (as if using a phone or camera for a few minutes out of a Bob Dylan show was robbing yourself of something important).

On the face of it, he obviously doesn't fancy having his picture taken. Or is there a playful element here? Perhaps a legacy-building/twisting element? I've seen Bob almost "pose" for people taking pics near the front row. Obviously, he hasn't exactly been camera-shy throughout his career. Is it really that big a deal to him now, or is he kinda screwing with us? Is he just having fun playing the eccentric?

Also, are there any other examples of this type of thing from recent years?


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 14:26 GMT 
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He's old and wrinkly. Simple as that.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 14:28 GMT 
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Meh... he looks good. He just doesn't know it.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 17:12 GMT 

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Beets14beets wrote:
I made a post about this in the mirrors thread but I figured the topic in general deserved a thread of its own. Of course, Bob's mixed relationship with his audience can be traced all the way back, and in recent times his playing keyboards off to the side of the stage is an obvious example of his ruining his audience's view (although that could have a purely artistic or performance-related basis).

I think the keyboard on the side of the stage is probably about performance. Then he's able to see the band and give cues a bit easier by having it to the side. Plus, having Bob stand at a keyboard center stage would look a bit weird in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 17:22 GMT 
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When we first had the bust in Cork it really did obsure his face. Need those pics form Not Dark Yet... But after a couple of shows it was moved to the side so people on the left could see over the piano. This is a good spot now she's moved. So he could have carried on hiding but he relocated Posie to the side now. Better view for everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 17:26 GMT 
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Yes, you can kind of see the hat, eyes and nose now. :P
For center stage, I thought the lights from behind him weren't as bad when standing nearer the center on the rail. Of course, that's not a spot to be gained often.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 17:56 GMT 
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I sort of agree with Brian but not in as blunt a way. I do think that Bob is very aware of his age and his resulting appearance. I think he looks fabulous but I do think the "no photos" rule and all the things he does to obscure a clear view of his image speaks volumes. Anyone who's in the limelight is very aware of the comments made about their appearance, I'm sure. People are not always kind. I think he looks good but I don't he knows that about himself. It's sad, really.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 18:27 GMT 
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Beets14beets wrote:
Is he just having fun playing the eccentric?

I don't think he is 'playing' the eccentric.... I think he is eccentric!!! :P

It is also know as "Just Bob being Bob" :wink:

It is one of the best parts of him being Bob Dylan.

....but I do agree with various ones here that say he is still quite a hot number..... 8)

he is a great dresser and he looks his best when he just embraces his age and goes with it.... he is looking quite good.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 19:07 GMT 
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Can't agree.....Bob comes out multiple times during every show, with only a mic and his harp between himself and the folks....if he's hiding, it's a pretty poor attempt....though I think there is some calculated "trickery" of sorts regarding the stage set-up....mirrors, spots...etc.


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 19:50 GMT 
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WoollyRockers wrote:
When we first had the bust in Cork it really did obscure his face. ...

only a wee bit

Image


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 20:05 GMT 
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:lol:


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 21:23 GMT 

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I love that picture of the bust hiding Bob. I can just see him laughing quitely for himself: Take a picture of this! But if the bust and the forest of mics are indeed attempts to hide his face from cameras something must have changed recently. The mirrors that have been with us for some time now are surely useless for anything but decoration. During the last year the shows have been quite intimate and he seems to have made some effort towards showmanship. Small venues. Standing while playing the piano. Removing the unused keyboard. Performing a lot of songs center stage in full view (well...) of everyone. Of course I am not suggesting that he has been standing behind the curtain until recently, but a lot of shows lately have been intimate. Perhaps it just got too much, but if that is the case he would probably just have moved the piano and stayed there. No, I think he is really annoyed and distracted by the cameras and is trying to do something about it.

I just hope that the poster for the next tour doesn't read: Bob Dylan and his band - NOT in person!


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PostPosted: Thu July 10th, 2014, 21:59 GMT 
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I think also it's some sort of fight back against people taking photos of him. I understand why people do it but I find it a pain too when I'm at a show and there's constant lights flashing.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 01:10 GMT 

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Beets14beets wrote:
In addition, he's had people come out at the beginning of the show and make a weirdly psychological attempt at convincing the audience to not take photos or video--appealing to their sense of "experience" and ruining the authenticity of experience by using your cell phone (as if using a phone or camera for a few minutes out of a Bob Dylan show was robbing yourself of something important).


