Dylan and Cohen (The yin and the yang)

Bob Dylan continues his “Never Ending Tour” this year, having played in Japan, now touring Europe, and will then head to Australia and New Zealand. Is the bard skipping the US this year?

I fondly recall the fall of 2012 when I was fortunate to attend a Bob Dylan concert, followed several days later with a Leonard Cohen show.

I love both of these poets and singers for the impact they have made in this world. Neither have let age slow them down, Dylan being 73 and Cohen soon to be 80! Both continue producing new and refreshing music as they tour the globe, although the approach they each take to their performances is like the yin and the yang. They could not be more different as they captivate their audiences.

Cohen is the debonair, highly polished performer that personifies perfection and employs a ten piece band with female back up singers. He is gregarious with the crowd, introducing his songs with humor and poignancy.

Dylan, on the other hand, is unpredictable. He has a first class five piece band that knows his subtle quirks and adapts to his mercurial changes. His gravelly voice is reflective of a man who has experienced the heartbreaks of the world and shares it through his ragged singing. Wisdom oozes out for those open to his approach. He doesn’t say a word up there, he just lets the performance speak for itself.

Both of these men reflect the pinnacle of a troubadour and a salve for our troubled world.

As an example of how a poet can crystallize the dilemma of human kind in a mere two lines, I offer up this Bob Dylan couplet from the song License to Kill:

Now he worships at an altar of a stagnant pool
And when he sees his reflection, he’s fulfilled.

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