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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Unplugged again

More on the upcoming Springsteen CD and tour: It's an acoustic album, more or less, and he'll perform solo or with a small band when on the road.

If he makes it to Portland, I guess it'd be at the Schnitzer, and not nearly as much fun as an E Street Band show in the big arena. But still worth going to.

I skipped the "Tom Joad" tour, which sounds like it will be the forerunner of this one. At the time, it seemed to me that Bruce had just run out of steam, which saddened me. But "The Rising" showed that the guy still has fire. So if he wants to turn it down to a low burn, I'll be there.

Comments (4)

I was at the Joad show in 96. My buddy and I sat in the very last row of the Schnitz. Bruce was in a very "happy" mood. Great show. Afterward, we waited at the backstage door. We'd just given up and started heading to Rialto when we heard "Bruuuuuuuce!" Turned around and there was the man walking out of the Heathman loading dock. He rolled into the van to head back to the hotel and sat down right on the other side of the glass from me. He looked out at the assembled mass, reached into his back pocket for a Sharpie, and climbed on top of the van. He must have signed for a half hour straight. Here's hoping for a repeat performance.

I liked that Tom Joad album about 10x more than The Rising.

I've only seen Bruce twice - at the Schnitzer show from The Ghost of Tom Joad tour in '96 and at the Rose Garden from the 2000 Reunion tour. Call it heresy, but as good as the Rose Garden show was, I thought the Schnitzer show was better. First of all, the songs he did from Nebraska (Atlantic City, Mansion on the Hill, Johnny 99) are some of my favorites of his material and were made for were made for an acoustic guitar and harmonica. But the bottom line was that his solo performance was more nuanced than with the E. Street Band and some of his material benefited from it. The version of Across the Border was one of the most beautiful live performamces of any song I have EVER seen. I hereby report that he had not run out of steam.

Anyway, even if I don't convince anyone that he's even better without the E. Street Band (admittedly a tough argument to make), he still puts on a good solo show. If he does come back with a solo acoustic show, Jack I strongly suggest you do your best to get tickets.

I wanted to see the Joad show so bad but I couldn't get tickets.

I was 13 or 14 when I saw Bruce or the first time in 1981. An older cousin took my to a show in Seattle. It was one of those "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission" things. I also saw the Clash with him the same year. Needless to say, these were life-altering experiences. Bruce even plugged a biography of Woody Guthrie during the show. It took a few weeks for the Silverton Public Library to get me a copy. After reading it, my personal politics began to take shape.

In 1984, I made the mistake of asking for permission. I ended up defying my parents by skipping school and driving up to Tacoma to see him on the first leg of the Born in the USA tour. I lost car privledges for months.

Full circle, my dad joined me at the Rose Garden the second to last time Bruce came through town. After the show, he said, "I can see it was worth being grounded."

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