THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2005 - 11:12 p.m.
Saw Springsteen last night. Different and interesting, the solo performance. No E Street Band, no special guests, unless you count the ukelele or the auto harp. Or the god damned bullet mic. Just Bruce, half a dozen different guitars, a harmonica and a piano. His words and music.
I'm sure there are plenty of Those Guys at every concert, but it seemed to me like there were an unusually large number of people wearing Springsteen t-shirts. One guy had on a shirt and a "Devils & Dust" hat. C'mon, dude.
For me, the highlights included the solo piano version of "Backstreets," which didn't need the "happy anniversary" dedication to "Mr. Landau," Bruce's manager and producer on the now-30-year-old Born To Run album. The "Empty Sky" opening as well as the piano versions of "Santa Ana" and "Thundercrack" more than made up for "Born In The USA" and "Johnny 99" on the bullet mic.
I just wasn't feelin' that twist. I'm not sure how best to describe it, but it sounds a little like he was singing into one of those voiceboxes you hold up to your trachea, a la Ned Gerblansky. It just didn't come through the speakers and amplifiers well, particularly on "Born In The USA," which otherwise might've been a very interesting arrangment. For the song, he'd play a blues riff on harmonica (into the mic), then sing a line from the song. He started out in the middle of the stage, then crept toward the front, at which point he stomped his foot with increasing force, creating a back beat. Put together, in a Beale Street blues house, it might have been mesmerizing. Instead, it was actually a bit painful. It probably didn't help that he had a cold too.
Here's the setlist, taken from Backstreets.com, though it will eventually get buried there as more shows are posted.
November 16 /E. Rutherford, NJ / Continental Airlines Arena
Next page: Dream 11.17.05
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