Last week I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert. From a very nice box overlooking the stage. Now, this has absolutely nothing to do with the actual concert per se, but I am now of an age where I more fully appreciate the benefits of watching an outstanding concert from the comfort of a leather lounge chair with both cold beer and a private bathroom in easy reach.
My wife and I were invited to this sold out event and needed no prompting when we learned of the cushy digs. If you ever get such an offer, take it. I don’t care if it’s for The Wiggles, a corporate box makes everything better.
Well, enough of that, what I really wanted to talk about was Bruce, the Boss. Let me first say that this concert was fantastic. It was not a “show” or and “event” or even a “production.” It was a concert, and by that I mean Bruce and the E-Street Band played for two solid hours with no lip syncing or backup tracks. That’s how real musicians play and they are very much for real. These guys are all in their 50s and if I have half as much stamina and rock-n-roll when I get there, I’ll be in good shape.
What really went through my mind that night was how real the whole thing was; it was classic rock-n-roll. A big open stage, drum kit back and center, Hammond organ off to the side and the entire band out in front. Everyone wore black; the focus was the music because you already knew who they were, and they’re a bunch of guys from Jersey who don’t need to look like peacocks.
The Verizon Center was a sea of people, from couples in their 60s all the way down to the little kid on his dad’s shoulders who reached up from the floor to get a big handshake and wave from the Boss. Bruce worked the crowd, in front of and behind the stage, had giant projection screens all around so everyone could have a good view, and he played his heart out. After witnessing that concert, I have no sympathy for the current pop stars who look good but can’t sing live, have an entourage to go get a cup of coffee, and need to take tour breaks because of “exhaustion.”
You want to see someone who’s worked to get where he is – who wasn’t manufactured for a target audience? Go watch Bruce do his job. That’s style and that’s class. Period.