Monday, September 10, 2012
"A Benediction": Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band, Wrigley Field-Chicago, IL
As the heavens opened and a massive rain began to fall Saturday night in Chicago, Bruce Springsteen looked to the sky and told the crowd "it's good.....like a benediction." I am not a religious man but as a veteran of 10+ Bruce concerts, I have often thought that his shows must be like what church does for many. Bruce and his fans just happen to worship at the alter of rock and roll!
At this point his career, no one should need me to tell them how communal and downright spiritual an experience a Bruce show can be. I certainly didn't need any more validation of that, but once again The Boss exceeded all of my already ridiculous expectations! For me, the fact that Bruce chose to play completely off-stage by the crowd in the pouring rain for the entire last hour of the show just proved how much he really cares about his fans. That gesture kept everyone from caring about their wet hair or soaking bodies and brought everyone that much closer together. It really was a magnificent thing to behold.
Oh, how was the music? Let's just say that in a show that featured amazing and moving guest appearances by hometown natives Eddie Vedder ("My Hometown", "Darkness on the Edge of Town")and Tom Morello ("Death to My Hometown, "This Depression", "Ghost of Tom Joad", "Badlands"), those appearances weren't necessarily the highlights for most. For me, that highlight was the crazy fun, rain-drenched "Born to Run> Rosalita> Dancing in the Dark> Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" sandwich!
Listening to Bruce perform 1980's "The Ties that Bind" live, it was as if time went back and the band had never made the 11 albums in-between. The beauty of his show is that the old fit perfectly next to majestic performances of the new material, mostly because Bruce is still signing about the themes that affect all of us; work, love, community, sense of purpose, ghosts, right and wrong, and hope for a better world. Seeing Bruce perform the new song "We Take Care of Our Own" (a little over a week after President Obama used it after his convention speech) was one of the most moving performances I have seen him do. Not because he is singing some left-wing, Democratic anthem but because it is a song about asking the questions we should ALL be asking, and Bruce sung it as if he needed the answers....NOW!
"Where're the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
Where's the hearts that run over with mercy
Where's the love that has not forsaken me
Where's the work that'll set my hands, my soul free
Where's the spirit to reign rain over me
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea"
After 28 years of seeing Bruce Springsteen live, I can honestly say that my passion and enthusiasm for him is only stronger in 2012 then it was in 1984. How many career artists can you even think to say that about? Just like when he was first starting out as a struggling musician, I know he still needs us, the music community still needs him, and I know for certain that the older I get, the more I realize how much I need Bruce!
The Promised Land
The Ties That Bind
We Take Care of Our Own
Death to My Hometown (with Tom Morello)
My City of Ruins
E Street Shuffle
Pay Me My Money Down
This Depression (with Tom Morello)
My Hometown (with Eddie Vedder)
Darkness on the Edge of Town (with Eddie Vedder)
Because the Night
Working on the Highway
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Who'll Stop the Rain (solo acoustic)
The Ghost of Tom Joad (with Tom Morello)
Badlands (with Tom Morello)
* * *
Born to Run
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
American Land (with Morello and Vedder)
Posted by David Connell at 6:58 PM