Thursday, November 17, 2005

Springsteen - There is no one else

Bruce Springsteen brought his solo tour to the Meadowlands last night for a rousing two and a half hour performance that saw this generation's greatest poet rise to new heights of brilliance and inspiration. With just his guitar and harmonica, Springsteen opened with "Empty Sky," followed by a haunting, foot-stomping, echoed version of "Born in the USA" that left the audience speechless.

Throughout the show, the evening was about taking risks, going in new places with old friends and re-defining what was believed to be clearly laid out once before. What the crowd was left with was many old memories put into new lights that were equally important and rewarding.

Springsteen was on top of his game, mixing new songs from his "Devils and Dust" CD with old classics such as "Lost in the Flood," "Backstreets," "Promised Land," and the legendary "Thundercrack." The bare-boned "Johnny 99" found a new voice in an amplified and powerful rendition that gave the murderer of the story greater impact and tragedy. And Springsteen paid tribute to a Vietnam casualty from his youth who he recalled on a visit to Washington D.C. years ago in the song, "Wall."

Springsteen spoke vividly to the crowd about growing up with so many family members surrounding him (even displaying a child's drawing of a map of the area on posterboard) and also of now being a father wanting to give his own children the space to be individuals finding their own ways. He tied this message into "Jesus Was an Only Child," interrupting the song mid verse several times to further his story.

He also made reference to the current debate over evolution, and mocked the radicals in this country for their misplaced hostility toward science with a sly version of "Part Man, Part Monkey."

Bruce Springsteen came to the Meadowlands and reminded New Jersey and anyone who was listening why he is a musical and lyrical genius. As time passes, what Springsteen provides his audiences never diminishes, but instead grows within the collective bond of preacher and his congregation.

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