2006-06-05, Greek Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA
Seeger Sessions Tour
Roy Bittan guests on "Pay Me My Money Down".
Were you there? Write about it!
Roger wrote: From the moment Bruce and the band casually walked out on the stage to the moment they casually walked off, it was clear that this was not like any Springsteen show that I had ever seen. Bruce was looser and happier than I have ever seen him, clearly enjoying the music and I think enjoying the creative freedom of not having to play Born to Run, etc. for the umpteen millionth time.
There was a sense that both Bruce and the audience approached this show with an openess and lack of expectations that was refreshing. The crowd was all solid Bruce folks who clearly trusted Bruce to take them wherever he wanted. No one was yelling for "Rosalita." Although it was L.A., the show did not have a "big event" sort of feel. Tom Hanks was there, but I think we can count him as a real Bruce fan by now.
While a casual observer might see this whole Seeger Sessions thing as another big rock star making an oldies cover album and basically going through the motions, nothing could be further from the truth. Bruce has made the Seeger songs truly his own, and if you haven't heard the new versions of the Springsteen songs, be prepared for something completely different. It is beyond my limited musical vocabulary to explain how these songs sound, but these are really completely different arrangements and completely different takes on the songs. Open All Night really stood out, complete with doo-wop vocals from the "red-headed women."
Roy Bittan was seen in the audience and went on stage for the last song before the encores. Not only did he play a riveting piano solo, but he stayed on stage as each of the SSB musicians left, until it was just Roy alone on stage banging on the keys for awhile. Quite a tribute by Bruce to his longtime piano player to feature him like that even though he was only making a guest appearance.
Among the SSB members, guitarist/vocalist Marc Anthony Thompson (aka Chocolate Genius) really stood out. He duets with Bruce on "Eyes on the Prize," "When the Saints Come Marching In" and others and really adds a depth to the show, especially the songs dealing with the civil rights struggle.
The show has very definite political overtones, and Bruce made a couple of references to Bush, as well as to an issue that has gotten a lot of attention in L.A. involving a community garden in South Central L.A. that low-income Hispanic people have been using for years and now some developer wants to build condos on or somthing. Bruce also made some funny L.A. references ("there is no carpool lane to heaven," "don't give me that 'I'm too cool to sing' shit").
All in all, one of the very best Springsteen shows I have ever seen. I really hope this is not the last we see of the SSB. I would love to see Bruce write some songs with the band in mind and explore some more of the older folk stuff. This strikes me as a longterm side project, rather than just a one off. Although I love the E Street Band, it seems to me that as Bruce pushes 60 years old, this new musical direction may be a better fit for where he is at.
mike lintz wrote: A BEAUTIFUL NITE & WHAT A BEAUTIFUL NOISE. BRUCE & THE SEEGER SESSIONS BAND WAS A JOYFUL EXPERIENCE UNDER THE STARS @ THE GREEK TONITE.
I KNOW MANY WHO SAY "NO E STREET , NO INTEREST. I TOTALLY DISAGREE. INSTEAD OF HOPING & WAITING FOR A POSSIBLE TREAT [ SANDY , NYC SERANADE , WILD BILLY ...] EVERY SONG ON THIS TOUR IS A REAL TREAT.PHENOMENAL NEW ARRANGEMENTS OF OPEN ALL NITE,
JOHNNY99 & RAMROD A MEMORABLE
MESS UP AT THE BEGINNING OF IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND HAD THE BOSS EXCLAIMING " I TOTALLY FUCKED THIS UP" "IT'LL BE EVEN BETTER NOW " BUT THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE NITE FOR ME WAS THE END OF PAY ME MY MONEY DOWN, WHERE ALL LEFT THE STAGE EXCEPT FOR A BLAZING TUBA & PIANO.BRUCE CAME BACK OUT TO DRAG THE TUBA PLAYER OUT BY THE ARM ,LEAVING ONLY A ROLLICKING , RAGING PIANO.YES THERE WAS A PROFESOR IN THE HOUSE TONITE & HE HAD FUN.
BRUCE CAME BACK ONCE MORE AND LEANING ON THE EDGE OF THE PIANO WITH YHIS HUGE SMAILE ON HIS MUG ,JUST ENJOYING ROYS MUSIANSHIP FOR ANOTHER MINUTE BEFORE ENDING THE SOLO ALONG WITH ROY & DEPARTING TOGETHER. A BEAUTIFUL MOMENT. I ALSO HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE OF MEETING ROY ON THE WAY OUT & SHAKING HIS HAND I WRAPPED MY ARM AROUND HIS SHOULDER & THANKED HIM
FOR THE MANY NITES OF PLEASURE HE'S GIVIN ME .HE LAUGHED WHEN I TOLD HIM MY WIFE WAS JEALOUS!!
ANYHOW IF U MISS THIS TOUR ,SHAME ON YOU.IT'S BRUCE AT HIS BEST , HAVING A GREAT TIME WITH SOME INCREDIBLE MUSCIANS
Winwook wrote: A truly great show. Lots of fun. Bruce had a lot of good-natured fun at the expense of the LA crowd. He was constantly busting our chops about our unwillingness to sing along. In defense of my fellow city folk, the music wasn't very loud (at least where I was sitting) so if you sang along, you could really hear the sound of your own voice, which can always be a bit disconcerting. Plus, it's hard not to get a little tired after singing the chorus for Pay Me My Money Down about two hundred times in a row.
Johnny 99 was truly bizarre and strange, as was Ramrod, but both still enjoyable. These versions are impossible to sing along to and almost unrecognizable from their previous incarnations. Jacob's Ladder was a real highlight as was The Saints Go Marching In. It's always awesome to see the look of joy and amazement on the faces of people who have never seen Bruce in concert. It's truly a life affirming experience.