There is nothing weird or peculiar about this.

Not to be rude, but I feel quite certain that using a phone in this manner DOES rob you of something important, even if you are unaware of this fact.

It also robs everyone around and behind you of the same thing.

It takes you/them out of the moment of the show, and creates a bright, obnoxious distraction that interrupts the beauty of the direct, metaphysical bond that can exist (and sometimes flourish) between performer and audience when folks direct all their attention respectfully and quietly towards the stage.

Bob and his bandmembers are old enough to remember a time when that bond was not only not the norm, but such electronic distractions were unheard of, both due to the limitations of technology and the longstanding tradition of civility, goodwill, mutual respect and kindness at concerts.

That spoken introduction is merely a sincere, polite attempt to encourage every member in the audience to "forget about themselves for a while and see what others need."

It's a heartfelt plea for establishing empathy with the friends and strangers next to you, and simultaneously a plea from the musicians who have to look out at a sea of people who are quite often no longer paying attention to THEM and what they're DOING, but rather to a tiny, electronic simulacrum of them as well as the intricacies of how a bright, obnoxious, distracting electronic surveillance device is operating.

Real talk: It's a complete bummer to view that behavior from the band's vantage point, and Bob's trying to let people know they're being self-absorbed douchebags - especially those who were born too late to have ever known any better.

Or maybe not. As always, I could be wrong.

~ L.F.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 01:52 GMT 

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Lonesomefetter wrote:
There is nothing weird or peculiar about this.

Not to be rude, but I feel quite certain that using a phone in this manner DOES rob you of something important, even if you are unaware of this fact.

It also robs everyone around and behind you of the same thing.

It takes you/them out of the moment of the show, and creates a bright, obnoxious distraction that interrupts the beauty of the direct, metaphysical bond that can exist (and sometimes flourish) between performer and audience when folks direct all their attention respectfully and quietly towards the stage.

Bob and his bandmembers are old enough to remember a time when that bond was not only not the norm, but such electronic distractions were unheard of, both due to the limitations of technology and the longstanding tradition of civility, goodwill, mutual respect and kindness at concerts.

That spoken introduction is merely a sincere, polite attempt to encourage every member in the audience to "forget about themselves for a while and see what others need."

It's a heartfelt plea for establishing empathy with the friends and strangers next to you, and simultaneously a plea from the musicians who have to look out at a sea of people who are quite often no longer paying attention to THEM and what they're DOING, but rather to a tiny, electronic simulacrum of them as well as the intricacies of how a bright, obnoxious, distracting electronic surveillance device is operating.

Real talk: It's a complete bummer to view that behavior from the band's vantage point, and Bob's trying to let people know they're being self-absorbed douchebags - especially those who were born too late to have ever known any better.

Or maybe not. As always, I could be wrong.

~ L.F.


Well, it's a matter of opinion of course, but I think what you've written here could very well be flipped back onto you. If seeing people take video with their cellphones intermittently throughout a concert really ruins your experience to this extent, is it really fair to blame it on the cell phones, or should we say that your experience of the show was ruined by your own overly rigid ideas about how it should've been? I've experienced much worse at concerts. Fights, beer spilled on my head, major medical emergencies, belligerent crazy people, etc. All very distracting, some much more so than the cell phones. If my experience of concerts was this delicate glass egg that could be completely shattered by stuff like that, I've probably only been to one or two good concerts ever.

Alternately, you could have Luddite tendencies.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 02:10 GMT 
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If your point is to defend having fights or spilling beer on people then great job, I guess, but if your point is to defend blocking other people's view with a light source then it's a pretty poor job indeed. The thing about the experience is that while we are focused on documenting the experience we are not experiencing it, which is one's own choice and all but when you're distracting the people around you there is more to consider than just yourself. That said, I do enjoy the occasional video if it's well done...but typically a good audio recording is 10,000,000 times more valuable than a typical cell phone vid.

BostonAreaBobFan wrote:
I sort of agree with Brian but not in as blunt a way. I do think that Bob is very aware of his age and his resulting appearance. I think he looks fabulous but I do think the "no photos" rule and all the things he does to obscure a clear view of his image speaks volumes. Anyone who's in the limelight is very aware of the comments made about their appearance, I'm sure. People are not always kind. I think he looks good but I don't he knows that about himself. It's sad, really.


