Bob Dylan Essay

1837 words - 7 pages

On Saturday, November 10th, 2001, I was able to view a concert of Bob Dylan at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus, OH. My seat was located on the floor approximately one hundred and fifty feet away from the stage. To gain a better understanding of the artist and the concert, it is necessary to take a look at the background of Bob Dylan. While attending the University of Minnesota in 1959, Dylan became attracted to folk music and artists such as Woody Guthrie and Peter Seeger. Folk music is a simple, acoustic style of music about common people and everyday events. Guthrie and Seeger began to add political elements into their music and greatly influenced Dylan, who is credited with pioneering the modern era of folk. Poignant songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They are A Changing" brought Dylan to the limelight. The lyrics for "Blowin' in the Wind" struck a cord with people as they so aptly discussed the civil rights struggle. Released in 1963, "The Times They are A Changing" became an anthem for young people beginning to resist a government which they viewed as unresponsive and increasingly authoritarian. However, Dylan soon became tired with being a civil rights and counterculture icon and attempted to add new elements into his music. Drifting from the strictly acoustic performances, Dylan added the electric guitar to many of his songs and began a new era of Folk Rock. To this day, Dylan has continued to evolve as a musician and stamp his mark in the evolution of music. The concert at Nationwide Arena reflected Bob Dylan's success as a musician and his constant struggle to rid himself of the labels placed on him, but failed to evoke the response his music garnered earlier in his career. As this was my first time entering Nationwide Arena, I was quickly impressed with the new landscape in downtown Columbus. The arena is very spacious from the inside and makes a good venue for a large concert. Our seats were located on the floor approximately one hundred and fifty feet away from the stage. Up to one hundred feet back from the stage was standing room only. These fans had to stand the entire concert and seemed to be well knowledgeable about Dylan's music. Behind this section was the rest of the floor seats, with each person designated to their assigned seats. As it became closer to the show time, I noticed that the arena was only about half-filled. Knowing the legacy of Bob Dylan and the profound impact he has had on music, the half filled arena was surprising to observe. With the likes of U2 selling out Nationwide Arena, I would have suspected the same kind of anticipation for a Bob Dylan concert. The composition of the crowd was multi-generational. The audience ages ranged from sixteen to sixty, although it seemed that the younger generation was more represented than the older generation. Dylan came onto the stage dressed in a white suit and white black tipped cowboy boots. The first song to...

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