Friday, August 8, 2008

Bruce Live in Barcelona in Cape May

Bruce doesn't cavort much with his wife Patti on stage in this movie of a concert. This adds to the illusion that when he sings "She's the One," he's really singing to me. He horses around with Clarence Clemmons and Little Stevie, but Patti...not so much. Bruce himself gave permission to the Beach Theatre Foundation to show this concert this weekend and keep all the profits to Save the Beach. The Beach Theatre Foundation was formed to save the theater from demolition and rebirth as oceanfront condos and parking lot. and this is how one of my favorite places in Cape May came to be. They stayed open all winter showing independent films and the monthly high-definition opera, and this is how they won my heart.

Back to the Springsteen concert: this was two and a half hours of energy and intensity filmed at the Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona. Bruce and the E Street Band performed many of the old favorites and the new stuff he was promoting with this tour ("The Rising"). He even tried to learn some Spanish, but I have no idea what he said to the crowd. This man loves his job, and it never shows more than when he performs "Dancing in the Dark" which to me is one of the newer songs. As he was strutting around on the edge of the stage, I just knew he would extend his hand and pull all 749 pounds of me onto that stage to dance with him instead of that Monica girl in the original video. Of course it really didn't happen--it is a five-year-old movie after all and I'm not 749 pounds. I can't really dance anyway. It wasn't long after that song and video that Bruce and Patti got married, causing young ladies all over the state of New Jersey to say, "That should have been me!" I understand, though, because Patti can sing and play the guitar. I can't do those things. I can play the saxophone, but Bruce already has a pretty good saxophone player.

All these goofy thoughts faded away when Bruce, the thoughtful employer, gave his band a break. He sat at the white piano and performed intimate versions of his old chestnuts "Spirit in the Night" and "Incident on 57th Street." These songs were just as poignant as any time they were ever performed. I didn't expect my reaction to these (tears fell out of my eyes). But when I thought about it, Bruce's music has been important to me for a very long time. That "new" song, "Dancing in the Dark" is already 25 years old or so. Bruce's music has been with me since I discovered him in high school, and I clung to his music when I was so homesick at college in Pittsburgh. I defended him to parents who never understood the music I liked, but at least took the trouble to know who was performing it. I defended him to a husband who really didn't like his music, but would admit publicly that Bruce is, indeed, a poet.

Luckily, Bruce gave me lots of time to recover. A few songs later he ended the concert, but in true Bruce form came back on stage for an encore and another...I think I counted seven songs after the concert ended. "Born to Run" was there, and "Born in the USA" of course. When I got home I ordered the DVD as a consolation prize for resisting the urge to sit through the next showing at the theater.

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