Monday, February 02, 2009

Springsteen at the Superbowl

I know I am slightly cynical. But I'm certain Bruce Springsteen, the symbol of integrity and authenticity in American rock music, was lip-synching when he sang at the Superbowl last night.

And what's with this enormous gospel choir that seems to be following him around these days?

His new album "Working On A Dream" is good, though not sensational or era-defining or a creative high watermark--and I've never been a fan of Brendan O'Brien's production--but the most powerful thing you can have on a stage is one man with a guitar and a harmonica. You don't need fifty people in flowing white robes jiggling around like they're animated by the ecstasy of some holy communion with God.

Okay, "Nebraska" or "The Ghost of Tom Joad" probably would have got Springsteen booed off the stage by the Superbowl crowd.

But I'm much more of a fan of the lonesome Bruce who speaks from his own heart and doesn't care whether anybody likes it than I am of the consensus-seeking "Boss" who's emerging again after a string of big hit albums and his close identification with Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

If that tendency continues I may have to put his cds to the bottom of the pile for a while and play a bit more Neil Young.

4 comments:

All This Trouble... said...

What? You didn't think it was great? You didn't like it when he slid his cod piece right into the camera lens? And what about that time he jumped off of that high spot onm the stage? Oh, oh....and when they all looked so fucking stupid it made me sad, sad, sad.

I bet he blew his knees out.
I bet he can't walk this morning.

Fred Abbey said...

I was expecting something else really, I don't know why. Brucey has always been a bit of a ham. Remember the 1985 "Born To Run" video montage?

I've been listening more and more to new generation young folkies and Americana acts who eschew all that kind of stuff.

I love the image of him blowing his knees out. I would have done, and I'm about 14 years younger than him. Of course, I haven't worked out since I was 15 either.

Anonymous said...

How disappointing about Obama - first he fails to condemn Israeli atrocities in Gaza, now he has hired Kissinger (!)to act as a go between with the US and Russia!

He is more eloquent than Bush -- a better salesman -- but otherwise it will be business as usual ... not that I expected anything different, but a lot of people DID.

-- Glenn

Fred Abbey said...

Yeah, I did. I have to say I still do, though. Better than Bush, if not what everybody actually hoped for.

I must admit hiring Kissinger is a surprise. I didn't even know he was still alive! Though in some circles there's a good deal of revisionism about the Nixon years which casts their foreign policy at least in quite a favourable light. I'm not quite sure what to think about that. When I hear Nixon's name I tend to think of Hunter Thompson's words about him when he died: "His body should have been burned in a trash bin."