I live in a village with the highest per capita number of Bruce Springsteen fans outside of New Jersey. Four neighbours have already seen multiple dates on the current Springsteen tour including the legendary Madrid gig where Springsteen played his longest show yet with three hours and forty minutes of on stage time.I myself have been a Springsteen fan since I saw the Old Grey Whistle test broadcast of Rosalita.I was twelve years old when I saw that clip and it was shortly after seeing Bruce Springsteen on The OGWT that I was inspired to form my first band.In the past thirty years I have racked up half a dozen Springsteen shows but thats nothing compared to my neighbours total which runs into the hundreds.
Manchester on June 22 was wet,cold and miserable enough for me to spend the final hour before the Boss hit the stage wishing that I had stayed home with a DVD and a glass of red wine but what kind of strange magic did Springsteen unleash in order to stop the rain shortly before he came on and to raise the temperature so that the cold meant nothing for the duration of the three hour show?
A Springsteen show is closer to a religious revival meeting than a standard rock and roll concert.By that I don’t mean that Springsteen expects his fans to worship him (although a fair bit of that is in evidence) but that Springsteen projects and inspires belief like a preacher.His show is life affirming and inspiring in a way that no other is. Springsteen carries no rock star baggage ,no stage props or massive lighting rig and he drives the audience with a performance thats states loudly “I am here to have fun and my job is to make you have fun too.”
Within this uplifting show is room for remembrance of friends who have passed and the concert contained several memorable and moving moments in tribute to Clarence Clemons who was represented not just by the heart stopping picture collage half way through Tenth Avenue Freezeout, when the music stopped and Springsteen stood stock still watching Clarences photos projected onto the big screen, but also by the presence of Clarence’s nephew ,Jake,who received a standing ovation everytime he played one of his uncles sax solos.
There is a recognition of our mortality in Springsteens shows with the loss of both Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons acknowledged in the performance (and somehow this is translated to those of us who have also lost people close to us as a shared loss) but this is balanced by the celebration of life within this three hour event.
Springsteen is a great songwriter far from the one dimensional cliche of a writer of songs about cars and girls.His latest album, Wrecking Ball, tackles the current financial crisis with the same natural ease as he dealt with the September 11th terrorist acts on The Rising album.He has written hundreds of quality songs in various styles that all still sound like Springsteen.The musical well he draws from is deep and contains folk,old school RNB,powerpop,american rock and roll,Irish music and straight ahead rock but for all that he makes good,sometimes great,records the true Springsteen experience is seeing the live show.
I bumped into Mark who sings with one of our wedding bands,The Docs, at the pre Springsteen show Badlands fan club party.”I’ve come for tips on how to be a great frontman from the governor,” said Mark. If you book a function band from Live Music Management that acknowledges the brilliance of Springsteen you will not go far wrong!