Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bruce Springsteen Comes to Charlottesville

Last night I went with Chap to see Bruce Springsteen at the JPJ Arena.


I first saw Bruce during The Rising tour in 2002-03, first in Richmond and later in London. 

Watching and listening to him is inspirational. It's a cliche to say, but it is difficult to believe how much energy he brings to his music. He is a storyteller and a preacher. In the same song, he can be both melancholy and uplifting, forlorn and fired-up.

He is absolutely one-of-a-kind.


Last night during the concert, I found myself reminiscing on the passage of time:
  • During middle school, I discovered Bruce when Mom and Dad gave me his 1975-1985 Live album as a Christmas present. I spent endless hours listening to Thunder Road and imagining that I was playing the piano on Backstreets. Bruce did not play Thunder Road last night, but a highlight of the evening was Jungleland, which I had almost completely forgotten about. I used to love the speedy piano part and the mythology of the Magic Rat.
  • During law school, I listened a lot to The Rising (in particular Into the Fire, You're Missing, and City of Ruins). For me those songs became an outlet for the sadness about September 11. Another highlight of last night was City of Ruins, which just about brought me to tears. I had forgotten the powerful "Come on rise up" chorus towards the end of the song.
The show ended with Tenth Avenue Freezeout and a tribute to Clarence Clemons.

560. Twenty years from now, is there any musician or band who will have the emotional resonance (then) for as large a group of people as Bruce does (now)?  I cannot think of anyone off the top of my head.

561. Does Bruce write his own lyrics? Thinking back on the 1975-1985 Live album, I think that it was my introduction to thinking about lyrics as art. Kind of makes me want to try to write a song.

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