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Workingman's anthems of Boss cloaked in irony (SPRINGSTEEN BOMBS OUT IN CHICAGO)
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | June 15, 2006 | DAVE HOEKSTRA

Posted on 06/15/2006 3:37:09 AM PDT by Chi-townChief

Pete Seeger sings songs of peace, hope and the working class. Bruce Springsteen's idea to reinterpret the Seeger songbook with broad strokes of street jazz and gospel is a noble thought. Unfortunately, Springsteen's Tuesday night "Seeger Sessions" concert was outsourced to the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

Everything that was so right about the music was so wrong for the venue.

Springsteen and his raucous 17-piece band failed to even fill the pavilion. Roughly 5,500 fans showed up, and the $92 ticket price knocked out the working-class audience that Springsteen and Seeger have championed. This is First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, as in cha-ching. A Corona beer was $10. "Seeger Session" programs were $20. I know many fans who would have taken a chance on the show had tickets been $50 or less. So who's left? People who may not share Seeger and Springsteen's political beliefs.

How do I know this? Springsteen's first encore was an evocative version of "Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)," which Seeger wrote in 1966 as an anti-Vietnam War song. Back then, thousands of people sang with Seeger on the chorus: "Bring 'em home, bring 'em home, but I got a right to sing this song. ..."

But after Tuesday's rendition, there was a smattering of applause to a message that is as much about freedom of expression as it is against war. The starchy atmosphere was not lost on the Boss, who earlier in the concert remarked, "Tinley Park. I don't know where the hell that is -- some big black box outside of Chicago?"

So Springsteen tried his best, especially in the second portion of the 2-1/2-hour show. (In what is becoming a Springsteen tradition, he kicked off the concert almost an hour after the advertised 7:30 p.m. start.) He rearranged "Ramrod" into a Tex-Mex-meets-ska roadhouse number with tuba solos, and "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" continues to embrace the zydeco seasonings Springsteen deployed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

New Orleans is still much on Springsteen's mind. He wasn't as vocal about President Bush as he was in New Orleans, explaining that he doesn't "like to kick a man when he's down." But Springsteen's hard-rockin' reworking of Blind Alfred Reed's "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live" continues to be an emotional cornerstone of the set.

Springsteen added his own post-Katrina lyrics to the 1929 blues song that reflected on the Great Depression. On Tuesday, he sang of "bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to hell" with raw conviction and empathy. Moments earlier, Springsteen shared vocals with Marc Anthony Thompson (Chocolate Genius) as they recast "Long Black Veil" through pure country gospel.

The stage was basked in shades of red, and I found the three chandeliers above the band very ironic. Here's a news flash: There are places in Chicago like the Auditorium Theatre and Orchestra Hall that have storied chandeliers, where Seeger and the Weavers actually performed, and are more accessible for older folk music fans than a shed among the little boxes that Seeger himself sang about in 1963's ode to suburbia "Little Boxes (Ticky Tacky)."

dhoekstra@suntimes.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: blockhead; bushhaters; liberal; limousineliberals; overhypedhuckster; seeger; springsteen
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I wonder if Bruce dug into Seeger's 1941 Songs for John Doe catalogue.
1 posted on 06/15/2006 3:37:12 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: AbsoluteJustice; Augie76; Barnacle; BeAllYouCanBe; BillyBoy; Bismarck; bourbon; cfrels; ...

CHICAGOLAND PING


2 posted on 06/15/2006 3:37:54 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
a Tex-Mex-meets-ska roadhouse number with tuba solos

gag me with a tuba...

3 posted on 06/15/2006 3:40:54 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Izzy Dunne; All

And how about that snotty last paragraph from Hoekstra? I guess he thinks we should all be ghetto-dwellers. I saw Springsteen in '77 at the Auditorium when he really was the Boss, not the politically correct phony that he is now; great show show but terrible acoustics.


4 posted on 06/15/2006 3:47:40 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief
So Springsteen grossed 50 Gs?

That kind of coin won't cover his bands bar tab.

The author is right about one thing. He should have played the Auditorium or even the Ampitheatre. He might have been able to make it look like he still had a following.

I've loathed Springsteens music since 1977 and quite proudly I might add.

Working mans hero my ass.

He's a phony.

