Springsteen shines in move from Grammy's to live stage
by MIKE TREHY
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on March 7, 2003 | PRINT

"I'd like to thank absolutely f--ing nobody", and with these words Bruce Springsteen started the second leg of The Rising tour. It was the Grammy acceptance speech everyone wanted to hear. After losing to Norah Jones for Album of the Year and Song of the Year awards, Springsteen re-opened the tour in Duluth, Ga., last Friday night. However, Springsteen was not too upset about the two losses to Jones because he won three. The Grammy awards for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song were awarded to Springsteen for his latest album and title track "The Rising." The third award was for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and Springsteen was set to live up to his title. With the successful completion of the first half of the tour in December, fans could hardly wait for the tour to resume. So Springsteen and the E Street Band did what they do best, they rocked.

The concert began with "No Surrender", a track from the "Born in the USA" album. The crowd set the tone of the evening with a thunderous applause after the first song. "No Surrender" was followed by songs from "The Rising" and a good blend of other past hits including: "Candy's Room," "Thunder Road," and "Out in the Street." The crowd was really into the performance. The smaller venue added to this. The audience just seemed to be closer to the band and it created a large amount of crowd participation.

In the middle of the first set, the band played some slower songs and Bruce asked the crowd for some quiet. Songs like "You're Missing" and "Into the Fire," written as a tribute to those who died in the Sep. 11 attacks, really created a somber mood over the crowd. This also occurred when Bruce played a solo piano version of "If I Should Fall Behind." These slow moments really gave the concert a great variety and took the audience on a journey. If the concert consisted of only loud rock, there would be no depth to the show. Springsteen and the E Street Band played music that reached out to a wide range of emotions. While the majority of songs contained aggressive guitar riffs and drums, some slower songs incorporated the saxophone of Clarence Clemons and violin of Soozie Tyrell to really echo throughout the audience.

Some other highlights included the physicality of Springsteen himself. When I am 53 years old, if I can move half as good as Bruce Springsteen I will be very happy. After pouncing around stages for nearly 30 years, "the boss" still shows no signs of wear. During "Waitin on a Sunny Day", Springsteen slid across the stage on his knees twice. This was followed by a leap on and off the piano, not to mention the constant movement around the front, back and sides of the stage. Bruce it seems is determined to put on a show with the same energy and quality of any concert from the '70s or '80s. However, while Bruce is determined, he is also quick to point out the limitations of age on others. During "Born to Run," an older gentleman jumped from the crowd onto the stage and came close to guitarist Nils Lofgren before being hauled off. The band never missed a beat and Bruce simply stated, "He's too old to be doing that."

There is no other concert in the world like a Bruce Springsteen concert. A legend in the rock 'n' roll community, Springsteen and the E Street Band have been making music since 1973. Songs about love, war, unemployment and misspent youth have reached countless people across the world. The fans that support Springsteen are yet another aspect to the aura of his concert. When you look around the arena and see fans ranging in age from 17 to 61 years old, you really understand how many people this music has touched. There is a common thread among the thousands in attendance that creates an atmosphere unmatched by any other performer. A Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert sets the example of what other concerts everywhere should be.

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