You are the Boss of me
We've seen the undying spirit of rock 'n' roll and his name is Bruce Springsteen. Many people forget that the legend of Springsteen was originally built up by incredible press hype. Rolling Stone critic Jon Landau left behind his journalistic pursuits to become his manager. Dave Marsh made a career out of being the man's biographer, and the 1975 release of Born to Run coincided with his appearing on the covers of both Time and Newsweek simultaneously. So what is there to say about Bruce Springsteen that hasn't already been said? That it's all true. At the Sommet Center we watched in amazement as the 58-year-old proved all night why he is not just a rock star but a national treasure. It was obvious that the dominant attendees were the faithful veterans. For the rest of us this is part of the show, witnessing the cult. Mary was there, Terry was there; Frankie, Wendy and his buddy at Khe Sanh too.
As the opening power chord of The River's "Out in the Street" kicked in, these faces came to life, and it became immediately apparent why Springsteen's music has endured through four generations: People are still living these stories. They rely on the Boss to transcend the American experience of being marginalized and to reach something of triumphant romantic grandeur. The intrinsic dialogue that exists between Springsteen and his audience is indescribable. As a performer the man is a force of nature, displaying boundless energy, spitting water five feet into the air, bending backwards off his mic stand, and even doing knee slides across the front of the stage. No hyperbole will do justice to the obvious dedication he has to making the $100 price of admission worth it.
Through 27 songs over three hours, he and his E Street lieutenants, legends in their own right, balanced catalog staples like "Badlands," "Thunder Road," "The Promised Land," "Born To Run" and "Dancing in the Dark" with rarities such as "Loose Ends" and "Held up Without a Gun" and classic covers like "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "I Fought the Law" (played in honor of Joe Strummer's birthday). The up-tempo party rockers provided the perfect release for the tension of more pensive numbers like "I'm on Fire" and "Youngstown."
Most of the night's deeper cuts came courtesy of request signs that Springsteen collects from the audience midshow. We even brought our own, requesting "Streets of Fire" and "Jungleland," and while neither song got played, it was an honor just to have him grab the signs out of our hands. Spontaneity is the name of the game, as he is known to abandon his planned set list, keeping the band members on their toes. And what he demands of them, they deliver with a grace that can only betoken that they are believers too. We left the show in euphoric exhaustion, imagining Springsteen leaving on a stretcher, with the reassurance that it "ain't no sin to be glad we're alive."
Happy birthday, sickos
Oh, Cream readers, you tolerate us! You really tolerate us! This year, the Nashville Cream two-year anniversary party at Mercy Lounge Saturday night had more to celebrate than another 365 days passing. Uh, try thousands more of your comments and a tent-popping surge in page views, brah. We abandoned the dance-party conceit—shoulda known you were all too cool for school—and hung our cream c(aj)ones on local bands doing local covers. The gamble paid off: The crowd packed it in, legions of coolions showed up and we hoped all night long that the cyber-trolls lurking among us all year might reveal themselves in the flesh.
Speaking of sabotage, the way people attacked the confections table (Mmm, donuts and beer! Candy cigarettes! Marshmallow pizza!), and the way the bands kept bringing the sweet, sweet rock, we half-expected to wake up Sunday afternoon with our teeth all but gone, along with our hearing and our voice. Let's just say that this year's party was a fucking blast, and we have you to thank for that.
Under the new skull 'n' cones Cream logo, Stories That Live got things started with a bang—but not a Bang Bang Bang, as the Falls City Angels cover everyone kept threatening to play never surfaced—clearly reveling in their rendition of Meemaw's "Blue in the Blacklight," and closing with The Features' "God Save Rock & Roll."
Determined to keep the rafters shaking, The Privates took the stage and completely ruled from note one. Speaking of The Features, drummer Rollum Haas, who splits time with The Privates, powered the band as they not only put the "life" back in Lifeboy, but also pulled off what might have been the evening's ballsiest cover choice, taking on Paramore's "Misery Business" with the throttle wide open.
The Carter Administration treated us to a shouty take on Ole Mossy Face's "Calls and Walls," then ripped through an awfully convincing version of Apollo Up's "Walking the Plank," making us simultaneously miss that band and love seeing the Carters carrying their flag. Their Most Awesome Nashville Rock Song sounded, well, a lot like The Carter Administration, but that was fine with us.
Closing things out, Cortney Tidwell proved once again—though it hardly needs proving at this point—that she's a Nashville treasure. She delivered, in the same set, both a gorgeously spot-on rendition of "I Still Miss Someone" (backed on harmony by Alexis Powell of Festival) and a full-throated, cranium-rattling cover of JEFF the Brotherhood's "Screaming Banshee." Brother Jake Orrall, standing up front, said aloud what we were thinking: "That made my year."
Warren Pash was among the many people in attendance whom we didn't know gave a damn about our little music blog—imagine, "Private Eyes" were watching us!
As we stumbled out into the Mercy parking lot with about 28 dollar Yazoos in our belly, we saw revelers making their way from another party down the street, hosted by a strip club that had recently changed its name to—you guessed it—Creme. Next year, we'll at least get the Miller Lite Girls.
No, The Ettes don't want to date you. Email your Gnome sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you put all these into one massive YouTube playlist so I can play them…
Aaaaaand cue the wrath of Chicken in Black apologists.
Anyone that thinks "Chicken in Black" is the worst song Cash ever recorded needs to…
If you can only watch one video, the Conway Twitty clip is pretty interesting. If…