― Patrick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Omar, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
I can't get worked up and annoyed about Bruce in the way I can about
some other rockers. He has an ear for a great line (the opening
of "Hungry Heart" for instance) and I can forgive him a lot for that.
He doesn't resonate with me and like the Replacements I think that's
a cultural thing.
I also - and this is totally subjective - never get the impression
Bruce ever thinks he's particularly cool. Which is not something I
can say of most other 'real rock'n'roller' types, mainstream or
― Tom, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
File under yet to be discovered. I was listening to an apologetic defence of his
work from Sean Rowley on the radio the other day, and it got me wondering
again. People of my generation's first real exposure to him was the 'Born in
the USA' air-punching era and that obviously wasn't likely to engender much
interest. Yes, I know it was all ironic.
What I have heard of his 70's stuff sounds like I might grow to love it. That
midwest blue-collar world his songs inhabit seems harder to relate to than
any other, but even in 1988, I had the feeling Paddy McAloon was missing the
point with the song 'Cars & Girls'.
At the moment, I'm afraid the song of his I like best is a 90s one - 'If I Should
Fall Behind', which I only know from the Grant McLellan cover version.
Badly Drawn Boy is a Springsteen obsessive, which I thought was quite cute.
― Nick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― matthew stevens, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Simon, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
And yes, Tom, he's got a very good ear for a line.
― Ally, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
I heard the version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" when I was
young and that is pretty spiff, I freely agree. Circa 1984, liking El
Bruce was unsurprising for me as that was a pretty damn good radio
year -- Chuck Eddy specifically called it as such in _Stairway to
Hell_, and he was goddamn right. Thus liking all that stuff he made
was a matter of course alongside all those singles from _Purple Rain_
and _Like A Virgin_ and etc.
Time went on and I proceeded to not care. I never cared enough to buy
an album anyway, and the 'classic early singles' only made sense in my
classic rock phase, which lasted about nine months in senior year.
Then I ended up in LA and encountered the first of Robert Hilburn's
345,234,843 printed sermons on How Bruce Springsteen Heals the Sick,
Raises the Dead and Means More to Human Existence Than the Combined
Efforts of Louis Pasteur, Billie Holiday and Charles Schulz. I
encountered other blowhards. The music touched me with the impact of
a dying flea. A roommate was obsessed with him to the point of near
mania. I cried.
Frankly, the Walkabouts any day of the goddamn week, month, year,
decade, century, etc. If the relative fame levels were reversed, I
would cling to this assumption with even more deep, abiding passion
because then I would have The People on my side. Even alone, though,
it's comfy. And Frankie Goes to Hollywood's version of "Born to Run"
is my fave.
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Sterling Clover, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
i actually liked born_in_the_u.s.a when it came out at age 7, but
later, i found it to be an obstacle in getting to love bruce, and i'm
sure there are a ton of artists out there whose work at that time has
kept people away from them.
as sterling said, it's funny what driving a car can do, especially
when it's another dark and lonely night out on an empty anonymous new
jersey highway and "born to run" comes on the highway. but i've been there, so i'll move on.
you can get by on the first five or so albums on the music and
production alone -- unless of course you hate phil spector and are,
therefore, destined to spend eternity in hell -- and the later stuff
will stick if you find something in the lyrics that rings far too
true. sure, he mines the same territory in a lot of his songs, but so
do belle & sebastian and so did the smiths; except the kids in
bruce's songs could kick the ass of their counterparts in the
ned, i think you have the same problem as tom: it's a cultural
― fred from new jersey, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
It's not a cultural thing; I mean for god's sake Motorcycle Emptiness
might as well be Bruce Springsteen on a literacy trip in terms of
subject, and I know Tom likes the song, and I believe Ned does too.
Whether that particular statement was tongue in cheek or not, it's a
tired excuse and reasoning, one usually used by the saddest of Bruce
Springsteen fans, the ones who "identify" with his sentiments,
seemingly losing track of the fact that BRUCE'S CHARACTERS NEVER
ACTUALLY MAKE IT OUT. Some positive role models to rock out to.
The thing is, I think it's the voice and the earnestness, which was
already said. The stylistic values of it....the basic cultural and
escape sentiments, lyrically, of Motorcycle Emptiness and Born to Run
might be very similar in tone, but the style and vocalisings are
entirely, 100% different. Bruce has a very sarcastic bent, a very
dark bent, lyrically, but his style of music softens the blow and
sometimes people just don't like it.
