Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bruce Springsteen LIVE at the Verizon Center- 5/18/09

I know this review is almost a week late, but whatever...

The morning after Bruce Springsteen's killer performance at the Super Bowl, my friend Jenna and I ran to the newspaper room at school, logged on to a computer, and bought tickets to see his show at the Verizon Center at precisely 10:00AM. I was on the phone with my dad, who was at home, and had instructions to do the same thing, and we compared which seats each of us got. My dad was shut out, but Jenna and I nabbed tickets in the second tier. After service charges, each was about $120, which beats Kanye West for the most I've ever spent on a ticket.

Luckily, it was worth it. I'm by no means a diehard Springsteen fan, but seeing him live was an incredible experience that even I could appreciate. Bruce and the E Street Band went on stage at about 8:20 and didn't stop playing for a full three hours. With a lot of shows, I'm ready for the set to end at about the two hour mark, but with Bruce, I could have stayed hours longer. Even with an average age of 58, the E Street Band had more energy than most college-aged dance bands. The performed wonderfully together (duh, they're all extremely talented) and they seemed to be having the time of their lives on stage.

Based on my experience with concerts in sports arenas, I wasn't expecting too much crowd interaction. However, Bruce interacted more with the audience than bands in even the smallest venues. He shook hands, walked around the floor, and, in my favorite part of the show, took requests. People on the floor held up colorful signs with requests on them and Bruce ran around picking them up. Then, he sifted through them and chose which the band would play. The most memorable (besides "Hava Nagila," of course) was a sign that said "Jonas Brothers, Shmonas Brothers. Cool 9-year-olds like 'Out In the Street.'" Seeing this sign, Bruce called out to whoever made it, and then proceeded to lift the adorable 9-year-old girl on stage and let her sing part of the song. Jenna and I agree that this will probably be the number one moment of her life forever, surpassing her wedding day and birth of any children. She got to sing with Bruce! Nothing beats that!

My favorite song of the show was "Rosalita," which Bruce played last after seeing a sign that said "Obama called, he wants Rosie." It was the final song of the finale, and a great way to end the night.

Despite loving the show, I have two main gripes. First of all, the sound was a bit muddy, especially in the beginning. Instruments bled into each other making some songs relatively unlistenable. The sound either improved as the night went on, or I stopped caring. My second complaint is that "Working On A Dream" is a pretty bad album, and every time the band played cuts from it, it was clear that people just cared less. Boo.

Anyway...great show, great experience. I can now cross "See Bruce Springsteen" off my Life List. But before I do that I need to add "See Bruce Springsteen Again."

No Surrender
Outlaw Pete
She's the One
Working on a Dream
Johnny 99
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Raise Your Hand
Out in the Street
Little Latin Lupe Lu
Hava Nagila/Blinded By the Light
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
The Wrestler
Kingdom of Days
Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born to Run
* * *
Hard Times
Kitty's Back
Land of Hope and Dreams
American Land

Summer Concert Schedule

I've got a really fun summer lined up with cool internships and a job for three weeks at my favorite place in the world, a camp in Pennsylvania. In addition, I am seeing quite a few concerts. Here's the list so far...

June 8|| The Decemberists w/ Andrew Bird
June 9|| TV on the Radio w/ the Dirty Projectors
June 11|| Taylor Swift
July 8|| Wilco w/ Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band
July 11|| Bugs Bunny Live!
July 29|| Fleet Foxes
July 30|| M. Ward
August 5|| Slightly Stoopid w/ Snoop Dogg
August 7|| O.A.R. w/ Matt Nathanson
August 15|| Phish

Pretty much all of those, except for Fleet Foxes, are definites. Hopefully I'll also see the Killers, Rock the Bells, and anything else that comes up. Plus I might see Passion Pit instead of TVOTR if I can find someone to go with me...