L

5 posted on 06/15/2006 3:48:13 AM PDT by Lurker ("They still see you as the infidel, the other, and they'll still kill you. " Mark Steyn)
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To: Lurker

I actually liked this guy quite a bit up until the mid-80s; I think the Dancing in the Dark video was the last straw. But listening again now, most of his vocals are so overwrought he sounds like he singing while he's sitting on the toilet, constipated.


6 posted on 06/15/2006 3:53:47 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Lurker
5,500 x 100 = 550,000
7 posted on 06/15/2006 3:55:15 AM PDT by edpc
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To: Chi-townChief
But Springsteen's hard-rockin' reworking of Blind Alfred Reed's "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live" continues to be an emotional cornerstone of the set.

Springsteen added his own post-Katrina lyrics to the 1929 blues song that reflected on the Great Depression.

Blind Alfred Reed was not a blues singer, the song was not blues, and it's tough to reflect on the "Great Depression" a month after the Wall Street crash.

8 posted on 06/15/2006 3:55:38 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Democrats are guilty of whatever they scream the loudest about.)
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To: Chi-townChief

the $92 ticket price knocked out the working-class audience that Springsteen and Seeger have championed.


9 posted on 06/15/2006 3:56:52 AM PDT by MrCruncher
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To: Chi-townChief

"Bruuuuce" is one of the biggest phonies around. Typical of all "liberals", smug, arrogant, condescending, preachy, self-righteous. Plus he's stupid and doesn't know it.

5,500 tickets sold out of 30,000 seats, not very good "Bruuuce".


10 posted on 06/15/2006 4:00:01 AM PDT by garyhope
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To: Chi-townChief

Front row seats for Jimi Hendrix' Band of Gypsies at the Fillmore East, New Years Eve 1969 - 8 dollars.


11 posted on 06/15/2006 4:02:20 AM PDT by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: Chi-townChief
And how about that snotty last paragraph from Hoekstra? I guess he thinks we should all be ghetto-dwellers. I saw Springsteen in '77 at the Auditorium when he really was the Boss, not the politically correct phony that he is now; great show show but terrible acoustics.
Cleveland Agora, August 9, 1978 (I was quite illegal...LOL). Perhaps one of the best rock and roll shows ever, anywhere.

Unfortunately, at some point in the mid 80's, Bruce came down with SDS (S don't stink) Syndrome, the same thing that afflicted the Beatles (about the time of Sergeant Pepper), Prince, REM, and numerous other artists.

It's still tough to beat songs like "Thunder Road", "Jungleland", "Born to Run", "Asbury Park Fourth of July", "Rosalita", and "Sherry Darling".

Ironically, when I was a big Springsteen fan and becoming a conservative, my mom was a big Pete Seeger fan. Even moreso, he criticized Reagan for using "Born In The USA", but it was the national mood of optimism Reagan helped rekindle that made that album so huge.

-Eric

12 posted on 06/15/2006 4:02:58 AM PDT by E Rocc (Myspace "Freepers" group moderator)
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To: Lurker
I've loathed Springsteens music since 1977 and quite proudly I might add.

Working mans hero my ass.

He's a phony.

Ditto.

13 posted on 06/15/2006 4:03:58 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: Chi-townChief
...So Springsteen tried his best, especially in the second portion of the 2-1/2-hour show....

Couldn't happen to a nicer jerk! Back when I used to like the 'Boss' I really liked him...when he took that major left turn and then went after Patti, I said WTF? Bye Brucie...LOL

14 posted on 06/15/2006 4:14:26 AM PDT by borisbob69 (Old shade is better than new shade!)
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To: Chi-townChief

Never got it on this Jersey Jerk, Springsteen. Never watch him in any format and his music sounds to me as little more than an adverising jingle. He is a phony, just another hypocrite like those other Jersey Jerks, the 9/11 Jersey Girls, so stupid as to support the D-Rats who actually facilitated the 9/11 murder of their spouses, and will do so again if given an opportunity. When did people become so dumb and vacuous???
Pop Culture, a disease of choice, it's beyond belief.


15 posted on 06/15/2006 4:17:03 AM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: edpc
Whoops my bad.

Still that's pretty pathetic for 'the boss'.

Never could stand his music.

L

16 posted on 06/15/2006 4:24:21 AM PDT by Lurker ("They still see you as the infidel, the other, and they'll still kill you. " Mark Steyn)
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To: Lurker

I was never much of a fan, either. The music doesn't do much for me and the lead-footed dancing is the worst.


