Saturday, October 1, 2011

Boss Time

Back in December I resisted buying the double DVD set of Springsteen & the E Street Band live at Hyde Park. This took quite some resisting as the opening number was a cover of Strummer's London Calling and the thought of Bruce doing The Clash was a mighty powerful one. I suppose what strengthened my resistance was the thought that I already had plenty of Springsteen live on CD and DVD and a show from 2009 that wouldn't even involve Danny Federici (RIP) was going to be a tired re-hash of past glories.

What a mistake! Having finally purchased the set on my recent sortie to HMV I can confidently assert that you simply can't have enough of Springsteen live. I had quite forgotten just how dramatically different a set-list from the king of New Jersey can be from night to night, never mind tour to tour. And this one is full of stuff I've never heard done live before, and not just the stuff from the recent albums, though Workin' On A Dream, Outlaw Pete and Radio Nowhere are all outstanding. But then everything's outstanding so the word hardly has a meaning in this context.

What I think really came as a surprise was how much the obvious age of the band worked in its favour. These guys look like they are beyond caring for anything other than the joy of what they are doing, so that an air of celebration pervades the whole concert from the first notes onward. But this goes way beyond the default nostalgia mode favoured by some of their peers. Paradoxically the oldest material seemed, if anything, to work best with Rosalita sounding younger, more dangerous and funnier than I've ever heard it before.

Talk about ageing disgracefully - a model for us all, not to go gently.

No comments: