Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bruce Springsteen's Super Bowl Set

Okay, Bruce is an Obama supporter, so presumably the fact that the Super Bowl occurs not long after the presidential inauguration means we'll get some happy political material. I.e., "Born To Run" is a lock, from the title alone. Whereas if McCain had won we might have gotten "War" and "Darkness On The Edge Of Town."

Now, I'm a huge Bruce fan, but I also think it would be great if the Dirtbombs played the Super Bowl and did their fantastic cover of Phil Lynott's "Ode To A Black Man" (which, despite my overt whiteness, I always find myself singing along to, especially at the incredibly catchy "can't understand a black man" line, at which point I'm always when I think of it damn glad I'm alone).

That aside aside, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Bruce played "The Promised Land" and "The Rising." Or something like the great cover he used to do of Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA." (Which, of course, was the title tune of the 2nd MC5 album, (over)produced by Jon Landau years before he was Bruce's manager.) Mainly I'd like it if Bruce just gets possessed like he used to, back when a great cover of Gary US Bonds' "Quarter To Three" could morph into something like this:

Bruce and the band had been playing a killer version of the song for 4 minutes prior to that little explosion. Now, if anyone has live footage of anyone anywhere comparable to this, please let me know. I saw Bruce three times in the 80s, they were the 3 best shows I've ever seen, and no one comes close. And I've seen James Brown, Sun Ra, the PFunk All-Stars, Sonny Rollins, NRBQ, The Clash, and a whole lot more. Some of these folk I caught well past their prime; I can judge only by what I've seen. And from what I've seen and heard, the 1978 Springsteen tour is the greatest series of shows filmed and recorded.

So of course the NFL gets him 31 years later. Now, they may have gotten the right guy. Bruce still makes good albums, if not as good as his best. And his repertoire (he was playing 3 hour sets 30 years ago) leaves him plenty of good songs to choose from. And I'm sure he still has a damn sight more energy than most performers half his age. The biggest competition may be that the NFL actually got Prince for the Super Bowl just a couple years ago, and that's a guy in Bruce's approximate age bracket who can also still deliver. Hey, it's a lot more fun competition than the one for the presidency. Personally, I'm still looking for people excited about Joe Biden.

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