Friday, March 16, 2012

Bruce Springsteen in Austin

A few quick and random notes about the show. I've got pictures. They will come later.

Bruce played a whole show, just about 2.5 hours. Very similar set to Apollo and Michele Moore was there to do the rap. Tom Morello was there too and along with the 2 songs he does on the new album, he did Ghost of Tom Joad. Seeds with a horn section will blow your clothes off (sorry, couldn't resist the movie reference). With Bruce trying to mix despair with fun, some segues didn't work. The energy from Seeds into E Street Shuffle was good, but a little weird. Jake did a great job. The solo on Thunder Road though is actually a quartet of horns playing all at once. He liked to trot out the horn section, bringing them up front 3 times I believe. With a five foot stage and a foot and a half from the audience, Bruce couldn't resist stage diving. Actually it was more like falling backwards and praying that people would catch him. It worked both times. Then, he jumped on the railing were there was a big guy (two separate places) and held hands with the guy to keep his balance. Visualize that for a minute if you can. It was pretty fricken scary to watch a 60+ do that right in front of you. Jimmie Cliff came out and played 3 songs including No Woman No Cry and The Harder They Come. At the keynote speech, Bruce called Eric Burdon the ugliest singer in rock and roll history. He didn't know Eric was in town. Obviously, Eric didn't hear what Bruce said about him because he came on stage and they ripped through a great version of We Got To Get Out of This Place. The finale was This Land Is Your Land. Jimmy didn't come out but everyone else did, including Alejandro Escovedo, members of Low Anthem, Garland Jefferys, members of Arcade Fire, Joe Ely and Tom Morello.

Some personal notes... The crowd wasn't typical with plenty of virgins there. Still, the place is so small, I think everyone, even in the balcony, felt like they were in the pit. So the whole place was singing; at least the ones that knew the lyrics. I really miss the mandolin and the stronger beat on Land of Hope and Dreams. Still, it works. At the Apollo, you could hear Bruce huffing and puffing after the first set of songs. Austin confirmed that Bruce is getting a bit older. Still, he was jumping off the piano; so his knees are still intact. He put on a hell of a show (always great when you're on the rail I suppose) tonight; one of my favorites. There were 3 virgins around me and they were all blown away. That's what it is all about, isn't it?

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Music Hall Link - Alejandro Escovedo listen