Category Archives: Springsteen

Learning to ride the waves: Indigos, Springsteen, Obama

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks. Concerts, crazy weather, and oh yes, a little election…

Indigo Girls in concertOn 11/2 I saw the Indigo Girls for the first time in a couple of years. I am not wild about their most recent album, but always enjoy seeing them in concert. I was in the front row (which seldom sucks) at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington, which is one of my favorite concert venues; it’s a renovated old movie theater, large enough to feel like a show but small enough to feel relatively intimate. I’ve seen a lot of great shows there.

The Shadowboxers opened – young band out of Atlanta. I have to admit that their music is not completely my cup of tea; they’re a little bit pop for me, but they did what they did very well. Good vocals, nice harmonies, good energy onstage. I can imagine them doing well on radio and garnering a pretty decent audience. I was reminded of how I felt about fun. when I saw them open for Janelle Monae, actually, and that was right before they got so popular you couldn’t avoid them.

Indigo Girls’ set was higher-energy than I’ve seen from them the past few times, due at least in part to having the Shadowboxers as their backing band. I love seeing IG with a full band, and it had been a while! They pulled out a few songs they don’t usually do without a band, like “Trouble” and “Tether” (which was absolutely killer) and an exceptionally funky “Shed Your Skin.” Quite a good show overall.

Bruce Springsteen & Steven Van ZandtAnd then there was the next night: Mr. Springsteen in Louisville. I’ve already written up some of the musical highlights over at Blogness, so I won’t rehash those here. Instead, a few more personal thoughts.

Louisville is only about 80 miles from home for me, so it was lovely to see a Springsteen show without having to fly, drive for hours, or even get a hotel room. I’d persuaded my friend Karen to go with me, so we left in the morning in the midst of a cold rain and arrived in downtown Louisville in time to meet up with some other friends for lunch. (Side note: the Bluegrass Brewing Co.  is terrific! Nice selection of beers, and good food for both vegetarians and carnivores – I had some vegan bbq wings that were very tasty, and Karen’s bison burger looked great too.)

We watched a sleet/rain mixture outside the windows for a while, and when that let up, we headed across the street to the arena to get our wristbands. (For those unfamiliar with the process, General Admission ticketholders obtain numbered wristbands, which are given out from 1-4 pm. Then at 4:30 you have to be back at the venue, where they draw an allegedly random number; the person whose wristband matches that number gets to be first in line. It is not a complicated procedure, although some audience members and some venue staff try to make it complicated sometimes.) Then we had a couple hours before we had to be back, so – back to the BBC for dessert and coffee. (Bourbon bread pudding with caramel sauce, for me – fantastic.)

And then back to the arena, where venue security did not seem to know which end was up. Usually they line up wristband-holders in several queues by number – the 100s here, 200s here, and so on. There were some barricades set up to create queues, but there was nothing else going on. We all milled about, then security tried to sort us into lines … sort of. Basically we stood there smooshed together (which is really fun when you are 5 foot 1 and mildly crowd-phobic, let me tell you – especially when somebody nearby is being rude enough to smoke). Fortunately we were under an underpass; I say “fortunately” because the nasty cold rain started up again, so we were dry, although it was noisy as hell under there.

Finally they announced how many wristbands they’d given out (six hundred and some) and how many would be allowed in the front part of the GA floor, aka the pit (300) – and drew the number. We did some fast math and figured that our group had missed the pit, but not badly; we’d be within the first 40 or so people onto the back part of the floor after the pit people went in, which meant we had an excellent chance of being right on the back rail – a great place to be, actually. So we were content.

pit wristbandsAnd then they started letting people in, keeping track of wristband numbers, making sure we were in order. This is the part where you start feeling a bit like cattle, but it’s also the part where you are closer to getting into the actual arena. They checked my number, scanned my ticket, inspected my small shoulder bag… and then… slapped a second wristband on me. A pit wristband. We were all a bit dumbfounded, realizing that after not making the pit, suddenly … we’d made the pit! Apparently they decided to let more people in than originally planned, and we were lucky.

Then there was more waiting. And more waiting. Did I mention there was waiting? I don’t really mind the waiting, to be honest; even when I’m at a show by myself, by this point I’ve made friends with the people around me in line, and we usually find enough common ground to be quite congenial. When you’re with friends, it’s actually kind of fun. You speculate about where you will end up on the floor, scheme about which side of the stage to head for, text distant friends to let them know you’re in the pit… then before you know it, you’re being ushered into the arena.

