Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Thoughts on Bruce Springsteen's New DVD: Live in Dublin

Today, released on DVD, CD, or a combination of both, is Bruce Springsteen’s Live in Dublin. For those who don’t know, this is a concert from Dublin with the Boss and his Seeger Sessions band. For press releases, go to his website.

I am a Springsteen fan. I used to not be—as recently as 1984, I called him the Constipation King because of the way he sounded—but I changed my mind with Tunnel of Love and have been a fan ever since. Admittedly, upon merely reading the Bruce was going to record some old folk songs as the follow-up to his acoustic “Devils and Dust” gave me trepidation. AS much as I love Springsteen, I prefer the band version over the acoustic version. But when I heard the actual CD (buy the second release with more songs, the American Land edition), I was pleasantly surprised. Even my wife—who considers Springsteen to be, at best, the third-most-important “Bruce” behind Cockburn and Hornsby—was interested to listen to some of the songs. She still does not like Springsteen all that much but appreciated the effort.

Now, comes the DVD of the concert. I missed the show because he did not bring his show to Houston. Bummer for me. But this DVD is fantastic. And the music is so much fun! I have always enjoyed Springsteen penchant for reinventing his songs in concert. I don’t’ necessarily want to hear the exact studio versions live. I want something different. And the Live in Dublin DVD delivers.

As a long-time fan, I enjoyed hearing what he’s done with the older songs in his catalog. “Atlantic City,” which already got the band treatment, is led off by banjo. It’s now a song that could have a home in Mississippi. “If I Should Fall Behind” has become something else entirely. Now, it is a husband and wife duet that rises to sensuality. And “Open All Night” is simply terrific. It might be my favorite song upon one listening. It’s a hootenanny. It’s swingin’, rappin’, foot-tappin’. I dare you to sit still when this song plays. And the newer Seeger Sessions songs get revamped as well. “Pay Me My Money Down” and “Old Dan Tucker” are just as lively as ever with extensive room for solo works. Since the show was filmed in Dublin, there is a good dose of Irish-sounding work throughout. And whoever heard of “When the Saints Go Marching In” as a ballad? It works.

Oh, and as a sax player, I loved the extensive use of the horn section, including the bari sax on the aforementioned “Open All Night.” And that trumpet player is just nasty good.

If I had to describe this concert in one word, it would be raucous. But I can’t just use one word. It is raucous, spiritual, fantastic, alive, fun…. It’s that good. Go buy it. Now.

7 comments:

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