Monday, November 12, 2012

Come on Rise Up...

To a sell out crowd on Sunday night at St. Paul MN's  Xcel Center, Bruce Springsteen gave every reason for the crowd to rise up out of their chairs, sing and applaude.

Polar opposite of Dylan on Wednesday, The Boss engaged with the crowd including acknowledging 88 year young woman who's seen Bruce many times and then having a young girl sing along up on stage.

From the first note struck to the fading of the last lyric of his "Born to Run", Bruce put on a non-stop, voice belting, fist pumping, heart beating, tear flowing,  foot stomping concert that may be the best ever seen.

Although, he let the crowd carry him from a mid floor stage to the main stage(literally) and never missing a note, Bruce carried us. Carried us through a memorable performance of songs including some new ( Wrecking Ball) and old ( Rosalita) and even requested tunes like " Saving Up", a song on the first album of Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, his long time saxophone player who passed away last year. Pounding out classics such as " Spirit in the Night", "Darlington County"  "Bad Lands" and "Thunder Road", The Boss didn't disappoint.

"My City of Ruins" and "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" may have left no dry eye in the place. The crowd drew quiet during the poetic City and Bruce gave a warm sentimental photo tribute to the Big Man during 10th avenue.

Some may disagree with his politics, there was little of that, and not interested in his music at all. But in these days of digitally manufactured music, Springsteen reminds us that great old fashioned Rock n Roll continues to rise up!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What was that Mr. Dylan?

In an arena suited for 20,000 people, Bob Dylan would've best performed his gig last night in a 5,000 seat theater instead.

I wasn't sure if I was at a speak easy back in the 20's or in the Artist's Quarter ( a small jazz club )down the street from the Xcel center.

Dylan being Dylan can do what he wants and that's exactly what he did. Never engaging the crowd, played mostly at the piano, jazzing up his songs, leaving the crowd sitting in their seats wondering What is this?

Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame didn't help this snoozer of a show either, playing a little blue grass and some slow smokey riffs as an opener to Zimmerman.

 Knopfler played "So Far Away" giving the audience a prelude to the rest of the night....

Wishing we were so far away from the arena, staying at home and listening to the traditional sentimental clarity of Dylan's poetry through digital or CD or even an album. At least we wouldn't have needed subtitles to understand him.

Rating: 2.5 Guitar picks out of 5.