As Promised, Springsteen…

In my post about the Springsteen show last Sunday (on my birthday), I said I was waiting for some decent videos to appear online, and I’d share some when they did. Well, I just dug around a bit in some of the stuff that’s been posted, and nothing I’ve seen so far has really captured the show well enough. I had much better luck the last time I saw him, when some of the smartphone footage posted was good enough to share (here and here).

I did find some good footage from the SXSW show three days earlier, and in order to give you a better sense of what the concerts are like, I’m going to share those, as well as Bruce’s live debut of the song “Wrecking Ball” at Giant’s Stadium, which was about to be torn down (and which is the subject of the song). I’d like to show actual performances from the show I saw, but whatcha gonna do?

After the songs, though, check out the keynote speech Bruce gave at SXSW. It’s brilliant. Funny, engaging, informative, musical, and awesome. If you haven’t seen it, you really, really should. Especially if you’re a musician. Or a writer.

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Writers Dig The Boss

Yesterday was my birthday.

I got to see Bruce Springsteen.

As they say on the netz, your argument is invalid. Continue reading

Good Memories of 2009, Day 9: Springsteen

I already blogged about this (with multiple videos), but in April I saw the best concert I’ve ever seen, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Phillips Arena. This wasn’t my first Springsteen show (and hopefully won’t be the last), but it was the best.

As Jon Stewart said a couple of years ago, “If you like joy, go see Bruce Springsteen.”

Springsteen: Tunnel Of Love Tour 1988

Here are a couple of videos from Springsteen’s 1988 Tunnel of Love tour, which was the first time I saw him. Tunnel of Love is notable for being his last studio album with the E Street Band (until 2002’s The Rising, a 16 year gap), and it was during this tour that Bruce (who was married to Julianne Phillips) fell for his backup singer, Patti Scialfa.

In the first video, Bruce and Patti look like they’re on the verge of tearing each other’s clothes off on the spot, and in the second, Bruce explores a theme that clearly was very much on his mind at the time: wanting something you’re not supposed to have.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

While we’re on the topic of Patti Scialfa, here’s a treat for those unfamiliar with her solo work:

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band = Pure Unadulterated JOY

Sunday night, my ex, mother of my child, treated me to Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at Phillips Arena. Pretty damn cool considering we’re still in the middle of a custody fight, but we still get along very well, overall…even though we’re still in the middle of a custody fight.

We were standing on the floor, about sixty feet in front of Bruce, and the show was phenomenal. I’ve seen him four times with the E Streeters, once with the Seeger Sessions Band a couple years ago (we actually drove up to Jersey for that one), and once solo acoustic on the Ghost of Tom Joad tour, and there is simply no one who puts on a better show.

Aside from being a volcano of energy and charisma, Bruce gives you a hell of a lot of rock and roll for your money. Back in the day, he would sometimes play over four hours a night (as he did the first time I saw him, on the Tunnel of Love tour), and Sunday he played for right around three hours. That’s with no intermission, too. The man clearly loves his job, and every minute is turbo-charged.

Also, no Springsteen show is ever the same. He changes the set list every night, and you never know what he’s going to play next. This tour, he’s taken this a step further: at one point in the show, he paced around the stage, reaching into the crowd and taking the signs people had made requesting songs, and he played those requests. Not only is the set-list ever-changing, it’s now dynamic. Even Bruce and the band don’t know everything they’re going to play in a show. Continue reading