Alone with Bob Dylan

16th December 2014

The Swedish film series Experiment Ensam (Experiment Alone) explores how much of our enjoyment comes from company. Among other experiments, they arranged for Bob Dylan to play a concert for one man. (via Kottke)

Are you a person who does things on your own? If so, I’m curious about what types of things. I’ve said before that I enjoy eating alone, I think I’d be happy at a movie too. But I’m not a huge fan of traveling alone, and if it came to a concert from one of my idols, I’d so much rather have a friend along so we could grin stupidly at each other.

8 thoughts on “Alone with Bob Dylan

  1. Molly D

    I would be weirded out by being the only one in the audience. I’ve gone to concerts alone. I like artists that my husband or friends aren’t interested in and so I just go solo. Buying a single ticket is an easy way to get a great seat. Then again living in SF I have the opportunity to see music at venues in intimate settings and not just mega arenas. I see movies alone all the time because, well, you don’t really talk during a movie. Nor should you talk during a concert. I also enjoy solo jaunts to art exhibits, Paris and … OH WAIT I’m an only child.

  2. A.

    I love doing things alone! Travel: yes. Movies: yes. Eating: sometimes; depends on the place. Shopping: always. This summer I saw one of my favorite musicians alone, because nobody I know likes her as much as I do and it wasn’t a dance-in-the-aisles kind of show. I loved it. (For Beyonce, though? I took a friend.)

    But this weekend I went to my hometown’s Christmas parade, and it occurred to me that I wouldn’t have had any fun at all being there alone.

    I find that most things are plenty of fun on my own, but what can sometimes be a real downer are people’s reactions to my being alone: “Just one?”, etc….the worst is “Good for you!”, which is the equivalent of “Bless your heart”. I just wanna be by myself; I don’t want to be responsible for making someone else feel OK that I’m by myself.

  3. Ari

    I’ve been to a lot of concerts alone, but it’s ultimately not for me–I’m too shy to connect comfortably with the crowd around me directly, but do want access to that energy, so having the buffer of a friend or two really helps.

    I’m a big fan of solo dates and activities otherwise, though! I’ve loved traveling alone, being able to set my own pace and prioritize my weirder tastes. Seeing movies alone is pleasant, too, and having a good meal with no company but a good book is one of my favorite things in the world. I also like taking a book along to a quiet bar and having a drink alone. Maybe I’m just dating my books? It’s possible.

  4. wendy

    There’s a difference between doing something without a companion but in the company of strangers, and doing something alone, as in the Dylan show. I like to travel alone, go to the movies alone, eat casual meals alone – all as in unaccompanied by a companion – but I would not like to do most of these without anyone else in the room.

  5. M.

    I also love to do things on my own. It’s always fun to share experiences with others, however circumstances sometimes prevent them from joining (timing, cost, etc.). I enjoy my season’s tickets to the theatre because I can sit where I want! I’ve done some travelling on my own and was surprised how much less introverted I was. The hardest thing to do was eat alone in restaurants, but I’m more comfortable doing that now.

  6. Amy

    That Dylan thing was so awkward. I always say I wish I could go to concerts and be the only one in the audience so I don’t have to deal with people talking loudly through songs and spilling their beer on my shoes, but the reality is that sharing the concert experience with all those people is, well, part of the experience.

    When I leave town by myself for a few days, what always hits me like a ton of bricks is how badly I miss human touch when I’m away from my family. I always wonder if I’m the only one that’s feeling like that.

  7. Megan

    My guess is that how much you like or tolerate doing traditionally social activities solo depends on your current social resting state: whether you prefer solitude and seek out company or whether you prefer to be in company and seek out solitude as necessary. I heavily lean toward solitude in travel, movies, etc. but not concerts! I feel very on the spot. Who knows! We’re all our own, weird worlds.

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