I went to his [Bob Dylan’s] concert. It was terrific. I’ve been to many Dylan concerts. This one, there was a walkway from the hotel to the auditorium, so you could enter into this private area, the people who had boxes. We were in one of those boxes. First of all, I’ve never been in a private box in an auditorium. That was fun. And a lot of members of the band came. But it was very loud. Fortunately, Raphael, our drummer, had earplugs, and he distributed them. Because our music is quite soft and that’s what we’ve been listening to for three or four months. As Sharon Robinson said, Bob Dylan has a secret code with his audience. If someone came from the moon and watched it they might wonder what was going on. In this particular case he had his back to one half of the audience and was playing the organ, beautifully I might say, and just running through the songs. Some were hard to recognize. But nobody cared. That’s not what they were there for and not what I was there for. Something else was going on, which was a celebration of some kind of genius that is so apparent and so clear and has touched people so deeply that all they need is some kind of symbolic unfolding of the event. It doesn’t have to be the songs. All it has to be is: remember that song and what it did to you. It’s a very strange event.
Cohen wore earplugs to a Dylan show? by Brian D. Johnson (Maclean’s: June 12, 2008). Photo of Dylan playing Barcelona in 1984 by Stoned59 – originally posted to Flickr as Bob Dylan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikipedia
For an account of another Dylan concert Leonard Cohen attended, see Leonard Cohen Declines Bob Dylan’s Invitation To Play In Rolling Thunder Revue
Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Interface
A collection of posts about the interface between Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan, including their opinions of each other, their interactions, and their occasional differences can be found at Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Interface