I’m picky about my rock legends.
Having been to scores of concerts, I’ve seen most of the musical greats live on stage, even met one or two. I still listen to all my favorite recordings, singing along and reliving the highlights of my career as an avid listener.
But I rarely go to see these idols live anymore. It often pains me to see how they’ve aged, how some have lost their ability to sing as they used to. Aging is a natural part of life, I know; I just prefer to remember the legends as they were.
Bruce Springsteen still is as he was. Only better.
I’ve told you before that I’ve been to more Springsteen concerts than I can count, the first one 37 years ago. As many Springsteen concerts as I’ve attended, I hadn’t been to one since I was in my 20s. I’m now in my 50s, as were most of the fans filling Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center Sunday night, some of whom have spawned a whole new generation of fans.
If you’re a fan, I don’t need to tell of the magic of Bruce. If you’re not, then you likely already quit reading after the third paragraph.
This isn’t a concert review; rather, just a recap of the impressions occupying my consciousness in the afterglow of the evening.
Bruce Springsteen is a man who . . .
- At the age of 62, is as fit and energetic as he was at 25–and plays a better guitar than ever.
- Speaks out boldly for his passions—personal, professional and political.
- Might not enunciate his lyrics clearly, but has millions of fans sing along verbatim.
- Still looks on the outside like the rugged bad boy we all fell in love with, but has mellowed into a sensitive and humble man who isn’t afraid to sing about Jesus and end his show with a “God bless.”
- Has brilliantly mastered the art of musical orchestration and stage production to the extent it seems impossible to top.
- Deeply misses, nearly to tears, his friend and saxophone player Clarence Clemons.
- Had the wisdom to bring in Clarence’s nephew, Jake Clemons, to fill the Big Man’s big shoes and throw in four additional horns for good measure.
- Has proven it’s possible to work successfully, side by side, every day, with one’s spouse.
Bruce gave 20,000 lucky fans three hours of musical muscle for their money. And while he was in town, he saw to it that wounded veterans from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as well as those served by DC Central Kitchen, were included in the magic.
Yes, indeed. The man’s still got it.
For a real review, today’s Washington Post says it more eloquently than I, and had more space to work with: Read David Malitz’ excellent account.
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