Friday, November 16, 2012

Springsteen Does Nebraska!

Who's the greatest American rock n roll band? It's debatable of course but you very seldom hear the E Street Band thrown into the Aerosmith (yuck), Doors, Beach Boys, CCR argument. Well let me submit that name to the argument.

I cannot gush enough about Bruce Springsteen as people know. When The Boss made nice with Chris Christie the other day and the Guv said he went home and wept, hey man, I get it.

The E Street Band came thru Omaha last night and I've never seen anything like it and I've seen these guys 5 times. Hey I'm not a Bruce stalker or anything but 5 is pretty good, right? A horn section, backup singers, some guy banging a bongo, some other guy playing accordions, hell there were 18 people up onstage and it was my favorite type of concert, organized chaos! It was jazz man!

Leading off with Reason to Believe, off the Nebraska album, Springsteen mauled his way thru a 3 hour 10 minute show that had everybody in absolute heaven. He played 6 songs off Nebraska, apparently according to my Springsteen statistician buddy, a new record. For goodness sake, he played more songs off Nebraska (6) than he did off his Wrecking Ball album (5) and again, for you sabermetrics geeks like me, he hadn't played Highway Patrolman since 1985 and hadn't played State Trooper since 2007. There, enough geeky crap.

There were a couple of people who had to have hit peaks of their rather young lives. First, a 10 year old boy holding a "Badlands" sign singled out by Bruce for being "the future". On the big screen, this kid was ecstatic as he was "excused" from school today, "tell em the Boss said so". And yeah, he played Badlands as the kid thrust his fist in the air better than most of us vets.

A 12 year old girl, in full braces and an I Love Bruce t shirt, brought onstage to not only sing "Waitin On a Sunny Day" with the Boss, but givin a chance to sing all alone and doing a damn good job, rewarded by Bruce for her singing by being put on his shoulder and carried around.

I have no idea how much of this show is scripted but if it is, they sure as hell mask it well. A Santa hat thrown onstage caused Springsteen to lament that come on man, its too early, its not even Thanksgiving yet. But during the encore, yep, we got to hear Santa Claus Is Comin To Town with the Big Man's nephew doing the Clarence parts. A tribute to Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici, the two deceased members of the band, during Tenth Avenue Freeze Out was very moving.

Hey I love Born To Run, Thunder Road and Dancin in the Dark (well not really) as much as the next person, but to hear this Nebraska album stuff with a full kick ass band was special. I just wish Chris Christie would have been here to see it.

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