And those people are wrong, incidentally :P
― Ally, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
Nebraska is half good but doesn't deserve the plaudits it gets as the
Springsteen album it's cool to like.
The rest is pretty much DUD.
― alex thomson, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
Nevermind that Born in the USA was my first record not meant to
be played on the Fisher Price record player (with the STEEL
Nevermind the fact that Born to Run is one of the best driving
albums ever when your top is down and it's summer and the
road between Ventura and home stretches out and empty at
night with no cops...
Nevermind he has out Dylan-ed Dylan
Nevermind that he can outrage The Man as he pushes the dark
side of life. (41 Shots)
Nevermind the line "The record company Rosie, JUST GAVE ME
A BIG ADVANCE!"
Nevermind the Live box set, reminding us just how powerful he
Nevermind Time and Newsweek
Nevermind The cover of Jersey Girl
Nevermind the MTV Unplugged set where he scrapped the entire
notion of an acoustic show and just plugged in and tore down
Nevermind everyone on this list who called him a dud.
― JM, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
well, Bruce isn't *that* bad! ;)
― Omar, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
La Bruce just collectively calls to my mind a stunted bastard vision of
music that presumes he was the sole carrier of the 'spirit of rock and
roll truth' that the Beatles and Stones 'started' in the sixties. A
CLAIM I HAVE ENCOUNTERED MORE THAN ONCE, though thankfully not here,
and happily never from the man's own lips either, at least to my
knowledge. Without that rhetoric I would just shrug and ignore him for
somebody more interesting, but with it, frankly, he becomes a very very
useful target to kick against. Perhaps only a straw man, but one I
wouldn't mind seeing go up in flames.
― Ned Raggett, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
The boy has fallen off of late, but... I'm reminded of the Bangs
article where he describes how he dismissed this Maoist band as
sounding like Bruce, and the band replied "oh, good, the working
class like that stuff" or something of the sort, and I'm reading this
thinking -- no. no. no. The correct answer is "oh, good. Bruce
What I appreciate about Bruce is how he can capture the majesty of a
major chord. How so many of his songs have the same progression, but
you don't realize it 'till you try to play 'em yourself. How he can
take gospel music and write it to a girl instead. And yes, more of
them damn anthems.
I mean.. I know that anthems aren't an alien concept to the
UK -- after all, The Who were full of them. But maybe British anthems
are a different type a "get off of my cloud" or "sod off" type, more
cynical and pissy than dreamy and wide-eyed. Maybe this is, after
all, because America is The Big Country, The Great Bitch, et cet.
Maybe to get America you have to get just how there's always
somewhere you might go, maybe.
Along these lines, "Not Fade Away" which is a novel by Jim Dodge is a
great rock road story, sort of like the lighter side of Richard
Hell's "Go Now" or the more earnest(?) side of Bruce
McCullough's "Doors Fan" sketch (on his album, Shame-Based
Man). Yes. Get that spirit of the open highway.
― Sterling Clover, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Michael Daddino, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Mark Richardson, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
I will say, though, that I do lack a car and have never had one. That
might serve as a better explanation. ;-)
― Ned Raggett, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Patrick, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
I wish I wasn't misinterpreting.
― Otis Wheeler, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Ally, Tuesday, 27 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
Inspirational in some ways. I have often felt that England needed a
Springsteen, albeit not just a a copycat 'rocker'; I mean, someone who
would write about all the lost and found small-town lives. But to be
fair, I suppose there is already a UK tradition here: the probably
Jarvis Cocker is a case in point.
