Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Springsteen rocks Charlotte

Bruce Springsteen played the entire "Born to Run" album at his concert in Charlotte Tuesday night.

A few of you have noticed that I am moonlighting occasionally as a concert reviewer for The Charlotte Observer and asked me why. Music has always been a passion of mine -- can't play it well, can't sing it worth a darn but can enjoy the heck out of it as a fan. I've probably attended close to 100 concerts in my lifetime at this point -- like the best sporting events, I find them to be great entertainment.

The Bruce Springsteen show Tuesday night in Charlotte was the fourth I've covered for the newspaper (following the Eagles, Jewel and Jimmy Buffett) and was undoubtedly the best of that quartet. Springsteen is a legendary live performer for good reason -- here's my review of the show. At 60, it's remarkable what he can still do on a stage, and that gravelly voice is still so commanding.

I'd be interested in the thoughts of any of yall who attended The Boss's show in Charlotte. Please post below if you saw it (or have been to any of his concerts on this most recent tour).

I had seen him in concert a couple of times before -- once in the old Charlotte Coliseum with the full E Street Band and another time in Ovens Auditorium in a much more intimate, stripped-down show. I like the big shows better with the full band, and my personal highlight Tuesday came when Springsteen played the full "Born to Run" album, in order, early in his set.

"Thunder Road" is my favorite song on that album (and also my favorite rollercoaster at Carowinds, incidentally) and I thought he did that one beautifully. Be interested in what yall think, too, about Springsteen, whether you've seen zero "Bruuuuce" shows or 100 or more of them.

Springsteen crowd-surfs Charlotte Click here for a slideshow of Charlotte images.


K. Burd (Lake Norman) said...

Hey Scott, was at the show last night. Saw him at Bobcats here last year too and last night's show was better. He was pushing his "Magic" album hard last year and last night's show just felt 'pure' without a record label agenda. From crowd surfing out of general admission to learning "Brown Eyed Girl" on the spot, I just feel lucky to say I had money to buy a seat. I'm not exactly sure why Patti Scialfa, Bruce's wife, wasn't on violin but it will always feel like something is missing at a Bruce show without her (maybe because of all the concert DVD's I have).

Anonymous said...

Springsteen was an unknown until late 1975 with his 60s nostalgic hotrod cruiser BTR apparently watching to many Fonz Happy Days or American Grafitti of the same yr.
By contrast the Beach Boys put out My 409, Cherry Coupe, Little Deuce, Fun Fun Fun, Car Club, Little ole Lady and surf songs in 1963.

He should have progressed into a race car driver and still doing all of BTR is dinosauric. The guy has to be on energy roids.

Anonymous said...

Het Scott, I have been a Bruce fan since 78 when I grew up in Jersey. This was number 16 for me. Last night was one of my all time best. You could just tell by the grin on his face that he was "really" feeling it. He had extra energy for us. What a treat.
Mark W . from Atlanta

Anonymous said...

It was a great show and he really seems to have as good a time as the crowd. I just wish I was in such good shape! Lots a nice interaction with the crowd, especially with the aisle that cuts out through the middle of the floor crowd. The whole BTR album set was magical. I was surprised at the number of requests he performed, too. Oh yeah, letting the crowd pass him around was something else. I'm just surprised they actually took him straight back to the stage. A great time all around.

Phil Melton said...

Good review of the show last night, Scott. First, a couple of comments about comments. The Magic tour shows didn't push that album due to a label agenda. Bruce sets his own agenda. He had a particularly strong album, with s set of songs he thought spoke to circumstances in an election year he felt strongly about. Second, Patti Scialfa wasn't on violin because she doesn't play violin. She plays guitar. She has primarily played shows closer to their home on this tour.

This was my second show on this tour (22nd overall), and was very similar in a celebratory feel to the Greensboro show I saw in May. Less WOAD material in this show, and the BTR segment in Charlotte was particularly strong. Great choices in covers last night, and we were lucky to get what was evidently the first version of Higher and Higher that they really nailed. If I had the money, I'd be on a plane for the Wild and Innocent and River album shows at Madison Square Garden.

Anonymous said...

When will this guy grow up and stop acting like 15 year old MTV rocker?

Anonymous said...

Amazing- my 29th gig and my 6th in the last two years. No one even comes close to THE BOSS - his passion, staying true to himself. These young kids trying to make music by screaming and using 4 letter words could take a good lesson from The Boss. The day he is gone is the day rock n' roll dies for me. I adore this man and his humbleness- have had the pleasure of meeting him twice in hotels we were both staying in. The older he gets - if possible - the better. Wish he had done the cover of Trapped - one of his best.

Anonymous said...

There was a segment on the national news the other day. You can buy stuff that can make even you, or me, sing on key.

Anonymous said...

I grew up near Asbury Park, NJ and used to see Bruce Sunday afternoons at the Stone Pony - before he became the Boss. The same energy was at the show over 30 years later, he is the best. Some of my friends know him well and beside his looney left political views he's a good guy - did not let the fame get to him, which is why he has been able to perform at the top of his game for this long. He has always been totally focused on having the audience involved, and with age that has not diminished, it has intensified.

Crowd surfing at 60, only Bruce!

Was great to see Max there last night, Patty is probably staying home with the kids since they are in "could get in trouble" age. Hope we can do this again for at least another decade. If you have not seen Bruce and the band in concert, make the effort. Over three hours of non stop, high energy magic.

Mark from NC

Anonymous said...

Nothing against Springsteen but the guy acts like a retard punker. He never did this kind of theatrical stuff way back. His suck lib politics are asinine too threatening to sue the GOP if they used his songs. Maybe he popped or snorted a bit too much in his younger days. His old stuff is fine but he carrys it to far.
You could say the same for others like Jagger and Co. or Bowie but we know their charred remains for brains were long ago cooked. Springstten has survived though when 95% of his music peers are dead or in rest homes. Give him credit for that.

steve said...

I had to give up my tickets for the Tuesday show, but I've seen him 3 times since 1978. If you criticize him, it's because you haven't seen him perform live. Like the Grand Canyon, nothing on a recording conveys that Springsteen concert experience. He's not my favorite musician, but he is the greatest showman of my generation.

Anonymous said...

I was at the show Tuesday night (my 6th Bruce concert). I thought he did a fantastic job, even though the crowd wasn't always as into it as Bruce was.

As for what you said in the review about the show starting almost an hour late, it's because Bruce doesn't usually take the stage before 8:30. The hardcore fans are probably used to that. I know a lot of bigger Bruce fans than me who are also annoyed with the later starts.

But the show was one of the better E-Street band shows that I've seen, and the best one I've seen in Charlotte. I was surprised that he didn't play anything off the Magic album. But he surprised a lot of people with some of the covers and older songs like Sherry Darling, which was a treat for me. I liked Brown Eyed Girl a lot, even though they skipped the bass solo, and I was really happy that he's started to play Rosalita with more regularity these days.

He's the best musician out there today and he'll always be able to run circles around these younger acts that can't seem to find their way.

Anonymous said...

Just to correct K. Burd (above) It's Soozie Tyrell who plays violin. Patti strums a guitar.

cheap viagra said...

I'm sad because I couldn't be in the concert, so I heard something really funny because people said that Bruce jumped over the fans and they left him fall down, maybe it was something really funny.m10m