He was similarly inclined around 1990...vanity, I suppose, and misplaced, too. We all get older. I had REALLY good seats for him last spring and couldn't see a damn thing. If he wants shows to be about the live experience for the people there he needs to show himself. Not being able to see him is even more annoying than someone in front of you with their damn cellphone held in the air.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 02:25 GMT 
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Cell phones are the new cigarette when it comes to changing the experience for those around you.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 03:02 GMT 

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Still Go Barefoot wrote:
Cell phones are the new cigarette when it comes to changing the experience for those around you.


This.

~ L.F.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 03:37 GMT 

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Beets14beets wrote:
Lonesomefetter wrote:
There is nothing weird or peculiar about this.

Not to be rude, but I feel quite certain that using a phone in this manner DOES rob you of something important, even if you are unaware of this fact.

It also robs everyone around and behind you of the same thing.

It takes you/them out of the moment of the show, and creates a bright, obnoxious distraction that interrupts the beauty of the direct, metaphysical bond that can exist (and sometimes flourish) between performer and audience when folks direct all their attention respectfully and quietly towards the stage.

Bob and his bandmembers are old enough to remember a time when that bond was not only not the norm, but such electronic distractions were unheard of, both due to the limitations of technology and the longstanding tradition of civility, goodwill, mutual respect and kindness at concerts.

That spoken introduction is merely a sincere, polite attempt to encourage every member in the audience to "forget about themselves for a while and see what others need."

It's a heartfelt plea for establishing empathy with the friends and strangers next to you, and simultaneously a plea from the musicians who have to look out at a sea of people who are quite often no longer paying attention to THEM and what they're DOING, but rather to a tiny, electronic simulacrum of them as well as the intricacies of how a bright, obnoxious, distracting electronic surveillance device is operating.

Real talk: It's a complete bummer to view that behavior from the band's vantage point, and Bob's trying to let people know they're being self-absorbed douchebags - especially those who were born too late to have ever known any better.

Or maybe not. As always, I could be wrong.

~ L.F.


Well, it's a matter of opinion of course, but I think what you've written here could very well be flipped back onto you. If seeing people take video with their cellphones intermittently throughout a concert really ruins your experience to this extent, is it really fair to blame it on the cell phones, or should we say that your experience of the show was ruined by your own overly rigid ideas about how it should've been? I've experienced much worse at concerts. Fights, beer spilled on my head, major medical emergencies, belligerent crazy people, etc. All very distracting, some much more so than the cell phones. If my experience of concerts was this delicate glass egg that could be completely shattered by stuff like that, I've probably only been to one or two good concerts ever.

Alternately, you could have Luddite tendencies.


I have also experienced all of the other intrusions you mentioned (fights, spilled drinks, medical emergencies, belligerent fans, etc...). They are all distracting and unpleasant, in varying degrees. Anyone who feels otherwise obviously is not there for the performer and the performance.

That said, of all the examples we have both mentioned, ONLY using a cell phone to photograph/text/call/shoot video of the show is COMPLETELY avoidable, and COMPLETELY discretionary.

By that, I mean that people can find themselves thrust into altercations, or have drinks spilled on them, or be accosted by unstable or aggressive audience members without warning, or by accident, or because of otherwise involuntary or uncontrollable behavior.

Yet, it takes a certain mindset and a deliberate series of actions to completely disregard the view, mood and enjoyment of those surrounding and behind you by CHOOSING to use a cell phone in this manner.

This current preoccupation with digitally "documenting" every minute detail of one's life, no matter how blurry, low-fi or fragmented it may be is a symptom of both the deterioration of civility and a growing lack of awareness of the negative ramifications of one's actions on one's fellow man.

I am not a didact, and don't have an unreasonable expectation that no one will ever do such a thing.

I'm also not a Luddite. I just recall vividly when things were much nicer at shows, and I desperately miss those times.

I know TONS of people who are quite sad that they no longer feel comfortable going to concerts, but they don't, so they do not buy tickets and they miss seeing many of their favorite artists live. This means the artists are also deprived of that ticket revenue.

These people cannot bear to be stuck in the thick of a crowd that is (increasingly) oblivious to how rude they are being both to the people around them AND to the artists they purport to respect and admire.

Not just with cell phones, but in general.

However, the cell phone thing is particularly egregious, because it is BRIGHT and often held aloft, OUTSIDE OF ONE'S OWN PERSONAL SPACE and inside the personal space of someone else, without their permission.

