Wednesday, 13 February 2013

MusiCares Person Of The Year...

Four weeks to the day until I fly from Perth to Brisbane for the first night of the Australian Wrecking Ball tour and I'm not really thinking of anything else.

This week Bruce Springsteen was named Person of the Year by MusiCares - an association that supports the music community in the US.

The accolade came with a night of tributes from stars performing some of his biggest hits, including Sting, Elton John, Patti Smith and Mumford & Sons.

It also saw this short tribute film shot by Thom Zimmy whose previous collaborations with Springsteen include the documentary on the making of the Born To Run album and the excellent The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Cover Me...

As the countdown to the Wrecking Ball tour continues a great warm up in the shape of Perth's St Jerome's Laneway Festival is here.

In Perth it takes over the streets and precinct of city's cultural centre, throwing up stages to host some great rising talent.

Pretentious beards, overly fashion senstive hipsters and temperatures of 38 C aside, it's definitely Australia's coolest festival. 

And as looking ahead to the ten E Street Band concerts on the horizon it's great to see and hear Laneway act Divine Fits acknowledge some Springsteen on Aussie radio station Triple J's Like A Version....

Title track: Cover Me

Thursday, 7 February 2013

From Small Things...

A few months ago Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's tour of Australia was officially announced.

A few months before that I had a spam email from online music retailer PopMarket with an eye-catching offer: A Bruce Springsteen Live DVD bundle for $26 - with free postage.

Fearing the rumours I had heard of the Australian Wrecking Ball tour were in fact nothing more than rumours, I really wasn't going to miss out on such a great bargain.

Especially when it includes two significant concerts:
1 - The Live in New York City set which I first stumbled upon late on BBC2 one night in 2001 that came a couple of years after I was first introduced to Tracks and sealed my appreciation of everything E Street and essentially started my increasing borderline obsession with seeing them live at any given opportunity. 

2 - The London Calling: Live From Hyde Park concert, which I managed to get to the front row, received a tip of the hat from Clarence Clemons and even made a close up appearance in the final DVD edit two minutes into the band's performance of Born To Run. (Wearing the stars and stripes bandana).

So this DVD bundle was ordered in September 2012 and I expected it to arrive a few weeks, maybe a month later what with it travelling all the way to Perth.
But it wasn't until a week or two ago that I received this box on my doorstep...

Complete with stickers saying it had travelled through Belgium, and "was wet when it arrived in Australia".

I actually received the parcel on the same day I wrote a short news story about a young English boy's message in a bottle that had left the north coast of England and washed up on a beach in Perth some 15 months later.
From the state of the package I wondered it had made a similar journey.

Amazingly the contents of the parcel seem completely unaffected by the delivery. And now have been added to the three Bruce and E Street biography gifts I recently received that have become my unofficial research for my upcoming trip.

 Title track: From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Super Bowl XLIII halftime show 2009...

As the world turns its attention to the spectacle that is America's NFL Super Bowl, one of the most over the top annual events in the world's sporting calendar, it's hard not to remember this....

It wasn't by any means the best performance of Bruce and the band, but it was still an incredible show. 

Even more impressive after reading about how saxophone player Clarence Clemons was still suffering from knee surgery and was in agony, but refused to sit down and play the show standing.

The opening bars of Tenth Avenue Freeze Out remains my favourite concert opener of all time.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Don't Look Back

It's official - tickets for all ten Australia concerts have been secured.

Somehow despite a frustrating problem with TickeTek's pre-sale website on Wednesday morning - that caused something of a quick angry panic - I managed to grab a general admission ticket for the third and final Sydney show.

So as well as securing tickets for each concert I've also managed to get front section standing tickets for every venue on the tour. Something I had struggled with in my previous purchases for Sydney's All Phones Arena.

New Jersey's finest together in London, 2009.

And in a bonus to the E Street overload New Jersey rockband and Springsteen influenced The Gaslight Anthem have announced their own tour of Australia later this year. And tickets are booked to see them in Perth in May.

Having seen the band twice before - including the 2009 Hard Rock Calling concert where Bruce joined them for The 59 Sound and Brian Fallon later returned the favour to join the E Street Band for No Surrender - there's plenty to be excited about. 

The band are one of the hardest working and committed bands around at the moment who know how to engage with an audience while blasting out a great sound. 

If The E Street Band can't make it to Perth, then their younger New Jersey neighbours really are the next best thing.

Title track: Don't Look Back