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Thursday 20 December 2007

The Boss of all Bosses [Shedir]

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

Paraphrasing Laurence Binyon may seem course, giving his poem is about war heroes. But I'm just back from the 02 arena. Where I watched my one time absolute no hold bars musical hero, utterly own the stage.

Ladies and gentletypists, Springsteen was quite utterly awesome. I've seen him a few times, not as many as I'd have liked thats for sure. Manchester a few years ago was fantastic and it helped I was only a handful of rows from the front. But vocally last night, he belied his age.

Time was rolled back, for him and the audience both. They came out and blasted out anthems from the new album Magic but, as per, the old material drew on a more poetic Bruce. and a more involved audience. Bruce's writing ability belied his guttaral efforts at singing, I'd given up on the old man a while ago that brown jug stuff just wasnt what I want(ed) to here.

For me his voice was gone, with it the passion he put to the very best of uses had banked low.

Well, whatever he was on last night. When I'm 60, get it on IV.

I saw him nearly 20 years ago in the SECC, without the E St Band. He blew me away with his energy in a no frills show, which split my hands from clapping and left me unable to talk properly for 4 days from bawling.

Last night wasn't like that, I was in the 4th floor and halfway round. But how I envied the folk in the VIP section, the thing that scunnered me most was it wasn't full. You could see these bastards jigging about with room to spare. While I, I who've loved his music since I was 14 and was given the river by a classmate in english, was stuck up in the gods with oxyen cylinders and sherpas for company.

No gimmicks, no suspended bridges. No dancers, no pyrotechnics. No 3d holograms, nobacking tapes or any of that chiccanery lesser bands employ.

A ball breaking, arse numbing, damn near 3 hour marathon by the hardest working pensioners you're ever likely to see in your life. Some of the newer material fell flat, one singalong died on it's arse because the song was poor. Lil Steven jumped in when he realised the crown didn't know the words.

But it didn't matter, when the crowd got too noisy behind us. The band pulled out "racing in the streets" and 20,000 people fell silent as he wove a spell of pure magic over the "big big room".

If he could only put that passion he feels onstage into the studio, he could sing the phonebook and have sales which would make opec shudder at the vinyl required.

This trip cost me a fuckload of dosh, I wouldn't spend this much going to pretty much anything else. I didn't go to Seville to see Celtic in the uefa final. I've not followed scotland all over the globe,but hand on heart I don't regret a penny.

There's still tickets at the emirates, I'll probably go again. But fuck the security and fuck what it says on the bit of paper I'll be clutching. Because next time, I'm gonna get as close to the front as I can and let those years fall away.

Maybe a little staged, with the VIP punters handing the hats out at the end. But even Santa Claus is coming to town worked damn well and gave a fair old giggle and Miami Steve's daft headware. You may know him as Sil from the Sopranos

1 comment:

  1. Nice one - not many people realise that Bruce was the first "hyped" band in this country.

    We were built up for months in the likes of NME for what we were in for. I got tickets for his first show in the UK at the Rainbow in Finsbury in the mid 70's ( I think) and looked around to see about a million famous people in the audience - including Andy Williams sitting next to me! ( When I was doing a lot of stuff with Rough Trade in my punk days Andy Williams regularly ordered punk and other new genre stuff from them - he might be cooler than we think!).

    Anyway it was a hell of a gig - glad he is still making it happen :-)