Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bruce Springsteen 2009

Cpt. Sweetie and I went to last night's Bruce Springsteen concert at Xcel. Last time we saw him in concert was *mumblety-mumble* years ago, and we hadn't done any reading up on what to expect from this performance. So we were taking bets on what album his opening number would be from, whether or not Max Weinberg would make it, and who replaced the much missed Danny Federici.

Our tickets were general admission, and we meant to be the kind of GA ticket holders who were cool and concert savvy, and not to look like a couple of dorks with kids who were out for the evening recapturing our lost youth. Or not to look like embarrassing old farts.

Face it--for a guy hitting 60 on his next birthday, Bruuuuuuce! was awesome--currently he has to be the hardest working guy in rock, hollering and cajoling and making the crowd work for enough noise to satisfy him. And there's no way I want to be shown up by some guy that much older than I am.

To tell the truth, a concert is a different experience as an adult than it was a teen-ager; for one thing, the image turns out to be less important. When the audience is primarily a bunch of people who have to go back to the office in the morning, you get a very different vibe than when it's a bunch of kids who are going to sleep through home room anyway.

But rock 'n' roll is eternal, right? And to truly be a rock'n'roller, there are certain expectations of behavior--expectations that were not met for the most part. So, for future antropologists, I offer a listing of the elements of the evening, along with a break-down of how it should have been, how it was for most of the people at the concert, and how Cpt. Sweetie and I did it. You will notice, of course, that while Cpt. Sweetie and I were not necessarily conforming to the rocker stereotype, we were nevertheless much cooler than most.

Arriving at the concert:

Rock & Roll Way: By motorcycle.

Most Popular Way: By minivan or SUV, suitable for carpooling the hockey team and equipment.

Actual Way: In hybrid, parking 3 blocks away and saving $22 in parking fees.


Rock & Roll Way: Enthusiastically but still cool.

Most Popular Way: Stiffly.

Actual Way: Totally cool and much younger than our years.

In Front of the Stage:

Rock & Roll Way: Like Courtney Cox in Dancing in the Dark video.

Most Popular Way: Pulling out camera phones.

Actual Way: About 40 feet back and standing on tip-toe to see over the crowd.

Up Close & Personal:
Bruce pulled up a chair in front of a cute blonde woman at the front of the stage and sang "I'm On Fire" to her--perhaps one of the sexiest songs he's ever written. Her response is categorized below.

Rock & Roll Way: Gaze soulfully into his eyes and make him forget about Patti back at home with the kids. (This is what I would have done, and Patti Scialfa is just lucky I was too far back. I'm just saying.)

Most Popular Way: Gasp and giggle and be embarrassed.

Actual Way: Look away to pull up camera phone and take picture.

Bruce interacting with the girls in the front row:

Rock & Roll Way: Looking at them in a way that promises everything

Most Popular Way: Putting his hand out for them to touch.

Actual Way: Getting down in front and getting the 11 year olds in the front to sing along with songs they didn't know. Hmmm--must be a sign of age.

Roaming Around On Stage:

Rock & Roll Way: Energeticly, endlessly, hyperactively

Most Popular Way (E Street Band): Stiffly. (So would you, if you'd had both hips replaced like Clarence Clemens)

Actual Way (Springsteen): Endlesslessly, enthusiastically, sweatily.

Best Looking Guy On Stage:

Rock & Roll Way: Lead singer.

Most Popular Way: Lead singer and/or guitarist (occasionally this is the same person), or otherwise promoted to the front of the stage.

Actual Way: Drummer's 18 year old son, on drums for first hour of show. Yes, Max, we still love you, but it's okay if you send Jay in your place--we'll keep him.

Next morning hangover/headache:

Rock & Roll Way: Liberally pulling from hip flask during concert, and totally overdoing it at the afterparty.

Most Popular Way: Lack of strong coffee at venue to counteract the Bud Light.

Actual Way: ???
I woke up with a headache that was so bad that it made my ears ring. What did I drink at the show? Nothing. What did I drink after the show? Caffeine-free Diet Coke. And I KNOW there is no such thing as a Diet Coke hangover. Could it have been a change in atmospheric pressure? Was the ringing in my ears the cause and not the symptom--could the concert have actually been too loud?

Nah. Couldn't have been that. At no time did the music actually cause my heart beat to stutter, so it couldn't have been THAT loud.

Excellent review and photos from the concert are here.


Anonymous said...

Another great show as Springsteen steamrolls his way across America. We are researching a new volume on Darkness on the Edge of Town and would like to contact any fans that attended any of the 1978 shows or that have any photos from that tour. visit: http://www.thelightinDarkness.com Cheers

Cate Ross said...

Sadly, I missed that one and saw The River. Not much help, I'm afraid.