I’d been of the opinion that we should head for the back of the pit, where there’s a smaller stage set up and where Bruce usually stands to sing at least a couple of songs. I figured we’d have a chance at being “up close and personal” for a few minutes that way, and probably a little better visibility for us short people than we’d have packed into the center of the pit. Others in my party wanted to go for the center of the pit, so I followed along. As we settled into our spots and sat on the floor to (three guesses) wait some more, I’m afraid I got a little cranky and snappish; it looked like I was going to have some tall and broad people right in front of me, and I dreaded having one of those shows where I never get to see the actual stage. Also I’d only had about four hours of sleep the night before, so I was a bit of a toddler who’d missed her nap. (I’m learning, after all these years, that sometimes the same events can bring out both the best and the worst in me. I am such a Gemini.)

Springsteen with the horn sectionI shouldn’t have worried. Once the band came onstage I could see well enough, though I occasionally had to crane my neck around one person or another. And the show was intensely energetic! The third song was “Hungry Heart” and this is where Bruce usually goes to the platform in the back of the pit and then crowd-surfs his way back up to the stage. And, well, we were right in line. Bruce checked in with the people at the platform, made sure they were ready to catch him, then turned his back and fell gracefully onto the sea of waiting hands. Don’t steer him off to the side, I pleaded silently… and then, there he was. Okay, so you don’t necessarily have a lot of options as far as which particular little bit of Bruce’s anatomy presents itself to you when he crowd-surfs over you… and, well, sorry, Bruce – we probably should have been properly introduced before I laid hands on your, er, posterior. What was I supposed to do, DROP HIM?!? No. Certainly not.

The crowd-surfing thing, from underneath, was actually kind of wild. I’d seen it from up in the seats, and I’d seen it from over to the side of the pit, but I’d never actually taken part. The rush of people trying to get closer to the man himself is intense. There were people pressing at me from three sides, and then as Bruce – the eye of the hurricane – passed overhead the tide shifted and I was being pushed in the other direction. It felt like being wiped out by a big wave and just having to trust that you will surface head-up when it passes. Surface I did, and there were different people around me than there had been before the surf, but my friends were still nearby and I actually had a better view from there on because a couple of the taller people had been shifted over to the side a bit.

It was a show of extremes. “My City of Ruins” had me in tears, thinking of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and about how much I regret not having visited the Jersey shore before. “Streets of Philadelphia” was a song I never would have expected to get in Louisville, and it was intensely emotional for me; that song came out right around the time my dad died, and lines like “my clothes don’t fit me no more / I’ve walked a thousand miles just to slip this skin” are a devastatingly poignant description of what it’s like to see someone gradually fade away. The song was beautifully performed and it wrecked me. Then the transition into the most ferocious, determined “Atlantic City” I’ve ever heard, into a soaring “Because the Night,” into the always-primal “She’s the One” – that might have been one of the finest four-packs I’ve ever gotten at a show.

Springsteen & Van Zandt - the clowns! I’ve never been to a Springsteen show I didn’t love. I’m not sure I would put this one in my top five of all time, but it was certainly one of the most intense in a way, one of the most present and participatory shows I can recall. And you know, it was strange – but good – to end up in my own home a couple hours later, instead of in a hotel room or somebody’s guest room.

On Monday, the guy whose posterior I’d been standing underneath on Saturday night was flying around on Air Force One – accompanying Barack Obama to campaign rallies in Madison, Columbus, and Des Moines. I saw pictures throughout the day of this and you know what, it blew my mind a little bit. I wanted to go back to 1978 and tell that shy 17-year-old holed up in her room writing bad poetry that someday, that scruffy rockstar whose posters were hanging on her wall would be flying around on Air Force One with the President. (Not to mention that writers for Slate and the New York Times would be assigning said formerly-scruffy rockstar some measure of the credit for a presidential campaign victory. Whoa.) And that she would, despite being a perfectly respectable (oh hush) middle-aged lady, still be standing in line for hours and getting as close to the stage as possible and going absolutely crazy at that same guy’s concerts.

I don’t think she would believe me. I think she would probably demand to find out what I was smoking.

I won’t try to go back and tell her that the President Bruce would be flying around with would actually be a couple of months younger than me. And African-American. My face doesn’t like being laughed in all that much. 🙂

Next stop… Kansas City!

Bruce Springsteen


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(Not a) Jersey Girl

Flooded neighborhood in Seaside, NJ

Seaside, NJ. photo/Office of the Governor

I’ve been to New Jersey a time or two, but never spent any time “down the shore” as they say – unless you count the time I visited a friend in Delaware and we took the Lewes-Cape May ferry because it seemed like a fun thing to do (and I’d never been on an oceangoing vessel before). We turned around and came right back, so that doesn’t really count anyway. And I’ve really only been to NYC once, over twenty years ago.

But still – the images of devastation from Hurricane Sandy are hitting me hard. Like any diehard Springsteen fan, the Jersey shore is dear to me, with landmarks that are familiar even though I’ve never visited in person. (When will I learn that “I’ll get around to doing it next year or the year after” is a line of thought guaranteed to end in regret?)

I watched the storm roll in on CNN and the Weather Channel – and on Twitter, where one by one my east coast friends tweeted “there goes the power” and went silent to conserve battery. It was a strange sense of being simultaneously very connected and very disconnected. Since text messages often go through when neither voice nor data will, I offered to receive texts from friends and pass along information to loved ones who might not have the ability to text or receive texts themselves – a sort of information bucket brigade. A couple of friends said they might take me up on it, though neither ended up needing to, but offering made me feel a little less helpless. As the days go by and it becomes more and more clear just how devastated the area is, though, I feel more and more helpless. I’ve done what I could in terms of trying to share information on Twitter – retweeting info about open gas stations, places to charge cellphones, etc. – and have been grateful to see friends checking in that they are OK (cold and dark, in some cases, but basically OK). I’ve made a tiny donation to the Red Cross, and will try to make another when I can. Meanwhile I’m living more or less my normal life – going to work, feeding the cats, voting (Indiana has early voting now so I went on Saturday) – and it feels kind of weird to be living a normal life when so many of my friends are literally battling the elements.

What can you do? This so-connected world is both larger and smaller than is really comfortable… so small that my heart breaks for people and places I’ve never laid actual eyes on, too large to be able to reach out to help. The human condition, twenty-first century style.

All I can do is to keep living my life, I guess. To that end – tomorrow night I am going to see the Indigo Girls here in town, and then Saturday I’m zipping a couple hours south to Louisville to see Bruce Springsteen, who will undoubtedly sing a few songs about the Jersey shore. (If you’re home tomorrow night, by the way, there’s a hurricane benefit show on TV and Springsteen is one of the headliners – and the E Street Band will be serving as the house band. Should be worth watching, and maybe make a donation while you do so?) That’s the world, I guess: terrible things happen and you feel helpless and at the same time you go on, you make what connections you can and you go on and live your life.

You can make a donation for disaster relief at the Red Cross website. I’d be interested in recommendations for other organizations doing relief work, as well.

EDIT: Here’s a nice list of ways to help courtesy of the NBC news show “Rock Center.” Includes the Humane Society, which is working on animal rescue – important work that sometimes goes overlooked in funding.

Here’s Springsteen & the E Street Band from Rochester NY on Wednesday night. Bruce introduces “My City of Ruins” by talking about the Jersey shore and how it will rise again. Video is shaky, but audio is good.


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Rock Stars and Road Trips

Anne Haines playing guitar circa 1978

Daydreamer. Me circa 1978.

When I was seventeen, I dreamed of travel. I loved listening to what I thought of as San Francisco music – 1960s Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, and the like – as well as some of the L.A. singer-songwriters of the time like Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac, and Joni Mitchell. I’d never been west of the Rockies, but for some reason California was where my daydreams drifted. (For that matter, I’d never seen the ocean, landlocked Midwestern girl that I was, and I was fascinated by the idea of that as well. Heart’s “Dreamboat Annie” album, with its ocean sounds, was a big favorite of mine.)

I’d taken guitar lessons for a couple of years, so of course that qualified me to daydream of being a rock star as well. I enjoyed writing songs, sensitive-singer-songwritery things as well as songs I played alone on my acoustic but on which I imagined screaming electric guitars and thunderous drums. I dreamed of riding around the country in my fancy tour bus, performing for appreciative crowds of thousands, and wearing really cool boots.

I won’t say that I didn’t have musical talent. I probably had enough. I’ve always had a good ear, and if I’d spent the time and effort and practiced a lot and worked really hard, I probably would have been a pretty good guitarist and a decent songwriter. Probably never would have been a great singer, but even without taking studio trickery into consideration, there are plenty of singers making a living out there with fairly ordinary voices. But I was shy, and didn’t always play well with others, and I never started a band. And I never had the onstage charisma or the pure chutzpah to put myself out there as a solo performer. Again, something that could likely have been remedied with some coaching and a lot of hard work – having grown up with a father who put himself through grad school and supported his family as a working musician, I have never had any illusions that being a musician was anything other than really hard work – so in the end the fact that I didn’t pursue this daydream is on me, completely, and my decision not to put in the work that would have been required.

When I went off to college in 1979 I sold my electric guitar (a little Gibson Melody Maker, and yes, I still regret this but at the time I needed the money more than I needed the guitar) and took the nylon-string and the Ovation roundback with me. I continued playing for fun but drifted away from practicing with any seriousness. But I still daydreamed of travel. I had a little road trip in mind that would involve driving south to New Orleans, then westward through the desert, on up the California coast to the Pacific Northwest, then home. I used to look at maps. I used to add up miles.

But I was an English major, so when I graduated I was pretty broke. By the time I was making enough money to even think about a six-week road trip I had a job, and cats, and … well, it never happened. I realized too, eventually, that I am not really a road-trip kind of person. I like comfort, and I like planning and having things go according to those plans. I’m not sure I would have done well as a touring musician, to be honest! In retrospect I would have done well to develop some technical skills and do some kind of studio work; I would’ve been a decent audio engineer, I suspect, or maybe even a producer. Water under the bridge, water under the bridge.

Those daydreams never completely go away, though. So that is why I occasionally do crazy things like drive 465 miles each way to Kansas City to see a Bruce Springsteen show (something I’ll be doing in November). It wasn’t until I was in my mid-forties that I had both the courage and the wherewithal to just jump in a car and hit the road for a rock & roll road trip; in 2008 I traveled to Nashville, St. Louis, and Kansas City for three shows in four nights, and that is still one of my favorite things I have ever done. I love driving hundreds of miles – with the right music and good weather it feels effortless as flight – and I especially love when I have a General Admission ticket and make a full day out of it, getting my wristband and lining up and hoping for a decent spot and waiting and waiting some more. I love the ritual of it: being let into the arena finally, finding my place, watching the tech crew make their final adjustments. The guitar tech rings out a few chords just to make certain. The lighting crew climbs up the flimsy monkey ladders into the rafters. Somebody comes out and tapes a setlist down. You can set your watch by all of this. The reserved seats begin to fill with people and the arena begins to fill with voices. Backstage, you know the band is performing whatever pre-show rituals they like to perform. And when the lights go down and the band strides out to claim the stage, which is one of my favorite moments in the world, it’s all the more joyous because of the hundreds of miles and the hours and the waiting and the ritual that led up to it.

Notre Dame's Athletic & Convocation Center, exterior view

Athletic & Convocation Center at Notre Dame

There is nothing better – nothing – than that moment when the lights go down. It’s like all at once the arena becomes as big as the heavens and as small as the pinpoint of a spotlight. The first arena shows I went to, when I was in high school, were in the basketball arena at Notre Dame University – at the time called the ACC (Athletic & Convocation Center) – which was a dome, and so it felt just a little like being inside a spaceship. When the lights went down and the roar from the crowd went up (along with no small amount of, er, herbivorous aroma – hey, it WAS the seventies), for just a moment it felt like you were launching into space. Then the spotlights hit, and you realize you are actually in the same room (albeit a very very large room) with someone whose voice has spent a lot of time in your ears, whose face you’ve looked at on album covers (and nowadays, on YouTube) – no matter how many times I see a performer it seems like there is always at least a momentary flash of “oh my gosh, it’s really him (or her)!”

Heady, and addictive, feelings all around. And feelings you cannot replicate with concert DVDs, with YouTube videos even if they pop up five minutes after the concert ends, with all the bootlegs and clippings in the world. I love recorded music, but man, nothing replaces the feeling of being in the room. NOTHING. And I love the road trips that I make for this. I still don’t think that I could travel for a living – I’m just too much of a middle-aged homebody now. But for a few days, there is something about making the effort, something about spending hours on the road and hours in line all for that unearthly moment of liftoff and the few short hours that follow it. I understand the concept of pilgrimage, now. So when you say I’m crazy to drive over 450 miles each way for a three-and-a-half hour show, yeah, maybe I am. But it’s a kind of crazy I’m in love with.


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Ghosts and glory

Well, I’m hardly writing poems at all these days, but I did turn out a little bit of writing Tuesday night that I’m pretty happy with. I was thinking about why Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball tour has resonated with me (and with a lot of other folks, particularly those in my age group) so strongly, and as I wrote, I came to some realizations. Of course, we all love the musicianship, the incredible energy on stage, and so on. But the material that Bruce is working with on this tour hits so close to home for a lot of us – the whole idea of dealing with loss & mortality, of (as he terms it) walking with ghosts – it’s what we, or at least I, need to hear right now. It’s just as relevant to me now as “it’s a town full of losers and we’re pullin’ out of here to win” was when I was fifteen. And I am amazed, as always, at the longevity of Springsteen’s art and at how an E Street show still moves me so profoundly – their best shows still knock my socks off just as much as the first one I saw, back in 1978 when we were all a heck of a lot younger.

Anyway, I wrote about it over at Blogness, and you can go read it there if you’d like. It was great fun to write.

I’ve got two more Springsteen/E Street shows on my calendar, both in November – Louisville and Kansas City – and I’m so curious to see how the last leg of this 2012 tour shapes up. I feel very fortunate to have been able to plan on seeing five shows this year; serious fans on the East Coast have mostly seen more than that, but when you live elsewhere you have to kind of work at it to see multiple shows. I’ll drive as far as Indianapolis for quite a few artists, have made it as far as Louisville for a couple of different bands, and would consider a trip to Chicago for something pretty good – but only for Bruce Springsteen would I get in a car and drive all the way to Kansas City just for a concert. I might be crazy, but you know, I’m okay with that – these little trips make me really happy. And hell, it’s cheaper than psychotherapy and probably works better too!

And something about Bruce Springsteen shows makes me want to WRITE ALL THE WORDS. Since I’ve been writing so little lately, I’m just very happy to have shaken something loose, even if it isn’t poems. Poems will come eventually, I think. I hope. I’m pretty sure.



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Wrigley aftermath

A full week later, my knees still hurt (note to self: investigate whether Springsteen has stock in ibuprofen manufacturing) and my voice is still hoarse enough to notice. (“No, I don’t have the nasty cold going around the library… just screamed my lungs out at a concert.” Sometimes this is met with the “you are crazy” look I’m quite familiar with, and that’s fine.) A full week later, I also still feel a silly grin spreading across my face when I think about those two concerts at Wrigley Field. My shoes have finally dried out, too. [in case you missed it… here’s my write-up of the weekend.]

There were so many great things about last weekend, both the shows themselves and the friends & events surrounding them. I keep forgetting that we got “Trapped” on the first night! My friend JD had asked what obscure songs we thought might show up at Wrigley, and “Trapped” was my first thought, so I had that “Yes! I called it!” moment which is always fun – and more than any other song, I think, that song benefited from the huge stadium and the open sky. It’s such a dynamic song, with brooding quiet verses busting wide open into the full-throated, soaring chorus (and the extra singers & horn section make that even bigger than it’s been in the past). It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard that song live, but it might have been my favorite time.

Saturday afternoon was spent with friends; it was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day and after eating some lunch (mmmm, Chicago pizza) we headed over to Wrigleyville to hang out. After sitting on the sidewalk in front of the stadium for a while the sun got to be a little much for us, so we wandered around the stadium in search of a shadier spot to hang out and listen to the soundcheck, if there was one. (There hadn’t been much of one the first night, probably due to getting stuck in rush hour traffic which Bruce mentioned during the show.) We ended up on a street corner on the backside of the stadium, and realized that this was where the vehicles carrying the band would be arriving at some point. Hmmmm, we thought. Why not? So we hung out for a while and, sure enough, we eventually had the opportunity to greet most of the band as they arrived in various vehicles and went into the stadium. Their entrance was about a block away from us; some of them waved, some of them didn’t. Bruce gave us a friendly wave but seemed to be a Man On A Mission and headed right into Wrigley instead of coming over to sign autographs (which he has been known to do).

