Thinking About the Boss

I’ve been a Bruce Springsteen fan dating back to 1975, just prior to the release of Born to Run. The live broadcast of his concert from The Bottom Line probably sealed the deal for me, but when I saw him at C.W. Post, I was hooked. Rarely have I seen rock and roll played with such gusto. At the time, the rock concerts were getting bigger with elaborate stage design, pyrotechnics and special effects were increasingly in vogue. Some, like the Blue Oyster Cult, integrated them well, others began to slip into Las Vegas mode (see the Rolling Stones’ tour of that era).
Springsteen and the E Street Band were true showman, rocking the house with their music, their instruments and their interplay. Sure, a lot of it was choreographed; by they were loose enough to improvise on the fly which made for terrific memories.
Having seen him steadily ever since, I’ve built up an understanding of his music and his performances. Long ago I concluded that television was not the best medium with which to see him. The concert clips give you some idea of what’s going on and even things like his Today Show appearances have been okay but they still lack the immediacy of seeing him live.
As a result, watching him last night at the Super Bowl, I knew how to process the information. Deb said he appeared flat and the idiot at The New York Times panned the 12 minute set. Instead, I knew it was flat because television sound doesn’t transport you the way an arena’s sound system can. The camera cuts here and there, depriving of you the sense of wonder as the band interacts with one another while the Boss is doing his thing.
I thought he did a great job squeezing four songs into 12 minutes. Adding the extra horns was a nice touch although I could have done without the choir. He was pumped up, excited, energetic and conveyed that to the crowd on the field and to us at home. This was the finest halftime show in years.
Fortunately, today, tickets went on sale for the new tour in support of his latest release. Deb and I furiously clicked through to Ticketmaster and I beat her by a Pico second. My seat offer was far better than hers but hey, we scored tickets for Hartford. And it’ll be a generational party since we grabbed one for Kate who will join us as a belated birthday gift.
Now how cool is that?


  • Donald Propsom

    That’s great! I haven’t had the chance to see Springsteen, but I’ve always heard he puts on a great show. I am somewhat sad that by the time my son (and soon-to-be daughter) are old enough to go to concerts the influential musicians of my youth will be long gone. Many of them are already long-in-the-tooth or gone already.

  • Susan O

    I love him, seen him twice, and my friends are going, but the price is out of my league. The only thing I paid that much for was Simon & Garfunkel, and that was only because they’d never toured in my lifetime and probably wouldn’t again – an unforgettable show worth twice as much. Worst concert? Suffering through Hilary Duff with a group of 8 year olds. Unless you count the Beach Boys, who showed up THREE HOURS late because of traffic, and by then I didn’t care.
    Enjoy! (and bring earplugs, because you’ll be deaf for three days afterward)

  • Paul Balze

    Very cool, Bob. Never been to a Springsteen concert myself, but I hear they’re fantastic.
    My must-see act is R.E.M., which I’ve seen five times since 1995. Even when the current albums were less than thrilling (Up, Reveal, Around the Sun), the shows were a blast.

  • gordon

    Agree with you about Bruce’s appearance and was confused when some football players on ESPN said he needed to get in shape! Weird! The show spurred me to buy my seventh set of Bruce tickets.
    The best was the first time while i was in college, where we got the 4 hour show including Christmas and cover tunes. Second best was the vote for Change concert with REM, Neil Young, Bright eyes and John Fogerty–what passion!

  • Dawn S.

    I always try to get tickets when he comes around as I’m a huge fan. He’s one of my favorite live performers, you get your money’s worth at the Boss’ concerts.
    I was happy to get two tickets in a decent section myself. Maybe we’ll run into you in Hartford!

  • jeff strell

    The CW Post show really was great. Did you know that the Christmas staple “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” was recorded at that show?

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