Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dancing in the dark

Last night I went to church. There were over 11,000 congregants, eight deacons, and one high priest. By the end of the service, I could have spoken in tongues. If I still had my voice. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tore through Milan’s Datch Forum like a steam train running full-head downhill and I willingly went along for the ride.

[photo source: popmatters]

Until last night, I had never seen Bruce Springsteen live. When the show went on sale back in September, my friend David and I tried in vain to buy tickets. Hope does spring eternal - through a series of fortuitous turns, we found ourselves grinning like fools walking onto the floor of the Datch Forum for last night’s show.

I have heard from friends and read reviews of Springsteen's legendary energy. Backed by a drummer, two keyboardists, a violin/fiddle/guitarist/vocalist, a bassist, two vocalists/guitarists, and one mean saxophone player, Bruce lived up to his reputation. Most of the songs were from their new album, Magic, which I have not yet heard. I could not sing along, but as with attending mass in Latin or other unknown languages, I could still participate in the rites and rituals, feel the reverence. The concert was 2 ½ hours of chanting and shaking and hand waving and singing. Without rest, even between songs – a quick drum change from cymbal and high hat to kick bass snare overdrive – in the few moments of transition while the band wrapped up the previous song, Bruce would douse himself with a carwash sponge soaking in a bucket by the drummer’s feet, shake his head snorting like a horse at the gate, and charge 1 2 3 4 into the next song’s beat over the decrescendo of force. Centrifugal and centripetal.

Some will scoff and say dismissive things of Bruce. Others will bristle at the comparison of a rock concert to a religious experience. What I know is this: never have I seen a band and crowd so earnestly, unselfconsciously in sync about the joy of music. I have drunk the Kool-Aid.


leigh andrew said...

there is no extant rocker better than bruce and the band. you have experienced the best of our time. . . though, I AM a wee bit biased. . . andrew has declared bruce shows to be a little too fascist for him, but i think i prefer mass-like rather than rally-like!

do tell us/me 2 things:

1. how was the keyboardist? the E Streeter had stepped down from the tour just before the european leg to go through melanoma i wonder how his replacement is.

2. what did he talk about in regard to the US/politics/Europe?

3. when's your next show?! Now that you've seen the light...


Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Randomly found you via Italiaball - I had a few friends go to the Boss concert, too, and they said he was amazing!! Sounds like he's something to see.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I spent jr. high and high school in New Jersey. Many people there would agree with your church analogy. They call him The Boss for a reason. My friends would sleep out to see him play Giants Stadium. Four nights would sell out in minutes.

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah! We're doing San Siro in June!!!!