― the pinefox, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Robin Carmody, Friday, 2 March 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
― Michael Bourke, Sunday, 4 March 2001 01:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink
1. they don't understand that he's actually not as "pro-america" as
they might think he is
2. they don't have as close a connection to "old school" code (which
includes "old school" rock)
3. they are mostly college kids on their way up to some office job or
whatever that is removed (if not far removed) from the "underworld"
(the "blue collar" or "real" world) to get the lyrical sentiments
4. well, and...sometimes people just don't like something 'cause they
just don't like it
I, however, do not apply to any of those 4. For I actually do "get"
some of the appeal of Bruce (albeit, it took my until my mid or late
twenties to get there). Sure, his overly sentimental (downright
broadway or maudlin) look at the working class can be a bit (or a
bunch) too much. And sure, his music can be too simple and/or too
derivitive. But, that's a part of the whole. Familiarity in both music
and lyrics, is a large part of the appeal of his stuff (and those like
him, ala Mellencamp, etc). He just had the concept to put nearly a
whole career on the working class/blue collar life like no other has
(not in such a wide reaching broad sense, at least - other than
Mellencamp, but Bruce did it a bit better and first).
Having said all that, 'Nebraska' and 'Ghost of Tom Joad' are the only
two full albums that I would declare anywhere near a "classic" state
of existence (with 'Nebraska' being the one clear-cut vote). Many of
the rest of his 70's and 80's albums have some good solid worthy
singles on them, but. I can't go so far as to get 'The River' (for
example) anywhere near a "classic" nod. That one, in particular, I
find to be overrated (though still having the wonderful track "Stolen
Car" and the title track deserving of 'Nebraska'-like attention).
― michael g. breece, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink
Anyways, I forgot to mention to huge (to the point of shadowing)
element as to one of the why's (or why not's) of enjoy/appreciating
Bruce. Which is: DRIVING. Cars and driving is such a central and/or
reoccuring figure/subject in his work that...I can't believe I forgot
to touch upon that (only after reading some of the others posts, darn
it). But yea, I do LOVE to drive. Which also helps to explain the
appeal of Springsteen (to me, at least).
*By the way, I do own that McCulloch album 'Shame Based Man'
and...love it (some really funny stuff and one of the very rare
comedy albums worthy of many plays - if not it's own discussion here
on "I Love Music"...anyone?). Every single one of my girlfriends (one
present, others past) hated it. "And if (after torching the stolen
car) you can still hear the Doors playing...then you have become...a
DOORS...FAN!" I'm not a Doors fan, however.
― michael g. breece, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink
― the pinefox, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink
I hadn't listened to this record in a couple of years, but god, it
still sounded great. Actually, I kept getting shivers down my spine
when it was playing and it had me close to tears a few times (mostly
on "Thunder Road" and "Backstreets.") Listening to this today finally
settled an ILM debate for me: Music can never affect me quite as much
now as it did when I was a teenager. No record I've heard in the last
few years, including Loveless, has had as much affect on me as
Born to Run did this morning, and I know it's not just
because Born to Run is such a great album. This is a record
that got to me when I was young and emotionally vulnerable in a way
that I'm not anymore, at the age of 32. I still feel music very
deeply and appreciate and enjoy a wider range of music than ever, but
music doesn’t completely overpower me the way it did when I was 15.
Springsteen is still a big classic, by the way, despite all the
incredibly corny lines on Born to Run.
― Mark, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink
― DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
"candy's room" is the grebtest song ever written about being in love w. a prostitute when you sound a bit like david bowie
― mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Is this a new genre? Cos that'd be fucking incredible.
I still love Bruce Springsteen. Put on Rosalita and you will see me go insane.
― Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 05:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― alext (alext), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 11:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Oh, I agree, it's still gross (just not as gross as Swift).
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 02:34 (eight months ago) Permalink
Shocking no one, all sorts of fuck up stories with this system, and hey, look, tickets already showing up on Stub Hub for a few thousand dollars.
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 14:57 (eight months ago) Permalink
After listening to Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town a lot this week, it's fair to say that I've changed my mind about Bruce.
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 15:46 (eight months ago) Permalink
Yeah I mean his image and earnestness was unpalatable to a 90s alt rock loving like myself but when I actually listened to his records, I realised what an incredible artist he is.
― Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:15 (eight months ago) Permalink
90s alt rock loving teen
― Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:16 (eight months ago) Permalink
I think I'm more of a fan of the Bruce that writes songs and makes records than Bruce the stadium rock'n'roll preacher guy.
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 16:41 (eight months ago) Permalink
"Darkness" is probably my favourite. Everything from '75 to '87 is great. A synth-pop fan like yourself would like "Tunnel of Love" I think
― Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:30 (eight months ago) Permalink
stadium Bruce is crucial tho (for me anyway) - creating what feels like an intimate, shared experience for THAT many ppl is a gift. it looks corny outside the show experience...hell it can be pretty corny during it sometimes...but godammit i love how hard he works to make me feel like i spent my money on something special/worthwhile
― Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:33 (eight months ago) Permalink
he is incredible live, you'll be totally won over. He played a mammoth 4 hour show in Limerick a few years and i went out for a pint once
― Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:36 (eight months ago) Permalink
like, he's giving 3+ hour shows on the regular when a lot of acts have to push to do 2+ hours as a special treat ffs
dude is cognizant of his role as an entertainer & he has made it his life's work to try to live up to that for every audience at every show
it's pretty great
― Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 17:40 (eight months ago) Permalink
More impressively, the last couple E Street tours (well, maybe not The River Redux tour) they ended up playing some 170 songs or something. Yeah, tons of covers, and yeah, teleprompter, but who the fuck cares about that? Any band that could be so on the ball that they could play dozens of different songs at the drop of the hat is something awe inspiring.
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 19:07 (eight months ago) Permalink
Your teleprompter article left out some important points. Last E Street tour, (”Working On A Dream”) we played 192 different songs on that tour alone. Dozens of those songs were from audience-request signs Bruce would collect and dump in front of the drum riser. He would then rifle through them, sailing them around him until he found a song to attempt — much like the college kid rummaging through the pile of dirty laundry in search of one clean shirt.Many of those audibles were Bruce songs unrehearsed or played in years or decades. With our collective musical memory, hand signals and teleprompter, it allows for those ambitious, ad lib moments and an inspired, musical recklessness I believe is unique to our shows. These points might have brought some additional perspective to your article. In our case, the teleprompter has a much more ambitious use and purpose than your article indicates.
Many of those audibles were Bruce songs unrehearsed or played in years or decades. With our collective musical memory, hand signals and teleprompter, it allows for those ambitious, ad lib moments and an inspired, musical recklessness I believe is unique to our shows. These points might have brought some additional perspective to your article. In our case, the teleprompter has a much more ambitious use and purpose than your article indicates.
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 19:09 (eight months ago) Permalink
― Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 20 September 2017 19:21 (eight months ago) Permalink
i really really hope bruce's teleprompter tells nils exactly when to do a backflip. i can see how a guitarist could forget to do that otherwise!
― fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 22:17 (eight months ago) Permalink
I guess this explains why when the band struck up "Thunder Road" Bruce just started reciting Clinton's 1994 State of the Union address.
― President Keyes, Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:22 (eight months ago) Permalink
I'm finding I'm enjoying all of his records for different reasons: the big production and heart-on-sleeve emoting of Born to Run, the leaner and meaner Darkness on the Edge of Town, the sprawl of The River, the quieter, more intimate and in places quite unsettling Nebraska, and the "I'm going to go for a huge commercial blockbuster" vibe of Born in the USA...
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 21 September 2017 19:09 (eight months ago) Permalink
Like, each of his so-called classic albums has its own distinct feel/vibe/approach that it's become apparent to me that "stadium rock'n'roll preacher" is just one side of what he does, and realising this is what's opened me up more to his music.
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 21 September 2017 19:11 (eight months ago) Permalink
I'm guessing Bruce's live schtick is much better when you're in the thick of it.
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Thursday, 21 September 2017 19:15 (eight months ago) Permalink
He's pretty undeniable live.
I agree, though, that I think of his albums as pretty distinct from one another. Obviously the guy left behind or gave away dozens of great songs, and he's said he regrets not releasing more albums, but I wonder if doing so would have robbed what he did release of their self-contained (and semi-mythic) qualities.
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:26 (eight months ago) Permalink
Yeah, I think it would have done. Springsteen's classic-era catalogue is strange in that there's not really any record that feels "transitional", they all feel so distinct. I suppose there would have been if he'd put out more records. I like that he was able to be picky with his material.
The gap between his breakthrough with Born to Run and the follow-up could have been potentially career-killing back then. If people back then were putting out a record every year, and these days it's roughly three years on average between records, then in 2017 terms it would be like an artist breaking through this year and not putting out the follow-up until 2026.
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 23 September 2017 10:09 (seven months ago) Permalink
i hate almost everything about tracks and as a general rule i find his outtakes to sound distinctly like ... outtakes. i think he's a really good editor and selector of his own material, and i therefore think he has put out exactly the correct amount of albums, especially during that long initial run of consistent greatness.
