Monday, August 25, 2008

Hold on tight, stay up all night 'cause Rosie I'm comin' on strong

A while back, I pondered whether it would be worth it to blow a thousand bucks on last night's Springsteen concert. Back when it looked like I would need to resort to a ticket broker, I pondered
Do you blow a grand on a single show? What if he has an off night? What if the people in front of me are tall? Can one show really be worth that kind of money? Would I walk out of the Sprint Center thinking "Great show, but . . ."?

I don't know. Maybe. Springsteen shows are legendary. Seeing a great artist live is a totally different experience than listening to the music itself. What is the proper price of a lasting memory?
All my worries were for baseless. A friend helped me out, and I wound up with 4 fantastic seats at face value. Sam, my music-savvy son, came home from New York for the show, so Sam, Robin, Ancillary Adams and I took the convertible down to the Crossroads, grabbed a great dinner and better beer at Grinder's, and then strolled to the Sprint Center for 3 hours of hard-working rock and roll the likes of which I've never seen before.

Here's a setlist Sam found on a fan sight, with tour premiers in all-caps:
2. Cynthia
3. Radio Nowhere
4. No Surrender
5. Out in the Street
6. Hungry Heart
7. Spirit in the Night
(Boys, as sung by Max, by request) - we'll clarify this tomorrow [this was based on an audience request - "let max sing" - and it's a shirelles cover, the first song that ringo ever sang for the beatles)
8. Cadillac Ranch
9. Workin' on the Highway
11. Candy's Room
12. Gypsy Biker
13. Youngstown
14. The Promised Land
15. Livin' in the Future
16. Mary's Place
17. DEVILS AND DUST (solo acoustic)
18. The Rising
19. Last to Die
20. Long Walk Home
21. Badlands

22. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
23. 10th Avenue Freeze-out
24. Born to Run
25. Rosalita
26. American Land

28. Dancing in the Dark
30.????????????????? [some irish drinking-y song]

If you're a Springsteen fan, that's a hell of a show. But now for the overwhelming question - would it have been worth a grand for my wife and I to see it?

Shockingly (to a skinflint like me), yes, it definitely would have been worth it. Springsteen plays every song like it's his once chance to get on stage and bust out the rock and roll star that we all wish we could be. His performances are great live versions of fantastic songs, but they're live in the best sense of the word - not slavish studio reproductions. Instead, they're improvised, enhanced, made more evocative by his guitar slashing and clowning with Steve Van Zandt. He brought a young girl on stage to dance with him to "Dancing in the Dark", and she carped the diem. The fans were adoring and knowledgeable (with the exception of a couple twits behind me wearing UMB lanyards who gabbed loudly during Bruce's only hushed moments). For just under 200 minutes, he gave Kansas City a rock and roll performance with intensity, integrity and power unlike anything I've ever seen before. When Bruce shouts "One, Two, Three", you'd better be ready to get your fist in the air.

The Sprint Center itself looked great. Plenty of room in the concourses, comfortable seating (not that I used mine much), and pretty good acoustics for a concrete bowl. Ushers and security were effective but not obtrusive.

A thoroughly excellent show. A hoped-for spectacular that lived up to crazy expectations. Yeah, it was all that.

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Blogger les said...

Hah. Did I say it? Glad you got the chance, there's only one show quite like it.

8/25/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"she carped the diem"

Funny shit.

8/25/2008 9:39 AM  

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