|Bruce watches Tom Morello bring the Rage to E Street.|
No, I figured out why Aussie crowds are depriving themselves the joy of participating in a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert by, at the very least, standing up.
It's a 2-part speculation:
1) They don't have Born to Run in their DNA.
2) Many in attendance aren't fans of Bruce or the E Street Band.
|Born to sit.|
There's nothing wrong with this, of course. It's a free country and all that. But it equates to having a taste for red wine, buying one of limited vintage at an exorbitant price, taking a sip, and tipping the bottle over in your sleep.
I noticed it first in Brisbane, when 'She's the One' created nary a ripple and 'Thunder Road' generated only polite applause. At every show I've ever attended any and all BTR songs were rapturously welcomed and devoured. For the great bulk of concertgoers here they're just another song they don't know .... and a chance to wonder, "when's he gonna get around to playing 'Born in the USA', anyway?"
Which brings us to criminally negligent Aussie radio, which I wrote about on the eve of the tour. Springsteen didn't exist in Australia until Born in the USA. True, his first appearance here wasn't until 1985, but for a nation that was listening to nothing but pop and rock sung by white people it's hard to imagine how Springsteen's working-class anthems weren't embraced until that silly video with Courtney Cox launched BITUSA like a red, white and blue scud missile. As I wrote about previously, Springsteen has been shunted to 'classic rock only' status here, and by far the most popular of the 3 or 4 songs that get airtime is BITUSA.
And he hasn't played it yet in Oz. How I love this man .....
Let's move on to what he did play on a cool Monday evening in Sydney.
It's been mind-blowing thus far to see Springsteen squeezed between two of the world's greatest rock guitarists on this tour. He unleashed Nils and Tom in 'Prove It All Night' and 'Adam Raised a Cain', respectively. As the show would run only 2:40, I wonder if handing solo duties over to his sidemen was a signal Springsteen was conserving strength. He did the ol' one-handed nose-evacuation several times throughout the night. Allergies? Cold? Sinuses? Join the ex-pat Australian atmosphere victims list, Bruce.
I know 'Hungry Heart' provides levity and Bruce's crowd-surfing assures the crowd he means motherf*cking business but after the intensity of 'Wrecking Ball' and 'Death to My Hometown' it seems ... quaint. Repeated HH's over the years has worn away its specialness, which is why the foregoing of 'Glory Days' didn't bother me a bit.
|'Are we missing anybody?'|
|She ... has fancy clothes and diamond rings ...|
'Pay Me My Money Down' allowed some fans to understand that standing and dancing is part of the price of admission but up in Section 64 I went back to pounding my feet on the ground and apologising to the two women behind me whenever the urge struck to stand and clap and fist-pump and scream to the rafters BAD -- LANDS or THE HIGHWAY'S JAMMED WITH BROKEN HEROES or SATURDAY SUNDAY EVERYBODY ROCKS.
It was that kinda night.
|'We'll be back Wednesday with another spec-TAC-ular.'|