(i've always wondered, on the other hand, what he might have produced if he wrote/recorded/worked more in the '90s. but he was raising his kids, and if that's what he most wanted to, um, produce, more power to him for that.)
― fact checking cuz, Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:14 (seven months ago) Permalink
The Ghost of Tom Joad is really good even though its kinda Nebraska Revisited
― Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:22 (seven months ago) Permalink
Well, if Human Touch and Lucky Town are any indication...
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:22 (seven months ago) Permalink
Those albums have the odd good tune in fairness. The title tracks of both are great. Came out in the grunge era and Bruce just felt redundant at the time
― Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:25 (seven months ago) Permalink
I do like Tunnel of Love, though!
― more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:26 (seven months ago) Permalink
it took me a long long long time to come around to tunnel of love but yeah it's pretty damn great. the title track of human touch is way up there in my bruce pantheon but the mediocrity ratio is pretty high on that one and lucky town. i've always penalized ghost of tom joad for not being nebraska, which is #1 bruce for me.
― fact checking cuz, Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:22 (seven months ago) Permalink
Always preferred the Fun Boy Three "Tunnel of Love" myself, but maybe it is time to give this one another listen.
― Merry-Go-Sorry Somehow (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:30 (seven months ago) Permalink
So many lovely songs on Lucky Town. Like
So simple, yet so Springsteen. I think it's the performances/production that ultimately lets the songs down on these albums.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:33 (seven months ago) Permalink
Ghost of Tom Joad is amazing, has a very eerie feel to it
― Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:48 (seven months ago) Permalink
I think that's a very good example of an album perhaps unfairly underrated for not being something it never tried to be (Nebraska II). But that period was absolutely essential for his rebirth as Mythic Bruce. The 90s albums (and band) just rubbed people the wrong way. Then Bruce comes back with "Tom Joad" (and with a goatee), a spare reboot, and embarks on a really important and very personal solo tour that allowed him to reconnect with his catalog and fans unencumbered by band and baggage. That tour also, iirc, showed how funny and colorful he could be, which is ironic, given that it hinged on such a not funny album. Either way, right after that reboot he restarts the E Street Band and things turn around. I forget when he apparently started treating his depression, but it might have been around this period, too.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 September 2017 15:55 (seven months ago) Permalink
i fully acknowledge that my "sorry tom joad, but you're no nebraska" prejudice is unfair. but i can't help hearing it that way.
― fact checking cuz, Saturday, 23 September 2017 17:10 (seven months ago) Permalink
Well, it's no "Nebraska" ! But I think a lot of its attributes came out during the subsequent tour and the "Devils & Dust" solo tour. Which was awesome, and introduced spooky surprises like this:
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 23 September 2017 17:12 (seven months ago) Permalink
Rehearsing “Cuts Like A Knife” with its author:
― Eazy, Friday, 13 October 2017 03:04 (seven months ago) Permalink
I think that may be the only Bryan Adams song he knows. He covered it several years back for a benefit, too.
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 13 October 2017 12:11 (seven months ago) Permalink
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 13 October 2017 12:17 (seven months ago) Permalink
Anyone got tickets for the Broadway run? Sounds incredible:
― heaven parker (anagram), Friday, 13 October 2017 12:24 (seven months ago) Permalink
Hmm. I'm sure it's great, but I don't know about that. Like I noted earlier, he's done solo tours before, behind Devils & Dust and Tom Joad, each with stories, jokes, one-offs, impulsive setlists. This is a set setlist, apparently, with scripted bits from his book and elsewhere. Again, I'm sure it's good, he's an incredible performer, but not sure how this is necessarily better than the aforementioned. If it makes him and others happy ...
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 13 October 2017 12:36 (seven months ago) Permalink
True, but I think it's possible to overemphasize how unscripted those earlier solo concerts were. Knowing Springsteen's approach to stagecraft, I'm pretty sure that the stories and jokes in those were fairly well rehearsed. Plus, the review I linked to above makes the point that the bits from the book take on a new life when performed. Finally, this theatre is a lot smaller than any place he played on the D&D/TJ tours, so it'd be worth seeing for that reason alone. Not that I've got tickets...