17 posted on 06/15/2006 4:26:03 AM PDT by edpc
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To: Chi-townChief

The Boss is going down along with the Dixie Clucks. You think they might get the picture after a while?

And who would pay $92 to hear him? Geez....


18 posted on 06/15/2006 4:28:38 AM PDT by caver (Yes, I did crawl out of a hole in the ground.)
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To: Fresh Wind
Blind Alfred Reed was not a blues singer, the song was not blues, and it's tough to reflect on the "Great Depression" a month after the Wall Street crash.

Yeah, but other than that the paragraph was pretty much spot on...

LOL
19 posted on 06/15/2006 4:32:09 AM PDT by NonLinear (He's dead, Jim)
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To: Chi-townChief
"Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back ..."

Wanna Be NJ Billy Joel Couldn't Make It As A Solo Act Had To Get A Band Workin' Man's Family Values.

20 posted on 06/15/2006 4:33:55 AM PDT by MrBambaLaMamba (Buy 'Allah' brand urinal cakes - If you can't kill the enemy at least you can piss on their god)
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To: Chi-townChief
Shark Jumping, 450lb Elvis BTTT
21 posted on 06/15/2006 4:35:08 AM PDT by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: Chi-townChief

Maybe getting the Dixie Chicks to open for him would help.


22 posted on 06/15/2006 4:38:32 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (If you read only one book this year, read "Stolen Valor".)
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To: edpc
5,500 x 100 = 550,000

$550,000
- federal taxes
- state taxes
- municipal/township tax
- cost of venue
-cost of advertising
- managers fee
- agents fee
- band's fee
- equipment rental
-insurance
-"miscelaneous"...

yeah he cleared about $50,000.00, not bad for a nights work...being a "working man" and all.

23 posted on 06/15/2006 4:49:38 AM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: Lurker

see my post 23


24 posted on 06/15/2006 4:51:51 AM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: Dick Vomer
he cleared about $50,000.00

- federal taxes
- state taxes
- municipal/township tax

We were talking gross figures, but that would be poetic. If it were true, however, it would blow up the Lib complaints about tax cuts being for the rich...

25 posted on 06/15/2006 4:57:28 AM PDT by edpc
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To: garyhope
I hope Streisand un-retirement tour is just as successful
26 posted on 06/15/2006 5:08:51 AM PDT by txroadhawg ("Stuck on stupid? I invented stupid! " Al Gore)
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To: Chi-townChief

Maybe the Boss can team with the Dixie Chicks and play the indian casino circuit. If they add in Bin Jovi, they might even fill most of the 1500 seats.


27 posted on 06/15/2006 5:18:59 AM PDT by pissant
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To: Chi-townChief

I can't think of a single Springsteen tune that doesn't cause my radio to suddenly turn off or change channels.


28 posted on 06/15/2006 5:27:04 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Chi-townChief
.....the $92 ticket price knocked out the working-class audience that Springsteen and Seeger have championed.

That's all you need to know about liberals.

29 posted on 06/15/2006 5:28:33 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: Lurker
I've loathed Springsteens music since 1977 and quite proudly I might add.

Ditto.

Bananarama is more enlightening.

30 posted on 06/15/2006 5:31:39 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: iopscusa
..... his music sounds to me as little more than an adverising jingle.

Well stated.

31 posted on 06/15/2006 5:34:05 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: Chi-townChief
Springsteen and his raucous 17-piece band failed to even fill the pavilion. Roughly 5,500 fans showed up, and the $92 ticket price knocked out the working-class audience that Springsteen and Seeger have championed.

So much for the 'working' people Springsteen claims to represent.

Ticket prices anymore are beyond outragious. I have passed over a number of concerts in the last several years because it would have cost over $100 for me and my Wife to go. Forget it - they're not that important.
32 posted on 06/15/2006 5:35:02 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Man was made in the image of God, not pond scum)
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To: Fester Chugabrew
I can't think of a single Springsteen tune that doesn't cause my radio to suddenly turn off or change channels.

That's odd. His tunes have that exact effect on my radio.

33 posted on 06/15/2006 5:35:58 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
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To: Chi-townChief

Nobody's gonna beat Ry Cooder's version of "Blind Alfred Reed's "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live".


