Sep 302020

And how did they not manage to get into Rock ‘n Roll Iwo Jima formation at some point during this performance?


  9 Responses to “Fourteen Minutes Illustrating Everything I Find Fascinating, Highly Annoying, and Even Slightly Appealing About The Boss”

  1. That’s more or less my version of hell.

  2. Happiness Stan

    Haven’t watched it yet, but how on earth did they drag Twist and Shout out for that long?

    At our fastest, my band once got through a cover of the Beatles version in about fifty seconds. Our drummer’s time keeping was a bit eccentric in the sense that he started fast and once we started the set he never, ever, slowed down. We all learned to play our instruments at the same time, so our bassist and I could usually keep up with him Our singer did her best, but often had to miss out quite a lot of the words, and regularly ended up just yelping out odd syllables.

    I’ve never formed any strong views about the Boss, I was working at a stadium gig he did over here in the early nineties. I didn’t see the set, but managed to watch the sound check, despite security trying to chase us away. He’s very touchy about people watching then, apparently. I rather enjoyed it, but it’s never translated into listening to any of his albums in its entirety.

    Speaking of rock and roll formations, I’m not sure whether shoegazing ever made it to the States, but I saw Ride the year before last and managed to get a photo where all four were peering down at their feet simultaneously. Bullseye!

  3. I’m a fan of 70’s era Springsteen, hokey stage moves and all, but sometime after he fired Vinnie Lopez, and David Sancious left, I began to lose interest, and by the time I finally saw him on the River tour, I really felt like I missed whatever was cool about his live show. I’m sure even back in the day, the show was planned with military precision, but at least it had the veneer of a free wheeling show. Now it just looks like a Broadway version of a Springsteen show.

    As for the posted video, it’s ironic that something this painful to watch is being used to raise awareness about human rights violations.

  4. cherguevara

    The part where he sings about the cities they’d played is highly reminiscent of the Paul Stanley stage banter bootleg. “I don’t think we’ve played this one on the tour!” kind of stuff. Does he still do the tales from lake woebegone in the middle of his show?

  5. CDM Very perceptive. the replacement of Lopez by Max Weinberg was a key to the transition from jumpin’ party/bar band to megalithic arena dinosaur crushed by it’s own weight.

  6. BigSteve

    He definitely has the power to get the audience feel like they’re having the time of their lives. I mean, look at them, they’re losing their minds. BUT he also doesn’t know when to stop. The ‘leave ’em wanting more’ concept of show business is beyond him. I saw him play a couple of times (in 1975 and 1981), and I thought it was great. But when did he start to feel like he has to completely destroy the audience (and the band)?

    PS. Someone should have told Peter Gabriel that you need a better build to carry off those close-fitting, sleeveless rockstar outfits. He looks frumpy and very English.

  7. Again, this is more or less my version of hell.

  8. Enter the contrarian.

    I agree it’s way way too much to watch 14 minutes of this – hell, it’s too much to watch 14 seconds of Sting – but I’ll bet if you were in that crowd it wasn’t nearly long enough. It wasn’t performed to be watched 30+ years later on a computer monitor.

    The criticisms of Springsteen live in this thread seem to boil down to “too rehearsed”, “military precision”, “Broadway show”. Those criticisms could apply to Hamilton too; but, wait, they wouldn’t be criticisms in that case.

    Springsteen live is a show, a scripted show with a point. And despite the script, it’s never not sincere, it’s never pandering to the audience, like say, The Stones on another stadium jaunt money grab. Could you imagine them doing something like this?

    Do you watch that and think “he’s going through the motions?” Do you think anyone in the crowd did? 50 years on Springsteen still believes in the power and the glory of rock & roll, never more so than when he is on stage trying to convince everyone in the crowd as well.

    It’s odd that Springsteen has put on so many great shows but one of the poorest to my mind was the true Broadway show. Of course, I watched that on television; I’ll bet it was better in the theater.

    For me, he peaked with The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle and I miss the jazzy looser feel of the Sancious era. And while I wish I had the 14 minutes back I spent watching this I sure wish I had been there (even if Sting was the price to pay) to see it live.

  9. That’s missing the point: I don’t WANT the Stones to do something like this. I don’t want Springsteen to do something like this either. This kind of show is frigging boring and cloying. Nothing is left to chance. It has more in common with Cirque De Soleil-style performances of Pink and Katy Perry than it has with rock and roll, despite the actual style of music. Also, I don’t like audience participation bullshit at shows (singing along, punching the air, cheering louder that those bastards on the right side of the stadium, etc).

    I get that he had to get rid of Vinnie Lopez in order to take things to the next level professionally. I get that he’s still trying to exert control over his life because his dad was manic and an alcoholic. I admire his sincerity and politics and he’s written a bunch of great songs. I just think perfection is boring. Listening to someone like Steve Vai or Joe Satrianni is only interesting in a technical way. I can appreciate the effort that went into that level of precision, but it doesn’t mean that it’s interesting to listen to. I like rock where things are left to chance.

    By the way, I saw the Stones last summer. Keith was slow going out of the gate but Ronnie stepped up to fill the gaps until Keith warmed up. Jagger was amazing, and this was only a month or so after he had major surgery. I went in skeptical and came out amazed at how good it was. It was an imperfect, living organism of a show, despite the fact that there were very few surprise songs.

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