Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce at the Rock

Just a moment to blog here – I just got back from seeing Bruce Springsteen live at Rockefeller Center (which is just a block from my office). It was awesome (and a good deal more fun than last night’s Mets game, which I was at Shea for, and which quickly turned from desperation to a funereal atmosphere). Granted, I couldn’t see Bruce from where I was standing, and I couldn’t hear nearly any of what he said when he bantered with or hectored the crowd or chatted with Matt Lauer, but (a) I was still closer to the stage than I have been for the three times I saw him in concert, and (b) hey, it’s free. It was sort of surreal, since I was across the street and while Bruce was playing there were an endless stream of cabs, trucks, cop cars, buses, etc. streaming by. I also got to see Tim Russert, who wandered in front of one of the big panoramic second-floor windows on his cell phone and waved to the crowd.
Bruce was scheduled to go on at about 8:30, but he came out to do a warmup at 8am sharp – and oddly, he played “The Promised Land,” which he then played a second time as his opener on the air. Bruce and the band both sounded great. After that he played two of the new songs that for various reasons I had not heard previously. First was “Radio Nowhere,” which rocks, and if anything reminded me of “Trouble River,” but bouncier. Second up, and preceded by some political screed about tearing up the Constitution and whatnot (I couldn’t make out enough of it to really be irritated, and besides, we know Bruce’s politics by now) was “Living in the Future,” which has a real vintage E Street Band feel to it. Then he did a fairly somber version of “My Hometown,” and came back out (I assume for the last time – I left a few minutes later) for an encore of “Night,” a little bit of an odd choice at 9am but the longtime Bruce fans in the crowd ate it up.
UPDATE: From YouTube, audio of Bruce doing “Radio Nowhere” in Asbury Park Tuesday night:

And here is “Living in the Future”

It would appear that Bruce may have done one more song after I left….grrr.

8 thoughts on “Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce at the Rock”

  1. I’ve seen Springsteen live about 200 times – -everything from half empty clubs on the Jersey shore to sold out stadiums in Australia. His politics were always left of center, but the expressed opinions were measured, informed by modesty and a certain respect for the opposing side. But when Kerry lost the ’04 election Bruce went completely off the deep end, and judging from this morning’s deranged comments to a national television audience this hasn’t changed. Now, it’s possible for honest people to honorably disagree over such issues as illegal immigration, extraordinary rendition, and warrantless wiretaps. But Springsteen publicly crucifies Republicans for policies and practices that he ignores when done by Democrats, in the process offering a left wing alternate history to justify his hypocrisy.
    Springsteen used to be a wonderful artist, now days he’s just Cindy Sheehan with a guitar.

  2. Never liked him. Don’t like him even more since he decided to inflict his political opinions on his audience. To quote Laura Ingraham, “Shut up, and sing!”

  3. With you all the way Joe Schwind. I loved Springsteen in high school, owned all his albums and identified with a lot of the angst. Looking back, the songs are usually about blue collar characters yes, but they don’t glorify the characters beyond their own humanity and his songs did not attack any groups or ideas, they were mostly apolitical.
    I am guessing it is because he is older and more idealistic than practical. I always say that it is easy for people like George Soros or celebrities to espouse socialist concerns for the poor because they can afford to. It’s a little harder when you work 50 hours a week to support a family of six and just want to spend time with them at the end of the day. Even if he was right, he could be more polite. People go to hear music about teen angst, not diatribes against people who love their country and their families.

  4. “Cindy Sheehan with a guitar”!! That is classic Joe. I’ve been a Bruce fan since 1981 and always suspected he was a lib but he had the good sense to leave that matter private. Now he’s so in your face about it that I can’t imagine going to another show. Kinda sad, but I’ll find other things to do.

  5. I was as big a Springsteen fan as anyone, until he “…went completely off the deep end”
    and began “…espousing socialist concerns because he could afford to” as Joe Schwind and Sherwood so perfectly write.
    Call me dumb, I guess. I was one of those people stupid enough to buy into his “…this
    train is for everyone…” bullshit.
    I believed him that I could climb on board “this train” even though I might have come from a different family life than Springsteen or had slightly different values, different religious beliefs or even slightly different political beliefs. I took him for his word that we all could “climb aboard” whether we were “saints or sinners, losers or winners, lost souls, whores or gamblers” or however in the hell he wants to put it nowadays.
    Yup, I believed him. Until he (and his ‘church’ of ‘followers’) started spewing the same kind of hatred, elitism and snobbery that he / they profess to despise.
    It is sad, as Paul states above. I almost found myself enjoying several of the new songs off the new release. That is, until Springsteen started talking and stopped singing, and I was slapped back into reality.

  6. Bruce Springsteen grew up in the sixties,when music was an integral part of a cultural revolution that changed the world by opening it up.He was singing about it 15 and 25 and 35 years ago-you guys may have listened then but you weren’t hearing.Kind of like Coulter,who claims to be a DeadHead-she may have been at a few concerts,but she wasn’t there.
    Fortunately for tightassed pretenders like yourselves who like to tap your foot to the beat,it’s a revolution we won and you get to share the benefits.So shut up and listen.

  7. Hey BobS., can I have a little of what you’re smoking?? To quote Terrance Mann………..”peace, love, dope!!”

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