34 posted on 06/15/2006 5:36:45 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: E Rocc

Carlton Theater, Red Bank, N.J. 1975. 10th Ave. Freeze Out, Night and the Fever were life changing experiences.

That was when Bruce and the band were just about to launch. They were optimistic in looking toward the future and the music reflected it. Contract dispute with DellaPelle bittered Bruce forever. From Darkness it has been a steady downhill slide. Pity.


35 posted on 06/15/2006 5:45:21 AM PDT by frithguild (The Freepers moved as a group, like a school of sharks sweeping toward an unaware and unarmed victim)
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To: Chi-townChief
(In what is becoming a Springsteen tradition, he kicked off the concert almost an hour after the advertised 7:30 p.m. start.)

Make'em wait.

"Working-class man" letting the little guy know what he really thinks of him.

May Brucie Boy have many more empty seats in his future.

36 posted on 06/15/2006 5:46:29 AM PDT by FlyVet
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To: metesky

I met Seeger in 1962 in Harvard SQ. a pal of mine was a big folk music fan, gifted musician, and future drug victim. he, Seeger, seemed kind of smarmy and self righteous.


37 posted on 06/15/2006 5:55:44 AM PDT by Little Bill (A 37%'r, a Red Spot on a Blue State, rats are evil.)
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To: garyhope

You got that straight; in the "Hail Hail Rock and Roll" movie, Keith Richard came across as much more articulate than Springsteen so what does that tell you?


38 posted on 06/15/2006 6:07:34 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Little Bill

Is he aware of Seeger's support for the Nazis from '39-'41?


39 posted on 06/15/2006 6:13:45 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Little Bill

Oops, by "victim", maybe I should assume that he's no longer around.


40 posted on 06/15/2006 6:14:53 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: Chi-townChief

Maybe he could do "The View".


41 posted on 06/15/2006 6:20:09 AM PDT by Sue Perkick (...heavy strings, tune low, play hard and floor it. Floor it. That's technical talk....)
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To: Fester Chugabrew; Skooz
Growing up in MD, I had to endure relentless airplay of Hungry Heart, just because he mentioned Baltimore in the opening line. Brutal.
42 posted on 06/15/2006 6:21:07 AM PDT by edpc
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To: Chi-townChief

Springsteen was the Boss until my female roommate decided he had a "cute ass". I swore off Bruce after that. He became another Michael Bolton.


43 posted on 06/15/2006 6:24:46 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Chi-townChief
The starchy atmosphere was not lost on the Boss, who earlier in the concert remarked, "Tinley Park. I don't know where the hell that is -- some big black box outside of Chicago?"

Let's see, less then half of the place sells and the people who do show up, you insult. Good plan!

44 posted on 06/15/2006 6:29:31 AM PDT by retrokitten (www.retrosrants.blogspot.com)
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To: Chi-townChief
I should assume that he's no longer around....

These thirty-five years, bought to heavily in to the '60's. The only person that I ever met that aced the SATs, 1964.

45 posted on 06/15/2006 6:29:45 AM PDT by Little Bill (A 37%'r, a Red Spot on a Blue State, rats are evil.)
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To: Chi-townChief

"How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live at 92 bucks a pop?”


46 posted on 06/15/2006 6:30:35 AM PDT by Rock N Jones
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To: caver

I was going to suggest that maybe he could open for the Dixie Chicks with their new, realigned schedule.


47 posted on 06/15/2006 6:32:13 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: garyhope

Yep. *Platinum* anger and *Sold-Out* rebelliousness can only be maintained for so long before *SOS* reality sets in.. looks like he's going to have to go for the *retired* man blues if he wants to sell tickets. Ever heard "Born in the USA" on accordion?


48 posted on 06/15/2006 6:38:09 AM PDT by small voice in the wilderness (Quick, act casual...if they sense scorn or ridicule, they'll flee)
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To: Chi-townChief

"Tramps like us, Baby, we were born to run."


49 posted on 06/15/2006 6:42:40 AM PDT by freepy smurf (Brought to you by The Frog Council - "Frog; The Other Green Meat")
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To: Chi-townChief

The unions picketed Springsteen's Milwaukee show because he performed in a non-union hall.

Gotta love irony, it can be so ironic.


50 posted on 06/15/2006 6:53:34 AM PDT by MediaMole
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