Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Springsteen is "Magic" in Omaha!

Bruce Springsteen's new CD is titled "Magic" and his show on Friday March 14 was pure alchemy. Taking the stage about 8:40 p.m. with the E Street Band, Springsteen yelled out:
"Are you ready to be transformed? Are you ready to crawl on your belly like a snake. Is there anyone alive out there?" And a mighty roar kicked off 160 minutes of pure magic from the Boss and the veterans of the E Street Band.

My son sat beside along with some new friends. With my son's graduation from medical school coming up in May, I thought this was the perfect way to celebrate his own wonderful accomplishment. It's hard to say who screamed and yelled and was more pumped up by the music of Springsteen. We both find Springsteens' music transcendant, spiritual, and high energy rock and roll!

Early in the playlist, Springsteen sang the power ballad "Radio Nowhere" from his new CD and it's a pure adrenaline rush to hear it live with the E Street regulars. Scattered through the night
we heard several tunes from Magic: "Long Walk Home", "Gypsy Biker", "Last to die for a mistake", and "Girls in their Summer Clothes." Springsteen sings songs about love and loss,
despair and hope, and yes he does address in fearless fashion the costs of a war that raises the question: "Last to die for a mistake". Springsteen has a moral and spiritual imagination that fires passion and spirit and soul. I told people at church on Sunday that I had received my spiritual infusion for the Easter Season in a good old fashioned rock and roll revival. Actually, there's lots of baptismal imagery in a number of Springsteen songs. He's aiming on transformation. And he's set on calling people to life! That's our own in- church type preaching, taken outside and put into out-church preaching, as the great David Buttick calls it in his work on preaching "Homiletic".

On our drive to the Quest Center in downtown Omaha, I played "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" as my son and I drove to the concert. I hope we get to sing along on that one, I said to him. And wouldn't you know it, we did. Not just that one either. Singing along with some 17,000 highly pumped fans of the "Boss" and with him live and in person with his band, was a spiritual high.

One nice surprise in the evening toward the end, was the special guest appearance of local indie musician Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes. He sang along with Springsteen's "Thunder Road." Awesome stuff!

The night ended with an encore of hit tunes that must have gone on another 20-25 minutes.
People held up signs requesting favorites and we sang "Jungeland" together. "The people have spoken", Springsteen said in granting requests. To top it all off, we closed with some foot stomping Irish tunes to observe St. Patrick's Day.

My heart was truly full after that night with Springsteen. My son and I said almost together, we need to do this again soon!


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