Try this thought experiment: Pretend no such thing as cell phones or small, digital cameras exist.

Now, imagine paying $80 to be in a 5,000 capacity theater, and as soon as BOB F*CKING DYLAN comes onstage, 1/3 of the crowd reaches in their pockets and pulls out super-bright LED flashlights that simultaneously shine a bright red light in the bandmembers' eyes, and a bright white light backwards at everyone behind them. Then they proceed to turn them on for minutes at a time for the duration of the concert, and repeatedly hold them high in the air or stick them in front of the faces of the people to their immediate right or left.

Now, you tell me: is it "overly rigid" to view this as infuriatingly selfish and anti-social behavior?

Dig: I still go to concerts, but not nearly as many as I want to, and when I am there, I shut up and pay close attention to the magical act of artistic creation taking place on the stage. I don't talk to people (even the folks I am there with), and I try very hard not to disturb anyone in any way.

A concert to me is like a play, or a standup comedy show. There's a reason I am in the audience. It's to watch and listen and then to applaud or laugh when appropriate, and to not let my own ego or actions in any way throw the featured attraction off of their game, so that they not only enjoy themselves as much as possible, but are also able to focus and offer up the very best performance they are capable of at that particular point in time.

I suppose that makes me old-fashioned.

However, there are many things in this wicked world that WERE much better long ago than they are now. Audience behavior at rock concerts being one of them.

I do not believe that being aware of this makes me a curmudgeon, I feel it makes me knowledgeable and rather enlightened.

Again, not trying to be rude. Just stating what I believe to be fairly inarguable (if increasingly unpopular) facts.

~ L.F.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 09:44 GMT 
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I totally agree with you. I go to see Bob for the show. I really don't need to be distracted by bright lights flashing all the time and I quite understand if Bob doesn't enjoy it too. Out of the concerts I've been to recently I found the Dublin show the worst. I think that was because they had standing at the front and many people there were obviously making videos on their mobiles. From where I was sitting just behind them it was a total distraction because you couldn't see Bob without the constant bright lights.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 09:47 GMT 
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Well said, L.F. People miss out on the shared experience of live show and the wonderful exchange that happens between the artist and the audience, by making it all about themselves.


If I never see another selfie, I'd be perfectly okay with that.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 10:21 GMT 
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one more attempt to hide on stage will be in Helsingborg. I just got a mail from the promoter "Due to unforeseen circumstances the concerts will start later than annouced. Opening act will be on at 20.30 and after that is Bobs band. The concerts will end around 23.45"

This was also the case in Aarhus, where the offica reason was "soundproblems". Im prettey sure the reason is that Bob does not want to perform in full daylight.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 10:28 GMT 
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Now that a line of mirrors has actually been moved to the pit and right into people's faces, it couldn't be much more clearer in saying, "Just look at yourselves!" Photos are one thing, craving his attention another, and then there's the live setlists of almost every single show after a year of him playing pretty much the same set every show. I love the setlist threads and photos / videos of Bob, but.... we don't even manage to reduce the live setlisting to agreeing to only text in case of changes, other than just confirming afterwards whenever it's the same setlist. I know we crave all this, but is IS absurd.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 10:36 GMT 
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i believe in you wrote:
I think also it's some sort of fight back against people taking photos of him. I understand why people do it but I find it a pain too when I'm at a show and there's constant lights flashing.



Me too. I'm with Bob on this one, flashing lights and people holding cameras and phones up in the air so the back of the screen covers half your view is a bit distracting.

Also, imagine the scenes it the front if they didn't make a deal about no photography..it would just be a sea of annoying cameras. I think it was Dublin someone pushed their way to the side of me and stuck a phone in the air to record long and wasted years..I couldn't help but be distracted by it, it was just me, bob and the band before that..I wasn't aware of anything else ..people waving phone screens in front of your face definitely takes something away from the scene.

I think bob is in plain view plenty of times on stage, looks confident and focused..it makes it more interesting that sometimes the lights are low or you can only see certain angles or parts of him. Especially at the end of the show when they line up and lights turned up..seems to make me gasp with joy every time somehow.


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PostPosted: Fri July 11th, 2014, 10:43 GMT 
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Lonesomefetter wrote:
I don't talk to people (even the folks I am there with)

Exactly. Same same. Social time is before and after the show, sorry.
Ain't talkin' about your day, your car, your pet or your problems while the bands on stage.

And using a flash is simply ridiculous...


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