Best of the Bruce Comments

springsteen (By Linda Davidson/TWP)

Bruce played, Freedom wrote, I tweeted, you commented. Let's look at some of the best ones.

Most On Point
tojo45 said:

He's a legend, a master performer, who cares about giving all he can to his audience. He's an excellent guitar player as well. The first two times I saw him he was THE guitar player and it worked very well. (Shady Grove Amphitheater and Carter Barron way back in the day).

But the problem always with performers who have a long life span, and write their own material, is that it is very hard to keep the quality of the songwriting at the same level. I stopped liking Bruces material after Born to Run for the most part. The first two albums will always be his best.

Now it's all about the fact there is no harder working man or band in show business, and it's a revelation to see a 60 year old who makes all of the current crop of acts look like lazy, talentless, nothings.

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This was basically how I felt about the show. Springsteen is a peerless performer and he lives to give his audience three hours of joy. My final Tweet of the evening said that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone leaving Verizon Center who would tell you they didn't get their money's worth.

But let's face it -- his days as an relevant musician in terms of new music are pretty much done. But once you accept that, you can appreciate that he will put on a show. Dylan's making much better records, but his concerts consist of him standing sideways and wheezing into a mic while intermittently pounding a keyboard.

Springsteen's physical exertion is truly astonishing. I got tired just watching him. Bottom line is his live show is a sure thing -- you'll hear a bunch of unimpeachable classics and get three hours of sweat-soaked rock-and-roll. Just accept that it's not a spontaneous rock-and-roll revelation; it's a show.

(More after the jump.)

Funniest Comment About New Songs
theblitz said:

The lows are mostly related to Working on a Dream, the only album he's ever done that I find generally unlistenable. Of the new songs he played last night, Kingdom of Days sounds like it would fit better in a Tony Bennett concert; WOAD would work be perfect for the latter-day Billy Joel; Outlaw Pete is better suited for another genre so far from my tastes that I can't even name an appropriate artist. Maybe a Mexican Mariachi band?

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Seriously, those new songs -- with the clear exception of "The Wrestler" -- were bad. Awful. Pure cheese. You have to be a serious Bruce apologist to find anything redeeming about those songs and most of the new album. Look, my all-time favorites are Dylan and the Fall. They have made some truly terrible records. It's OK to admit it. It doesn't make you any less of a "real" fan. "Working on a Dream" is bad, no matter what Jann Wenner would have you believe.

Most Representative Complaint
gratefulterp said:

The verizon center is the problem. having seen hundreds of shows at dozens of arenas around the country, I can confidently say that verizon is consistently among the worst sounding for 90% of the seats in the building. In my not so humble opinion verizon should be prohibited from hosting music.

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"Can you hear me now?" "Well, sort of. But it's really muddy." OK, so the sound in the Phone Booth wasn't so clear. Probably because the arena was built to host hockey and basketball first and second and rock shows somewhere down the list. It doesn't mean that the sound will always be bad, but this is an inherent risk you take when you go to arena shows, and one reason I generally avoid them.

The 9:30 club was built specifically to host concerts. (And not, in fact, to charge $6 for a Budweiser, it turns out.) So of course things will sound great there, and you should be upset if they don't. But when you go to a hockey arena to see a rock show, I think you can only complain so much. It also doesn't help that the E Street Band itself is a little bloated these days. There were four guitarists on many of those songs. Unless you're Tone, it's going to be hard to get four guitars not to sound a bit muddy.

Token "Reviewer Is an Idiot!" Comment
gasucu said:

Horrible review by a horrible music critic. This is the same clown who criticized the Boss's most recent album primarily for the lyrics and then misquoted the lyrics he was criticizing in the review. Johnny 99 was over-muscular? First, what does that mean? Second, it rocked. The sound quality is clearly not the Boss's fault - anyone who has seen him play elsewhere knows that (and one would hope a music critic would as well). I've seen over 40 concerts by the Boss - the man always provides a great show and last night was no exception (despite the nit picking by the self-important clown who calls himself J. Freedom Du Lac).

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Phew. I thought we were going to get through one anti-Freedom rant without someone making fun of his name. That was a close one!

By David Malitz |  May 20, 2009; 1:20 PM ET Please Read the Letter , Springsteen
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And since Tone often play DC9, which is the Verizon Center of the club circuit, even they have sound problems with four guitars. (I kid, sorta.)

Posted by: M__N | May 20, 2009 2:25 PM

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