― heaven parker (anagram), Friday, 13 October 2017 14:43 (seven months ago) Permalink
Earlier in his career, the skinny, junk-food eating star would become so exhausted that trainer, Phil Dunphy, once claimed “they used to have to carry him offstage”.
― fuck you, your hat is horrible (Neanderthal), Thursday, 23 November 2017 19:15 (five months ago) Permalink
On this same stretch of 99, I once wrote a story about farmworkers who moonlighted as meth cookers to make ends meet. Bruce Springsteen turned it into a song on his Ghost of Tom Joad album. More than one ballad was about the valley, so he came to Fresno. The William Saroyan Theatre was packed that October 1996 night. Halfway through his solo performance, he interrupted his set to tell us a piggy bank had been set up by the exit to donate money to the “hardworking men and women in the fields.’’ When the concert was over, I took my wife and children backstage to meet him. As we sat down to chat, one of his assistants leaned over and whispered into his jewel-studded ear. Springsteen shook his head and smiled a thin, ironic smile. Then he turned and faced me. “Tell me,” he asked, though it wasn’t entirely a question. “What kind of place is this? Not a single penny was put in that piggy bank.”
Anyway, Broadway run extended to Dec. 15th! I'm seeing it in a couple of weeks.
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 21 March 2018 20:59 (two months ago) Permalink
who’s the quote from?
― Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 22 March 2018 02:30 (two months ago) Permalink
It's from some epic (but worth your time) reported piece:
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 22 March 2018 03:29 (two months ago) Permalink
So Springsteen On Broadway was as corny/inspiring/rousing/entertaining as any of his shows, but I was really surprised how big a roll mortality plays in the narrative, as well as the overall sense of sadness. It's a really moving show that hinges a lot on intimacy and vulnerability.
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 April 2018 04:49 (one month ago) Permalink
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 April 2018 13:00 (one month ago) Permalink
saw it too, back in Oct I think. I am not a Bruce obsessive by any stretch, and was pretty unfamiliar with his on-stage schtick. Loved it and was repeatedl struck by the artifice he acknowledges in himself. Thought it was cool that he did that while at the same time making some moving points via the spoken sections. I assume those were lifted from his book?
― tobo73, Thursday, 19 April 2018 13:13 (one month ago) Permalink
Some of them are. Some of them were different, some of them were expanded. Also, he's made a few slight changes since then. For example, there is a brief section about the March for Our Lives movement. I was struck by just how personal it seems, even for him. There is a weird balance, between an admission of artifice and what seems to be painful, really close to the bone honesty, a fear of the unknown, but also this strange fatalism. I can't believe he does this every night.
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 April 2018 13:18 (one month ago) Permalink
I was really surprised how big a roll mortality plays in the narrative
my friend who i saw it with last week asked me, as we were walking out, "is he dying?"
as corny/inspiring/rousing/entertaining as any of his shows
agree completely with this. his stories about his mother and especially his father, who looms enormously large in this show, left me in puddles of tears. also, in case anyone forgot, dude is an amazing storyteller.
my two nitpicks:
he and patti are terrible harmonizing together. it's astonishing how not-together they still are, more than a half year into the run. it's weird.
about two-thirds of the way through the show, he kind of gives up on the narrative. like he didn't quite finish writing his own play.
but it really is a tremendous performance.
― fact checking cuz, Thursday, 19 April 2018 15:17 (one month ago) Permalink
There's an undercurrent of therapy coursing throughout the entire thing. I agree his harmonies with his wife are pretty not good, but given the song selections it feels and looks like two people working through some stuff in real time, in public. The fact that this is a one man show ... except for two (of his best, but still thematically awkward) songs with his wife, who otherwise doesn't even play a small part in the narrative, says a lot. But yeah, after that he drops any real pretense of narrative at all.
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 April 2018 15:26 (one month ago) Permalink
yeah, that's the exact point where the narrative ends. the other thing my friend said as we were walking out: "did he mention his kids?" answer: no. which also seemed weird, especially in a show that devotes so much time to processing his memories abnd feelings about his father and mother. but then again, this is his therapy, not mine.
― fact checking cuz, Thursday, 19 April 2018 15:31 (one month ago) Permalink
Huh, I'd never seen this:
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 16 May 2018 19:49 (six days ago) Permalink