While Bob Dylan is very much against photography at his concerts, he’s not typically the type of person to stop halfway through a song to address the problem. That was not the case on Tuesday evening.
During a show in Vienna, Austria on the ‘Never Ending’ tour, the Like a Rolling Stone legend became agitated at one fan in particular for continuously taking photos during.
The band was playing a rocking rendition of Blowin’ in the Wind before Dylan began to snarl inaudibly at the individual.
Now Dylan, 77, isn’t usually one to talk to the crowd, let alone even introduce his band, but this time around, he had seemingly reached his breaking point.
The singer then took a step back and tripped over a speaker. He caught himself on the drum kit before completely toppling over.
Dylan returned to the microphone with a slightly cooler tone before continuing the performance.
“Take pictures or don’t take pictures,” said the singer. “We can either play or we can pose. Okay?”
Given the prominence of social media, it’s rare that concert-goers wouldn’t try their best to snap a picture or video of their favourite artists or bands at a show.
But over the last few years, Dylan has enforced a very strict non-photo policy at his shows. Although it still hasn’t stopped many fans from trying to snap a picture of the legend, it has meant much stricter security.
Security guards now pace back and forth, section-to-section, aisle-to-aisle, looking for culprits. Those who do not comply are often threatened with the confiscation of their personal cameras or cellphones.
Some musicians — like Jack White — enforce a ban on cellphones and cameras altogether, providing fans with a sealed bag to contain their electronic devices.
While these measures seem extreme to some, many fans come out of shows praising how much it improved the concert experience as a whole.
Perhaps Dylan, too, might consider this method in the future.
Following Dylan’s unexpected outburst earlier this week, dedicated fans might now think twice before deciding to pull out their electronic devices at a show.
The consequences, quite simply, could be to face the wrath of a classic rock legend.
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