Ok, so you’re tired of hearing about Bruce Springsteen from me. I get it. But here’s the deal. Thirty-three years is a long time. It’s a long time to be a true fan of a musician, and a band. Think of all those one-hit wonders out there who never stood the test of time. Think of KC and the Sunshine Band, Toto, Styx, Men At Work! All bands that have come and gone and you have no idea where they went off to and you ask yourself – why aren’t they still around? Then you think of Bruce Springsteen, who is 62, who is still embarking on major tours with a band that has lost key players, but still plays every concert as if it’s their last. And it’s meaningful music. Particularly now. Particularly when things have been tough for so many people, and people have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their self-esteem. And while Bruce is a kabillionaire now, he still roots for the common man, and hopes for common decency, and that everyone gets a fair shake, even though many of his songs sing of those who’ve missed out on the American dream. Young bands like Arcade Fire and The Gaslight Anthem embrace the sounds of the E Street Band while giving their own, fresh takes on music. Bruce remarked about Arcade Fire’s live performances and how “there’s a whole town up on stage, and that is quite lovely.”
Mr. Springsteen is heading out on the road, and around the world, with a community of his own on his upcoming tour. While we’ll miss Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, we can rejoice in the fact that Bruce is happy to keep the family together, incorporate nephews and sons into the live act, and continue to play to millions of people. I, for one, love the community of people that come to his shows. I’ve met a lot of great people attending all the ones I’ve gone to. Particularly those on his last tour, people who felt that an end of an era was upon us, and it was. Losing Clarence Clemons was like ripping out the heart of a live animal while it was still clinging to a grand life.
Here we are, on the cusp of a new tour, a new “town” on stage with new inhabitants, but with the same mayor. I’m looking forward to going out on tour again, meeting more people at tailgate parties, or sitting next to me in the bleachers, or standing shoulder to shoulder to what is as close to going to church as I’m ever gonna get. And I will be a chocolate mess at the tour opener. Guaranteed. I’m glad my partner will be there, and glad for a community to come together once again holding me, and all of us, up.