domenica 23 dicembre 2007
DUE AMERICANI A PARIGI - il tour di Bruce Springsteen a Bercy, 17 dicembre 2007
Years ago, when the '80s were about to fade and Bruce Springsteen had put his recording career and the beloved E Street Band on hiatus, yours truly and Elliott Murphy sat on a evening train heading north, with Rome a couple of hours behind us. I had asked him to produce some young rockers from Modena, just a few miles from where Luciano Pavarotti used to live. "They sound like Tom Waits, and Bruce. I dig that. I gotta give it a try," he had written back weeks earlier.
Trying to stay awake to avoid missing our stop, we came once again to our favorite subject: Bruce Springsteen. "He's so good, since the days when we were young kids, sharing the same dreams," he said, sipping a strong Italian espresso.
"What do you think makes him so good?" I asked.
"He's so good at being himself. That's a quality that makes you last forever," he replied, before adding, "but the hardest part of this business it's not just being good, it's about being good and being able to last".
Quality, integrity, the ability to endure. I think I always admired Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons Elliott Murphy does. And when something you believed in for more than half of your life starts becoming unsteady, and you find yourself a man who "doubts what he's sure of," it's like losing your way home. Not that Bruce Springsteen suddenly lost what made him better than anybody else in the rock 'n' roll business, but recently, for some reason, I felt that some of that magic was gone. Maybe you shouldn't see your favorite artist performing more than 150 times. Maybe you should live every show like it's going to be your last. But how can you convince yourself that he's not touring so extensively -- and ending tours in football stadiums -- just for the money? How can you get rid of that prejudice?
Just go to one of his shows. It's as simple as that. His eyes don't lie. He's enjoying every second he's on stage so much, he still makes you want to tell everybody else what they've been missing if they've never experienced an E Street Band show.
In Paris, I was thinking all of this, and enjoying immensely the best "Jungleland" I've heard in years (Clarence, you've gotta be kidding, you were pre-recorded for this one, right?) when Elliott Murphy hit that stage and joined his old pal for "Dancing in the Dark." All of a sudden, those words of Elliott's resonated in my ears: "it's about being good and be able to last".
The Omnisports Palace in Bercy got one of those nights when you'd like to go home, take a little nap, and start again in search of that beauty and that endurance. It's not about the set list (yes, yes, it was basically the same as a few previous shows) -- I mean it's not about what he plays: it's how he plays it. Bruce Springsteen was so focused, so strong and happy, he blew the roof off. Great help came from a very tight E Street Band that's getting better and better through this second leg.
It was obviously good to hear "Long Walk Home" with both Nils Lofgren and Steve Van Zandt adding their vocal skills, and it was so refreshing to find "The River" and its melody so intact. A powerful rendition of "Night" proved once again why Born To Run is such a classic album. But it's the approach that should scare any other performer in the universe.
Except Elliott Murphy, who seems to have learned a lot about standing the test of time.
di Ermanno Labianca, tratto da www.brucespringsteen.net