Okay, I need to vent...
I went to see "The Boss" last night at the Jacksonville Veterans' Memorial Coliseum (for free with GOOD seats...it's nice working in radio). I met Little Steven, hung out a little, drank a beer, and watched the show.
One phrase kept ringing in my head the whole time:
"I just don't get it."
I just don't understand why people think Springsteen is one of the greatest of all time. Sure, he sometimes writes some reasonably good lyrics, tells good stories, but almost all the songs he played at this show were similar-sounding - almost to an AC/DC degree - and the stage was pretty much a clusterfuck. The annoying tremolo vocal style (think Aaron Neville, only a white chick) of Patty Scialfa was really hard to take, and there were so many guitars going at once it was extraordinarily difficult to make out what any single one was doing. Of course, with my "trained ears" (cough, cough), I could make out that Nils Lofgren is a badass, though, and Bruce is a much better guitarist than I thought.
I mean, sure, Bruce was reasonably fun, personality-wise, and he is a good frontman (very active), but the music was boring and self-indulgent. You'd never know it by the way the crowd was reacting, though. They thought it was great. It makes me feel like an alien or something.
Ever wonder why his concerts are so damn long? He plays each song for about 10 minutes. Constant vamping at the end of each tune while he does his little shake and runs around to the crowd. Twice during the show (I was counting because I was trying to find something interesting to do during the show, as I had grown tired of looking at the 40 to 50-year-old women who think they're still as hot as they were when they were 20), he did this LONG slide across the front of the stage, which had obviously been prepped for just such a thing. It was sort of neat, I guess, but in a cheeseball "hey, look at me" sort of way, with people all trying to touch him while he did it. Sort of like a cheesy 80s video or something.
He played but two hits during the time I was there, "Glory Days" (probably my personal Bruce favorite), and "Born To Run" (which I like considerably less). He played his new song "The Rising" to start the show, which seemed to go on FOREVER - I mean, RISE, ALREADY!
All told, I know this sounds like an extraordinarily negative review, but I like to think of it as more of a plea. Someone, please explain to me why you think he's so great. I mean, I lived in New Jersey for a while, and still have remnants of the accent I picked up when I lived there, so I really don't think it's a Jersey thing.
I did give it an honest try, though...everyone I know said that you have to see a Bruce show to understand it. I still don't, and I stayed for over two hours.
On the positive side, the band was tight, and when you could make it out, they had some cool interplay. I left the show even more confused than I entered it, though. I wanted to "get it" - I wanted to know the joy that people who love "The Boss" experience. I failed. Miserably.
He just didn't move me at all.
In the end, not a single goosebump that wasn't caused by air conditioning.
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