Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Bruce Springsteen

Again, my heartfelt thanks to She Who Must Not Be Named for giving us the tickets to last night's show. I've warned her not to read the review to spare herself the need to get all stabbity with her dpns but you know she will. It's like telling someone "don't pick at that, it'll scar!" Y'all just know there's going to be a scar there, don't you?

I believe it was Armistead Maupin who wrote that (and I'm paraphrasing from memory here, so I may be a little off) "every generation produces one male star over whom it is OK for the straight boys to get a little queer. This generation's is Bruce Springsteen."

Last night's concert proved this, for me, without a doubt.

The concert started fairly late and GM Place has apparently paid their power bill as there was no shortage of air conditioning. One of my very few complaints about the evening was that I was ice cold almost the entire time. I had to put my coat back on and by the time we got home (way, way late, our bus didn't show up) I couldn't even feel my feet. I now have a cold but I think that's more thanks to the little cesspit of disease that is public transit rather than being chilly for the evening.

My other complaint was the gaggle of well-groomed but obnoxious women in the front row of our section. Two of them had seats in row 1. Apparently two others had seats in row 7 (or perhaps 9) and didn't much like this arrangement, so they toddled down to sit behind their friends, taking two seats in row 2. The ushers ushed them back to their own seats (as, this being a pretty-much packed event there were no spare seats in row 2). After the ushers had ushed off to do something else, the row 7 ladies came back to sit with their friends. Fairy nuff, however for the rest of the night these four women shared two seats. Bruce, being clearly committed to giving everyone in the room the best show they could possibly have, no matter where they were seated, made a point of playing to the seats on either side of the stage and also behind it (where we were). Every time he came over to our side of the stage, one of these elegant assbeagles -- the same one every time -- would stand up and dance and wave her arms about, neatly obscuring the view of the people in the six rows behind her, of which I was one.

Ben noted that it would be politically-incorrect of me to casually tip her over the edge of the balcony so I restrained myself, but I must say it was mostly beause I was too cold to leave my seat (and also because I didn't want to spill my bottle of expensive water by tripping over it and perhaps dousing the equally-cold people in the seats in front of us).

When the band arrived, Mr. S (or "bootsie-woogums", I prefer to think of him*) was perhaps a little stiff. He looked startlingly older than I had expected. I keep forgetting that as I age, the cultural icons of my generation do also.

The band was just fantastic (that is really what I think**), especially the blonde woman who can, apparently, play about 900 different instruments. She started out with maracas or something and I thought "oh nice, a chick with maracas, that's sweet". And then she hoisted a guitar ... and then a fiddle. She also has a completely kick-ass voice and I really should know her name but I found the website too difficult to navigate (tons of stuff there but I couldn't find what I wanted and I haven't had enough coffee, so I apologize even though the chances of any of the band reading this are slim to none). There is seemingly no end to her talent and I wouldn't have been at all surprised if at some point she was playing the theremin, however no such surreal event came to pass.

The songs came fast and furious, with little more than a heartbeat in between each one. The man hardly stopped to take a breath and within minutes he was coated in sweat.

(as an aside, do you have any idea how sexy a camera close-up of a very muscular forearm dripping in sweat can be? I had no idea either but I think that's an image that will take many years to fade and I shall deeply mourn its passing. If I could have just one rock star poster on my wall, it would be that shot.)

A couple of songs into the first set, you could feel the room change. All of a sudden the wall came down. Mr. S wasn't standing there in front of 12,000 strangers, singing his heart out; the man was there to party and by the grace of the FSM, he was going to do so and we, his 12,285 closest friends, were invited along for the ride.

I think that at some time or another during the night, each and every one of us felt that he was playing just for us. The fact that he was clearly having the time of his life made it all the better.

He made love to our hearts and our minds. Once I almost cried, which is sort of silly at a rock concert really, but any "big" event that overloads me with sensory input will do that to me -- this is one reason I chose to work nights and alone for so long.

At some point I looked at my husband and said "I'm sorry, but I would leave you for him. I would leave my wool for him. I would leave my spinning wheels and looms for him. I think he's turned me straight."

Ben just took my hand and smiled. He understood, as he also would leave me for The Boss.

Bravo, Mr. Maupin. You hit that nail right on the head.

And bravo, Bruce. I liked you just fine before but I believe you have just acquired another middle-aged housewife as a hopeless groupie.

*with thanks to Opus the Penguin and Berke Breathed

**yes, I know, this is in reference to another cultural icon completely unrelated to Mr. S or The E-Street Band but please excuse me, I'm sick and undercaffeinated and have a massive amount of work to do as soon as I am finished dutifully reporting in, and besides, shit like this makes me smile.

