Friday, April 20, 2018

Bruce Springsteen @ Bonnaroo

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Posted by teibs On June - 14 - 2009

Music Bonnaroo@ZackTeibloom You can’t deny the power and swagger of a Springsteen show, but once the luster comes off, you have to decide how you feel about the songs themselves.

The band is first rate all the way around. From Stevie Van Zandt to the powerful guitar of Nils Lofgren and even Max Weinberg and his son trading off on drums, they’re a tight, well-oiled machine. It’s just not a machine I want to see again.

When I saw the show in Austin a couple months ago, it made me a believer in The Boss. The way he put water on his legs to slide across the stage on his knees, the way he can manipulate every member of the crowd to sing along, even to songs they don’t know going in. He’s got it. But after the wonder of the show wears off, I find myself at odds with the songs themselves.

It’s fun to see Bruce make his way through the crowd, his guitar strapped to his back, picking up request signs from the crowd, grinding his back against the guard rail as fans grope him. It’s a visually appealing show, no doubt.  I don’t particularly care to listen to it.

When I go to a show, I don’t want to be reminded of how bad it is economically or hear about people down on their luck. I don’t want to hear songs like “Jersey Girl,” “Johnny 99” and “Youngstown.” No disrespect to the songs or even the performance, but I want to get lost in the music, to dance, to feel alive and feel like everything will be OK.

Bruce was in preacher mode again, saying the same speech he gave in Austin. “We didn’t come all the way down to the beautiful Tennessee hills just to rock the house. We came down here tonight because we want to build a house. That’s right. Right here in this field. … A house of love. A house of hope.”  

That message shoudl inspire hope and inspire me and I don’t want to come down on what might have been a spiritual moment for someone, but it felt preachy and uninspiring.

Bruce covered “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” after saying “It’s too fuc*in’ hot for Santa!” and that was about all I could take. After an hour and a half of standing for the big numbers and sitting when he took it down a notch, Laura and I wandered to the silent disco and comedy tent to see what the non-Bruce fans were up to and getting a few free mini butterfingers. I was more excited about those butterfingers than the Springsteen show. 8.4/10

Bruce set-list:

“Badlands”
“No Surrender”
“My Lucky Day”
“Outlaw Pete”
“Out in the Street”
“Working on a Dream”
“Seeds”

“Johnny 99”
“Youngstown”
“Raise Your Hand” (sign collecting)
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
“Growin’ Up”
“Thunder Road”
“Waitin’ On A Sunny Day”
“The Promised Land”
“The River”
“Kingdom of Days”
“Radio Nowhere” (with Jay Weinberg for rest of set)
“Lonesome Day”
“The Rising”
“Born to Run”

Encore:
“Hard Times”
“Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
“Land of Hope and Dreams”
“American Land”
“Rosalita”
“Glory Days” -> “Louie Louie”
“Dancing in the Dark”

AP photo by Dave Martin

6 Responses

  1. wolf Said,

    quit whining

    Posted on June 14th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

  2. ADub Said,

    I want to get lost in the music, to dance, to feel alive and feel like everything will be OK.

    Public Enemy’s show was a couple hundred feet from the Butterfingers, but that would have been a real bringdown for you.

    Save yourself the trip to Tennessee next time and just party at Target with your recorded music & candy bars. Sounds a little more your speed.

    Posted on June 14th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

  3. teibs Said,

    Public Enemy played the night before. No one else was playing, douche.

    Posted on June 14th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

  4. DZ Said,

    You are probably also one of those people that I occasionally come across that say, “I just never got the whole Beatles thing…” In this world there will always be idiots and you are obviously running for Executive Director of the council. How in the world you can go to a Springsteen show and come away with those feelings is proof of your “uniqueness.” Enjoy the Butterfingers you hydrogenated moron. “I want to get lost in the music, to dance, to feel alive and feel like everything will be OK.” Maybe Air Supply is playing at your local Indian Casino… you have zero credibility to write anything, anymore.

    Posted on June 15th, 2009 at 11:06 am

  5. Kevin Said,

    I think it’s cool that you feel that way….not everyone is supposed to like a given musician/band….you should not be ridiculed for this opinion, either! I happen to like Springsteen, but not everything he does always works for me. I do appreciate music that takes me on emotional trips, for example, a Mahler symphony in which I am able to connect with feelings of pure joy and ecstasy as well as feelings of complete devastation and despair and everything in between…Springsteen can’t quite take me there, but in the world of popular music, I’d say he’s one of the better interpreters.

    Posted on June 15th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

  6. mas1160 Said,

    No doubt telbs didn’t want to see the folks asking for donations to the local food bank…”don’t tell me that boss, I don’t want to know that people are hungry……” You have no idea what it is like to work like that man does….

    Posted on June 15th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

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