This is just between me and you – you won’t tell anyone what a nerdy fangirl I am, will you? – but whenever I go to a Springsteen show, I carry with me (just in case) a copy of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s about a show I saw in 1978, and another show I saw in 2008, and about the pact between the band and the audience, and how magical it is that we are all still keeping our promises to one another after all these years. Someday, somehow, I would like to give a copy of that poem to Bruce. For just a moment on Saturday afternoon, I thought I might get my chance, and I tried to figure out what in the hell I would possibly say to him if that happened. It would probably have sounded like “ba-duh ba-duh um um um Bruce poem ummmmmmm” followed by me running away as fast as possible and hiding, so it may be just as well that it didn’t happen, heh.

Anyway, as we stood around listening to the sounds coming from the stadium, we realized that Bruce had indeed been focused on getting in there for a necessary soundcheck, as they began to rehearse “This Depression” – a song that had been played only a couple of times before. It sounded phenomenal, and we were pretty hopeful that Tom Morello would join in for that song (he appears on the recorded version of it). Later on, as Dave & Leann & I waited (somewhat) patiently in Section A for the show to begin, we caught sight of someone carrying a familiar ice-blue guitar across the field, so we knew for sure Morello was in the house, and we were pretty excited about that.

I’d never lurked around a stadium to listen to a soundcheck before, and I’d never hung around to see the band arrive before; it may have been a step over the line from reasonable fandom to obsessive fandom, but it was a fun afternoon with friends all the same. Also fun: at the end of night 1 I’d noticed that Bruce didn’t disappear directly backstage but took the long way to his exit, greeting fans on that side of the field as he left. For night 2, we were way over on the edge of that side of the field, so we waited a few minutes and sure enough, despite the fact that it was still pouring rain, here comes Bruce, laughing and dancing and calling out “Fuck yeah!” and waving to us. Pretty cool really.

If I have one regret about the weekend, it’s that I didn’t pace myself. I went completely crazy the first night with the screaming and dancing and jumping up and down, which is probably why my knee did a popping sort of trick as I walked onto Wrigley Field on Saturday and has been bothering me ever since. I had to sit down several times during the show on Saturday, which is really unlike me at a Springsteen show – sometimes I’ll sit during a very quiet song and close my eyes and just soak it in, but usually I am up and dancing or at least physically paying attention with every muscle in my body. That, as well as the fact that for much of the night (until the rain thinned out the crowd!) I could see only glimpses of the stage (ah, the life of a 5 foot 1 person), left me feeling just a tiny bit disconnected from the music – at least as compared to the first night, when I was completely immersed in it and overtaken by it. The second night was still really great, but it’s more fun when you can dance without pain and when you can mostly see. (Thank goodness for the giant video screens; I could see one of those, only slightly blocked by a lighting tower, and the videographers on the tour are very good – but it’s still more fun when you get to decide for yourself which band member has got your attention at any given moment.)

Apparently my friends and I weren’t the only ones having fun that weekend. Check out this installment of “The Nightwatchman Speaks,” in which Tom Morello geeks out about how great it was:

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Quick link

The iconic Wrigley Field sign with Springsteen show announcement on it

Yeah, so things got hectic all of a sudden… I swear I’m going to keep this blog up better than I did the old one.

I’m out of town for a bit, so will probably have a longer post in the next few days. Meanwhile, I wanted to share a link. I went to two Springsteen shows at Wrigley Field over the weekend, and had the BEST time – and wrote a post for Blogness on the Edge of Town about my experience. It goes way beyond just a concert, way beyond entertainment. I think I have even more to say about it, actually – Springsteen shows apparently make me HAVE ALL THE FEELINGS and want to WRITE ALL THE WORDS – but since it’s late and I have to get up in the morning, you can go read my review on Blogness. (Feel free to comment there, or here.)

I guess it’s not even so much a review as an appreciation. Which is good, because Tom Morello himself tweeted a link to it and called it “lovely” – serious critics shouldn’t care what the subject of their review might think, and I have to say it completely, totally made my day to get a compliment from Tom Morello. (He was one of the guest performers at the Springsteen shows, Eddie Vedder being the other. Read the review, appreciation, thinger, whatever if you want the details.) And to anyone who wonders why I love Twitter, that right there would be one of the reasons – something like that would NEVER have happened without that particular tool.

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