“Are you ready to be transformed, Albany?,” Bruce Springsteen shouted in full preacher mode. He had just led his sprawling, 16-piece E Street Band through a rousing rendition of the party-in-the-face-of-despair anthem “Mary’s Place,” an hour into his nearly three-hour concert at the Times Union Center on Tuesday night.
It wasn’t a rhetorical question…
Of course, by then most of the fans at the sold-out concert had already experienced a transformative moment or two. Maybe it was when he simply shouted, “Guitar!,” in the middle of the opening INXS cover “Don’t Change,” and Nils Lofgren and Tom Morello both stepped forward to join Springsteen as a choreographed, front-line guitar army. Maybe it was at the end of “No Surrender” when Springsteen turned his back on the audience and raised his guitar up high over his head, shaking a ferocious blast of feedback from it. Maybe it was “Badlands,” the first full-blown, Church of Rock & Roll sing-along of the night. Of course, it wasn’t the last…
“People need to miss Clarence,” Bruce Springsteen told Rolling Stone magazine recently about his decision to keep the long-running E Street Band going despite the loss of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, one of its most popular members.
When Springsteen brought his Wrecking Ball tour and expanded E Street Band (with a new five-piece horn section) to the sold-out Times Union Center on Monday night, it was clear he was walking a line between carrying on without Clemons and late keyboardist Danny Federici while also honoring their memory.
The most visible testament to fallen bandmates came at the end of the three-hour show during “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” when Springsteen paused at the line referencing his former sideman: “And the Big Man joined the band.”
The video screen flashed a montage of the saxman to cheers from the crowd, while Clemons’ horn-playing nephew Jake – who’s taken over in part for his uncle – looked up reverently at the rafters.
The emotional tenor was just right: part eulogy, part celebration. For every downside with Springsteen, you could say there’s an upside, too.
“Up until 1964, I was a music fan, but I don’t remember having more than a dozen singles. I don’t think anybody had a rock ‘n’ roll album or the device to play it on until the Beatles.
The first record I remember buying was Little Anthony and the Imperials’ ‘Tears On My Pillow.’ My Aunt Addie got me the Coasters’ ‘Poison Ivy’ because I used to get it every summer. I also had ‘Charlie Brown’ by then.
My emotional involvement increased a bit when I was 11 or 12 with ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Isley Brothers, ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes’ by Curtis Lee and ‘Sherry’ by the Four Seasons. Other than those, I had ‘Bristol Stomp’ and ‘You Can’t Sit Down’ by the Dovells, ‘Duke of Earl’ by Gene Chandler, ‘Mack the Knife’ by Bobby Darin, a Dion or two, a Shirelles, a Chiffons and the next four or five Four Seasons singles, of course. My Uncle Sal would introduce me to Smokey Robinson with ‘Going to a Go-Go,’ but that was a bit later.
I didn’t have too many, but I was passionate about the records I had. Believe it or not, I had to re-buy ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Sherry’ because I wore them out. A virtual scientific impossibility. I’m sure the wearing out had as much to do with those little boxes we’d carry singles in with no sleeves for protection, but I did play them hundreds of times.
But it’s Jessica Springsteen, the Boss’ daughter, not Bruce himself.
You see, hitmaker John Fogerty is performing in concert at Saugerties’ HITS-On-the-Hudson at 5pm Sunday, and “HITS” stands for “Horse Shows In The Sun.” And the $50 general admission ticket to see Fogerty also allows the ticketholder free admission to the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix Horse Show, which begins at 1:30pm at the same venue.
Jessica Springsteen is apparently a longtime equestrian enthusiast who will be riding and competing in the horse show.
The Fogerty concert is being co-promoted by the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie. And in an email to The Poughkeepsie Journal this week, Bardavon executive director Chris Silva wrote, “Bruce Springsteen has appeared onstage with John Fogerty on a number of occasions in recent years. So your $50 general admission festival seating ticket will not only get you entry to both the equestrian events and the John Fogerty concert, but it MAY even include a glimpse or a tune or two from The Boss himself. No promises, but anything is possible.”
Hmmmmm… Do we smell a jam session? Or just a desperate marketing ploy?
Gates open for the horse show at 12noon. Gates open for the concert at 4:15pm. General admission tickets are $50 with proceeds to benefit the Family of Woodstock.
On Tuesday, June 22, Columbia Records will release Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s 2-DVD set, “London Calling: Live in Hyde Park,” which was filmed in concert at the Hard Rock Calling Festival a year ago.
But you don’t have to wait that long to see it – or most of it, anyway. On Thursday and Saturday evenings, Proctors in Schenectady will be screening a 90-minute version of the DVD on the big screen.
Admission is $10.
The screening schedule is as follows:
7 & 9pm Saturday
If it’s not an indication that Bruce Springsteen is getting on in years, it’s at least a sure sign that his fans are getting old.
When tickets to Springsteen & the E Street Band’s Tuesday, August 25 show at SPAC first went on sale, concertgoers were prohibited from bringing lawn chairs onto the grounds.
(Photo by Nancy Nutile McMenemy/Backstreets)
But apparently the fans raised enough of a ruckus that the folks at Live Nation have had a change of heart. So if you’re headed up to see the Boss with a lawn ticket, feel free to bring along that lawn chair.
“As lawn chairs have grown in size we are increasingly concerned with the amount of space these chairs take on the lawn, which is why we restricted lawn chairs for this event” said John Huff, Live Nation’s SVP of Operations for the Northeast Region.
“Based on the number of calls we received from guests asking us to reconsider the policy, it is clear that these guests want to use lawn chairs, so we have decided to reverse the policy and allow lawn chairs into the facility for this event.
“We encourage fans to be considerate of the people around them and utilize the smallest lawn chair and space possible so everyone can enjoy the show.”
Oh yeah, one more thing: You should also be prepared to bitch and moan to your heart’s content when you can’t see a #*!#-in’ thing while you’re sitting in your lawn chair because everybody else all around you is standing up, dancing, and spilling their smuggled-in beers.
In a completely unrelated note: Yes, there are still lawn tickets available for the show.
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