Thursday, March 29, 2012

Springsteen (and Little Steven) in Tampa

The first leg of Bruce Springsteen's latest tour, this time in support of his epic, land shaking, earth quaking, history making, album "Wrecking Ball" has barely started and already it is the stuff of legend.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to be in Tampa, Springsteen's only Florida at this point.  The back story to it is that I had to be in Florida on business and had the opportunity to hop over to Tampa in time for the show.  Through the good graces of The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, started and supported by Little Steven, not to mention a sizable donation to it, I had the opportunity to meet Little Steven before the show.

He was quite the gracious host, considering we were within an hour of the kick off of the show.  Here's a photo:

After that we went on to witness a great show.  Springsteen is every bit as good now as he was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago.  He enjoys performing as much as the audience enjoys watching and that's the secret behind the magic.  Here are two great moments from the show.

Talk to Me (a tour debut):

With the Trayvon Martin controversy still going strong in Florida, Springsteen broke out "American Skin" without comment.  A powerful moment that still resonates.  It lays no blame but underscores all the various factors that go into the making of this kind of tragedy, deeply held prejudices and perceptions crashing head on to a society that has been conditioned  by a political machinery to live in and respond to fear as a way of keeping its constituents loyal. Ultimately it makes the most salient point: "You get killed just for living in your American Skin."  As long as that continues to hold sway, we'll never fully progress as a society.  Here's the official video feed from "American Skin" in Tampa:

The next morning I headed to Newark on the early flight sitting in first class compliments of the good folks at United and the fact that I spend as much time in airplanes these days as I spend at home.  Seated next to me, oddly, grandly, was Little Steven, heading back home.  We talked briefly but it was clear he wanted to sleep and he did, for the entire flight.  It was a sleep well earned.

Luckily, the next stop on my own mini-tour is Madison Square Garden next Friday night.  It will be special, mostly because every Springsteen concert is special.  These moments, shared with the ones you love, are among that rare subset of things that makes life worth living.

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