Friday, March 16, 2012

Quick Takes - Apollo Theater Concert 3/9/12



Sadly, we weren’t the lucky few who won tickets to the Wrecking Ball tour warm-up at the Apollo Theater sponsored by Sirius XM last week. While we weren’t able to rub elbows with Tom Hanks and Elvis Costello or witness Bruce proclaim himself the “hardest working white man in show business,” we did the next best thing – drink beer and listen to the concert in surround sound.

My first reaction to the concert: slightly underwhelmed. But only because Bruce sets the bar so high. I know I’ve been spoiled by his 3 hour plus concerts, but his Apollo Theater set felt disconcertingly abridged. It was great to hear so much from Wrecking Ball, I was really saddened that they didn’t include anything from The Promise.

There were some highlights though: a cover of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On I’m Comin’,” Bruce’s homage to the legends who had previously performed on the stage, and the screeching halt of a tribute to Clarence during “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” (as fellow editor Rory put it, “I can’t wait to clap along in person.”)

But even so, I didn’t feel blown away, as I have become expectant to feel. Then I read Vulture’s first-hand review of the concert and I remembered just how visual a Bruce show is: the facial expressions, the band members’ interactions, Bruce’s sweat. After reading the article, April 3 at the Izod Center can’t come soon enough.

If you don't read the full Vulture article, at least read their closing paragraph:

As the audience stumbled out onto 125th Street postshow and buses lined up to deliver the suburbanites to Penn Station and Grand Central, I found myself wondering how many people think of a Bruce Springsteen gig when recalling the best night of their lives. He’s built a career commodifying that big, warm, generous feeling of going out hard on a Friday night, after you’ve gotten paid and before the reality of Saturday chores sinks in. Forty years in, business is as good as it’s ever been.