Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Mighty Mighty E-Street Band!

So Sunday night I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band blow the roof off of the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI. It is almost a cliche at this point to say Bruce and the band are the best live act on the planet, but fact is it's true. On Bruce's best nights, there is nothing that can match the shear power and celebration that exists between him and the audience. I am not a religious person, but the only thing I can compare it to is being in rock and roll church. For at least 3 full hours, Bruce made me forget all my troubles (there are many) and I truly celebrated life, love, sorrow, and joy all with 30,000 of my temporary best friends.

I am not a huge fan of arena rock shows anymore, but Bruce Springsteen is the only artist I can think of who can make you literally forget where you are while he is onstage. His shows are that transforming. We may as well have been in a 150 seat bar instead of a huge arena. Bruce is able to connect to the guy in the last row of the venue the same as he connects to the lucky folks in the front row.

Bruce is also the only artist I can think of who somehow bridges the gap between Woody Guthrie, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Motown, and the psychedelic "Nuggets"-era garage rock of the 60's. For this alone, he is truly special and an artist I don't think we will ever see the likes of again. He is my Elvis. My Beatles. I will be showing my grandchildren videos of him and telling tails of his amazing concerts, whether they like it or not!

I have seen him 7 times now, ranging all the way back to the mid-80's, and Sunday's night's show is maybe the best one. Sometimes it is hard to tell with Bruce because even his "bad" nights are transforming experiences, but this one was jaw-droopingly good. One of THOSE nights for sure.

You know it is a great night when he plays his best album "Born to Run" in it's entirety, and it isn't even the highlight of the show!! My personal favorite moment was Bruce pulling a sign from a new father in the crowd that said "Two weeks Ago I found Living Proof". A picture of the newborn's onesie said "Future Bruce Fan". So what does Bruce do? He totally stumps himself and the band and plays the song "Living Proof..." for the first time since 2003.

The song is a father's poignant meditation of the emotions that come with having his first child. Serious stuff for rock and roll and one of the many reasons Bruce is so special. I am still buzzing about this show two days later, even with the flu. Such is the power and the glory of (to quote Bruce himself); "THE heart-stoppin’, pants-droppin’, hard rockin’, booty shakin’, earth-quakin’, love makin’, Viagra-takin’, history makin’, legendary E STREET BAND!!!"

November 15, 2009 : Milwaukee, WI

Cadillac Ranch
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Curt Ramm)
Born to Run
She's the One
Meeting Across the River (with Curt Ramm)
Darlington County
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Loose Ends
Jole Blon
Growin' Up
Into the Fire
The Rising
No Surrender
* * *
Living Proof
Kitty's Back (with Curt Ramm)
American Land (with Curt Ramm)
Dancing in the Dark
Rosalita (with Curt Ramm)
Higher and Higher (with Curt Ramm)

1 comment:

Alan said...

thanks for helping me relive the memories