Sunday, May 4, 2008

On Tour: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Vol. 1

Everybody's got one artist. One artist who's music has soundtracked their life, who they always return to and never get sick of. They ignore the faults (if they can even see the faults), and defend them to everybody and anybody who isn't a fan. They try and convince their friends to listen to them. They have a connection to the musician or band that goes beyond the usual relationship between fan and artist. It is this connection that makes music so powerful and lasting. And any musician can have this effect, it can happen at anytime and if the right time is married with the right artist, you've got a friend for life.

When I was younger music wasn't the all consuming passion for me that it is now. I knew I liked music but I hadn't found the artist who would drive me on. As everyone does when they're young I was searching for the type of music I liked. The first single I ever bought was this beauty . I remember as well sending my sister and mam on a desperate search around Dublin for these two hits . I moved on to David Gray and Travis, Harry Chapin, and went to Led Zeppelin via a lengthy phase of listening to nothing but Meat Loaf's 'Hits Out Of Hell' (simpler times). I was roaming.

And then something clicked. Bruce Springsteen was always one of my dad's singers. Although I had heard Springsteen a lot I had never been that interested. He was not somebody I could call my own. One day we were driving and Dad had the 'Live In New York City' album on and this song came on. The song stuck with me. Soon I started collecting bootlegs and I got a 5cd compilation of Springsteen songs from the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour. By this stage I was in my final year of school and studying for my final exams. Locked in a room supposed to be studying, I listened to these 5cds over and over again. A few weeks later, Springsteen was coming to town to play the Point on the Devils & Dust tour. I missed my graduation to go and see him. I had found my artist.

Since then, I've seen Springsteen 7 times with another 4 shows in the next two months and collected more bootlegs than is healthy for any person. He is undoubtedly the greatest live performer I've ever seen. I listen to an awful lot of music but whenever I don't feel like listening to the latest sensation or something brand new I always go back to Springsteen. His catalogue is so broad that whatever kind of music I want to listen to, Springsteen usually has it covered.

To sum up Springsteen live in 10 songs is impossible. I'm going to do a Vol. 2 but even that won't scratch the surface. However, here's my best attempt at summing up Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live (Part 1)

On Tour: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Vol. 1

01. Incident on 57th Street
02. Radio Nowhere
03. 10th Avenue Freeze Out
04. Ghost Of Tom Joad
05. Prove It All Night
06. Reason To Believe
07. Because The Night
08. The Fever
09. Thunder Road
10. Blood Brothers

01. 25/09/1999
02. 17/12/2007
03. 15/12/1978
04. 07/04/2008
05. 07/07/1978
06. 17/12/2007
07. 17/12/2007
08. 15/12/1978
09. 07/07/1978
10. 01/07/2000


Howard said...

Love the site -- where did that recording of Tom Joad come from? -- Great Sound!

Gazetteer said...

Thanks Neil.

Clearly Mr. Springsteen has gone multi-generational.....

Speaking of which, you may enjoy this.



Neil said...

howard - it came from an audio rip of the video of the song released by which you can see here

gazetteer - that's a cool story. I heard that was a great concert.
And yeh I think Springsteen is definitely multi-generational now when you look at bands like The National, The Killers, The Hold Steady who cite him as such an influence