I revisited my youth last week, hopped on a plane to Rochester NY to go see a concert by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. It was tremendous, I believe it to be the best show I’ve seen on this tour. It was a girls night out kinda thing with friends who I had gone to shows with many times in the past.
We also (naturally) went to the show in Buffalo the following night. When a band you’ve seen hundreds of times can still (literally) make you scream, well then, what else is there to say. They got the goods.
Similar to the first time I saw those crazy characters 30 years ago, the “Magic” tour is nothing short of a medicine show. Allow me to tell you about the first Springsteen concert I ever saw in 1978, and this after I had turned down multiple chances to see him in the early and mid-70’s with friends who were clearly more on the ball than I was.
I sat there with my mouth open for the entire show, thinking to myself that I had never seen ANYONE who was more alive, able to reach into the soul of each audience member and turn them inside out. I literally staggered out of that show and my life was changed forever by it.
One thing that has always annoyed me beyond reason is the inability of people to understand what could inspire folks to see Springsteen multiple times. May I offer this analogy: say you’re a Mets fan, or a Yankees fan, or a Red Sox fan.
No one would think it odd if you wanted to see your team play against other teams throughout the series. Each night creates a different paradigm. Think of the audience as the other team. It’s never going to be the same night after night, no matter what.
There’s only one musical experience in my life that was more electrifying to me, and that was seeing Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul in 1987. That was a show that was beyond beyond, O Best Beloved. It was in support of the brilliant Freedom-No Compromise record, which is no longer commercially available. Chalk that one up under, um, criminal.