In a world of images, people are condemned to pareidolia. It's that human brain feature to see clouds in the shape of dinosaurs, the face of Jesus in a tree trunk or to hear hidden messages when a play is sung backwards. A mass pareidolia phenomenon could be identified on Wednesday, June 2, during the Bob Dylan concert in Zone Arena in Bucharest, when 10,000 Romanians saw a god on the stage, a poet, a veritable harmonica player, even a promoter of satanic signs.
They said about Jimi Hendrix that he could not sing, but that he made up for it through the way he handled a guitar that many, including Kurt Cobain, considered useless. They said about Bob Dylan not only that he could not sing, but also that he was far from being a guitar virtuoso.
For some, he's a hottie who has stolen other people's songs and Dylan Thomas' last name, an average guitar player and a voiceless singer. For others, he's a music genie, a poet, a seducing voice through its roughness, an idol for those alongside whom he plays on the stage. His band's guitarist uses to play ion his knees during concerts, as if to show his respect for Bob Dylan. He is the creator of a "vast" work: 34 studio albums, 13 live albums, 14 compilations and 58 singles.
On Wednesday evening, 10,000 Romanians looked up to Bob Dylan as to a spiritual guide, like the folk singer that Florian Pittis was very fond of. Prior to the two-hour concert, the public listened to fragments from On the Road, a book by Jack Kerouac, a volume dear to Bob Dylan. The songs were presented in a blues and rock'n roll combination and his harmonica interventions was considered the secret to understand the worlds proposed by the American musician, with each note being met with cheers.
For those not knowing this was not going to be a folk concert, it was a disappointment, but for others, it was magical. Bob Dylan simply needs to be seen as the man exploring the universe through his songs. He says each tune is a representation of the universe and is worth more than the lyrics, a way of getting closer to the essence of things.
His songs were not entertainment, Dylan used to say several years ago, but his guides to another way of taking in the reality, to other countries, recently freed, those "invisible republics", as music historian Greil Marcus would name them.
Bob Dylan - for some, an instigator to Satanism - an huge logo was displayed in the background during the two repeated plays, a logo considered a satanic symbol, the Eye of Horus, also tagged at the logo for the Illuminati Order and, presently, printed on the back of the one dollar bill. For others, he's "a friend": among the very few words he uttered last night, the artist slipped a "thank you, friends!".
1. Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
2. It Ain't Me, Babe
3. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
4. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
6. Just Like a Woman
7. Cold Irons Bound
8. Desolation Row
9. The Levee's Gonna Break
10. I Don't Believe You
11. Highway 61 Revisited
12. Can't Wait
13. Thunder on the Mountain
14. Ballad of a Thin Man
15. Like A Rolling Stone (bis)
16. All Along the Watchtower (bis)