Bob Dylan Plays Private Show for One Superfan Captured for New Film
One ridiculously lucky Bob Dylan fan was treated to a private show by the legendary singer-songwriter and his backing band yesterday (Nov. 23) at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music.
How does one fall into such improbable luck?
The fan, Fredrik Wikingsson, is friends with Swedish director Anders Helgeson, who is in the process of making ‘Experiment Ensam,’ a series of films that capture one person experiencing events that are typically experienced by large groups or crowds. Other locations have been comedy clubs and karaoke bars, but when 41-year-old Wikingsson heard his friend was arranging a film where one person would sit in on a private Dylan concert, he begged to be the attendee.
“I had an endless series of meetings where I managed to convince people my extreme fandom made me the best candidate for the enviable task,” he told Rolling Stone in an interview.
The day before and even the minutes leading up to the concert, Wikingsson was in disbelief. “I still thought I was be about to get Punk’d,” the Stockholm resident said. “I thought some a--hole would walk onstage and just laugh at me. I just couldn’t fathom that Dylan would actually do this.”
Instead, Wikkingson took his seat in the center of the second row, the lights immediately dimmed and Dylan walked onstage. The singer nodded toward the lone concert-goer, muttered something to his bassist and drummer about how they would play the song and then opened with a cover of Buddy Holly’s ‘Heartbeat.’
In a rare moment for Dylan, the singer played all covers, including Fats Domino’s ‘Blueberry Hill,’ Chuck Wills’ ‘It’s Too Late (She’s Gone) and a blues song that Wikingsson didn’t immediately recognize.
"I was smiling so much it was like I was on ecstasy," he says. "My jaw hurt for hours afterwards because I couldn't stop smiling."
But Wikkingsson did admit that experiencing the concert alone changed his behavior. “During the second song, ‘Blueberry Hill,’ I realized that I had to say something. It was just too weird,” he explained. “I screamed out, ‘You guys sound great!’ That caused Dylan to burst out laughing.”
The 15-minute documentary of Wikkingson’s one-person Bob Dylan concert experience will premiere on YouTube on Dec. 15. You can also listen to Wikkingson discuss the concert on his podcast, The Filip and Fredrik Podcast.