Isn't it fun to go see the bands that you loved? I'm so glad you enjoyed it as much as you did! (I was beginning to think that the bunny cartoons were for real!)
I was fortunate enough to get to see the Moody Blues last week in Ft. Worth. Justin can still sing like an angel, but his wings have gone just a little grey!
And how, EXACTLY, did you feel about the concert? ;-)
Ah. Opus. I think I need to change my computer wallpaper again. ~x~
I believe the talented blond chick would be Soozie Tyrell.
Hmmmm..I fail to see what would have been politically incorrect about about knocking a few annoying little bimbai ass over teakettle. That's generally considered a public service!
You're right about a few things.
1. I looked. Of course I looked! Yours is the only review I cared about.
2. Sweaty, muscular forearm. Oh. Yes.
3. I might not have actually tipped her over the edge, but I sure as hell would have told her to move her inconsiderate arse out of the way.

Wrong about one thing though. No scars. I'm glowing with joy.

Anonymous Reader Chick
I share your rock star poster fantasy. A sweaty muscular forearm just melts my panties.
so glad you had such a great time. I still remember my sister running around the house with her first Springsteen album smelling the cover...only truly funny when you know the cover was a picture of his ass.

BTW, am I the only one who noticed Anonymous Reader Chick posted and was hoping she might forget to post anonymously? You ROCK ARC!
Such a great post - almost felt like I was there. When I think of Bruce I get melancholic, because I saw him when he was rocking for Kerry, and it wasn't long after that I went into the severe sadness of the last 4 years. thanks for giving me a better pseudo-memory.
::smiles satedly and lights a post-coital cigarette::

(And ARC? You obviously done great. Bless you!)
Oooooohhhhhh, sweaty, muscular forearms???? *wibble* oh YEAH baby. Bring 'em on. Grrrrr. :-)
I believe my brother would leave his wife for Bruce at a moment's notice. He loves the Jersey boy, and has been moved to tears at his concerts as well. Glad to hear you had such a fantastic time, and hope you feel better soon.
um, I think the blonde is his wife, Patti Scialfa, and a dynamite rock star in her own right. Check out her latest album. you both totally deserved a great evening and I'm so glad you got it!
Yeah, this middle aged woamn would so totally leave her husband, her wool and pretty much everything else as well (I'd take my kid - talk about the BEST music lessons...) for Bruce.
No question. And my husband knows this.
and the sweaty forearm? Oh man...
Thank you for sharing. And Reader Chick? You're awesome.
WHAT. a. HOOT!! How lovely that the "play it forward" wound up being that spectacular. Love it. I almost never miss Arlo Guthrie; I feel like his doting auntie (being as I was devoted to his Da, may he rest in peace). But I gotta say - seeing his GRANDKIDS playing with him? Surreal. I'm more the long-hair-and-beard sort than the sweaty arm sort, but in my heart of hearts I have a very big pash for Pete Seeger. and yes he is too *handsome* so shut up and sit down and hand my my knittin'.
Huh. I had a dream last night, and the only thing that's left of it is some guy telling me, "If Springsteen hands off Dylan's dog to you, just take the damned dog."

I'm pretty sure this is your doing.
He IS playing for each and every one of the fans, individually. That's what makes him so amazing in concert. I don't think I've ever been so emotionally reached in a concert as I have the times that I've seen Bruce.

I'm so glad you got to see him! Welcome to the "I wouldn't be a groupie except, duh, it's Springsteen..." crowd.

Also? I've cried each and every time I've seen him play. Can't be helped :-)
Excellent review! I've been lucky enough to see him several times and I know exactly how you feel. I saw the band last month and I really thought it was the best performance I've ever seen by them. He really did seem to be having just a grand time and his energy was incredible.
We saw Bruce last night in San Jose - wow! The blonde chick is Soozie Tyrell. Patti Scialfa stayed home with their 3 teen-agers this time (per Bruce when he was introducing the band).

Warning: Do not see Melissa Etheridge in concert. This straight woman was ready to leave her husband and two baby boys to become a groupie for Ms E. You look up SEXY in the dictionary and her pic is RIGHT THERE.

I love concerts. They're always emotional events for me, and I always end up crushing on whomever is singing to me. Sigh.

Dave Grohl is a babe.
Alarming Female, I totally agree with you on the whole Melissa/leave the husband and kids thing.

I fell hard when I saw her play a few years ago.

Rabbitch, your concert review is superb, and I am seething with filthy envy (never was lucky enough to see him play live). I did fuck him once, back in '89, though. He smells of Tide detergent and peppermint sticks.

Okay, that was a lie. Maybe.

So glad you had a great time!
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