2006-06-13, MidWest Bank Amphitheater, Chicago, IL

Seeger Sessions Tour
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Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Joe Muszynski wrote: It amazes me that critics are writing Springsteen is playing music not all of his fans are into so they are staying away. For me, this is the music I've been waiting for from Bruce. Go back and listen to "The Wild, The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle" - it starts with a crazy horn burst and progresses with an ensemble of musicians, rock and roll norms be damned. "New York City Serenade", any one? I've longed for those days, probably because I was just young enough not to see those shows.

This latest amalgamation, The Pete Seeger Sessions Band, is the Boss coming back to his roots - a musical orchestra that blows down the walls of the halls!

And the show in Chicago last night was just that - Bruce blowing into town and blowing down the walls. The set list was not much different than the other shows being played - but, oh, what power, and what fun.

Live, each of the songs from the new album packs energy and heart to burn, specially when everyone sings it out with the band. That's the idea. The reworked songs all work well - the only one I would call out for striking me as odd is "Johnny 99" - but that's a minor call out. It gave me a chance to catch a breath. I understand that this was the debut of a reworked "Further on Up the Road". Beautiful vocals from all the singers made this heartfelt ballad a welcome to all. Highlight of the old material for me was "Open All Night", which was always one of the funniest of Bruce's songs for me - the new version, a big band boogie in which Bruce sort of raps his way through it, was hilarious and fun and amazing.

Bruce's politics of humanity, of the people, were in force and I welcomed that. Folk music is music for folks, and we are all folks. Time for "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" and "Bring 'Em Home" to be released. Are these getting any radio play? Is anybody playing this disc to the masses?

What else? The crowd continuing to sing "Pay Me My Money Down" as the band left until they came back out was great - almost as if the entertainment was paid for, so pay it down, but also a great unity of a few singers in the crowd. The "Buffalo Gals" closer was alot of fun too, but here's a suggestion to the Boss - you need to close, solo acoustic of course, with "Froggie Went a Courtin'", as the last line "If you want anymore you have to sing it yourself" is a natural to end on. I prefer to be brought down easy!

And all in all - Bruce himself was hilarious - caught in Chicago road repair traffic, goofing, laughing - really great to see. It's been a while since I laughed so hard at a concert. It was strange, but cool.

For me, this is what Bruce was always destined to do - lead a crew of as many musicians as possible. Thanks, Boss - what's next?

bronxkid1 wrote: I hate to sound like everything I have seen or heard about this tour but I will. I had no intention of going to this tour at all, which flys in the face of my rule of almost 30 years that if Bruce is anywhere within 150 miles of where you are standing you must go to see him or else you are crazy. What else are you going to do, watch TV?

The show, which I attended with my 7 year old, was fantastic. I'm not gonna say the Seeger Session material is my cup of tea because it isn't. But the music, the band, the emotion, the general aliveness all made up for it. Even the remakes were mostly of songs I can live without, yet, they all sounded awesome, especially Open All Night. I have said for a long time that I would love material from Bruce that is R&B/gospel/rock blended and you certainly get that from this new material. And bravo for taking a chance with stuff many in the "fan base" will resent and even stay home for. I can't stand predictable artists or oldies acts. The highlights in this show for me were Long Black Veil, Further on Up the Road, Open All Night, and When the Saints but truly, there were no dull moments. I think I will reinstate my rule forever. Bruce never lets you down.


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