Oh crap, the Springsteen concert! It went down last Monday and I completely forgot to blog about it. Me am smart.
Long story short, it was pretty spectacular. I'm saying this from the perspective of a long-time and pseudo-semi hardcore Bruce fan. I can see how it could be differently interpreted from a more casual observer. I went with my friend Lori, whose knowledge of the Boss is largely limited to his big hits, and while she enjoyed the show, she wished Bruce could've played a few more of his classics. This is the rub of attending a Springsteen concert. Bruce is known for playing a wide variety of songs in his setlist over a tour, including not just his hits but any number of random tunes. Monday's show, for example, featured such old album tracks as Darlington County, For You, Candy's Room and even Thundercrack, a 35-year-old b-side. For hardcore fans, this is terrific -- I was sitting there saying "holy crap" over and over again since I never thought I'd be hearing some of these songs. Since part of fun of attending a concert is hearing your favourites, however, I could see how a Bruce experience may not be suited to the more casual fan. It's not like none of the hits were played, I should point out. The encore featured a back-to-back shot of Born To Run and Dancing In The Dark, which ended the show on a rousing note. But perhaps it might've been better had some of the hits been spread out a bit more throughout the show to keep the energy level up.
Ok, I'm now done telling Bruce Springsteen how to do his job. The highlights for me were the aforementioned Darlington County, which featured a great sax/violin duet, and Reason To Believe, which you may recall as an acoustic number from Nebraska. It's been revived as a bluesy rocker with the 'Spirit in the Sky' guitar riff and a harmonica solo included. Livin' In The Future was the best of the new songs...aw, dammit, I didn't even do a review of the new Magic album. It was good. Man, where is my memory going? All of these easy blog topics that I'm passing up. Next thing you know I'll forget to post about that time I met Scarlett Johansson. That was a great day...(McBain voice) in bed. I wonder if Bruce ever regrets his first name, since it has single-handedly prevented him from ever hearing full-fledged applause from an audience. No matter how good he is, there will always be an affectionate 'Brrruuuuce' chant. These are the kinds of problems that would've been avoided had he adopted Laszlo Springsteen as a stage name. Or Hawksley Springsteen. Did you know 'Hawksley Workman' is a stage name? That's so disappointing.
In terms of ambiance, sitting at five o'clock in the upper level of the ACC is a bit different than my last Bruce concert experience, which was on the floor about 15 feet away from the Boss. Had we been that close again, Lori would've been called up onto the stage during Dancing in the Dark, and then gone on to star in a hit sitcom in 10 years. The role of me in this sitcom would be played by Evan Handler. On the bright side about our seats, we were right up by the Leafs' Stanley Cup banners. I noticed the long stretch between 1951 and 1962 without a Cup (a.k.a. the Bill Barilko curse gap) and I'm sure that those old-time fans probably thought 11 years was an eternity without a Toronto Cup. Sigh. Lucky bastards.