Thursday, March 29, 2012

BO DIDDLEY, BO DIDDLEY'S AT THE SEASIDE BAR:  I got a call from a friend at about 6:30p yesterday asking if I was interested in seeing Bruce Springsteen that night.  Um, sold!

My reservations about the shtick-ification of Springsteen from almost a decade ago haven't exactly gone away -- from our perch behind the stage, you could see Springsteen go to the sponge in front of Max's riser to grease his shins for the cross-stage slide ... but, still, damn if it isn't nice to see a 62-year-old man who can still do that, who crowd-surfed his way back to the stage from halfway out on the arena floor, who climbed into the audience during "Raise Your Hand" encore, grabbed a seat and asked for (and received, and chugged) a beer. [Added: phenomenal video.] If he wasn't having a blast, he sure faked it well enough for my purposes.

The other thing that made this show different was The Kid, and it's uncanny just how good Jake Clemons is at reproducing his uncle's notes, though he can never replace the dynamics. Can't imagine a more appropriate way to replace The Big Man, really, and the moments of acknowledgment of his and Federici's passing were well-done, and not overdone.

Setlist here. Highlights for me were the Seaside/82nd combo, and the Apollo medley ("The Way You Do The Things You Do"/"634-5789" followed by a song that Springsteen has played the last three nights because of its unfortunate newsworthiness, but we're not going to talk about that here.


  1. Christy in Philly10:21 AM

    I'm going tonight with my mom and can't wait. Have you seen the Philly mag article?

    My mom was one of those people who didn't like Bruce until she saw him in concert-- that was 30 years ago though. I think it's hysterical that people are still having that experience and trying to coerce non-Bruce fans that way. My partner is not a fan. We agree to disagree. She said this morning that the problem with not liking Springsteen and living here is that you have to vigorously defend yourself. People don't just accept it and move on. I just laughed.

  2. Heh.  When they hit the line in Wrecking Ball about the Giants, he got booed.  He milked the moment.

  3. Nigel from Cameroon10:33 AM

    Bruce, for me, is a lot of schtick now...concerts and music. But, you are right, 62! Props for that. And the man is commited to what he does, you know? Respect.

  4. Rumor has it that Bruce will be playing a concertat Magnetic Hill in Moncton, New Brunswick, in late-August.  I'm hoping other Canadian dates are on tap - especially one here in Calgary.  He hasn't played here since April 2003.  (The day Mike Weir won the Masters, actually.)

    Here's another Bruce question: how are people feeling about "Wrecking Ball", now that they've had a few weeks with it?  Me, I'm not really a fan; the more I listen to it, the less satisfying I find it.  He certainly goes after some low-hanging fruit in the lyrics (the "bankers" and "robber barons"...), and try as he might, the title track (and centerpiece of the album) is still just about a football stadium.  There are also a couple of calls to violence on the album that I'm pretty sure can't be interpreted as anything other than literal.

    I'm not part of the 1%, but listening to this album makes me feel like I am.

  5. I still think his bankers should "conveniently" lose his accounts until he makes an album rehabilitating them.

  6. You mean, stuff like this bothers you?

    <span>The banker man grows fat, working man grows thin</span>
    <span>It’s all happened before and it’ll happen again</span>
    <span>It’ll happen again, yeah they’ll bet your life</span>
    <span>I’m a jack of all trades, darling we’ll be all right</span>

    <span>Now sometimes tomorrow comes soaked in treasure and blood</span>
    <span>We stood the drought, now we’ll stand the flood</span>
    <span>There’s a new world coming, I can see the light</span>
    <span>I’m a jack of all trades, we’ll be all right</span>

    <span>So you use what you’ve got and you learn to make do</span>
    <span>You take the old, you make it new</span>
    <span>If I had me a gun, I’d find the bastards and shoot ’em on sight</span>
    <span>I’m a jack of all trades, we’ll be all right</span>
    <span>I’m a jack of all trades, we’ll be all right</span>

  7. Adam C.1:27 PM

    Going tonight too, and, since I forgot to bring my bag of clothes to change into when I hopped on the train to Harrisburg this morning, I'll be that asshole in a suit unless I manage to find the time to get back home first.

  8. Randy2:07 PM

    Well, yeah, Jack of All Trades is clearly the most egregious example of the things that bother me about the album.  :)  But is that the sound of a gun being cocked at 2:42 in "Death To My Hometown"?

  9. I think so.

  10. <span>"It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia." Frank Zappa</span>

  11. Hannah Lee11:18 PM


    The video was interesting...Bruce was entertaining and people were enjoying the show. That's been true of Bruce shows for a long time. But it did display the the bizarre modern state of people, in the midst of an awesome experience, stepping back to record a video of that experience on their phones, ending up with a video of a lot of other people recording the experience on their phones.

  12. Adam C.8:19 PM

    I noticed something similar on Philly Night 2, when Bruce crowd-surfed back to the stage; you could see many more hands in close proximity holding up smartphones taking video than hands that were actually supporting him.