Bruce Springsteen came to town Monday night, and though I REALLY wanted to see him in concert again, the idea of paying $75 per ticket was just too much for me to stomach. Two years ago, he played in Houston on my 40th birthday. I don't know if I could have topped that experience, but it would have been nice to have tried. Ah, well....
Three years ago, when The Boss brought the E Street band out of mothballs for a reunion tour, the thinking was it was an opportunity to see if the magic was still there, a chance to see if the sheer ecstasy of playing music with his best friends was still as sweet as it once was. Maybe, as historic figures sometimes do, he knew it was just time.
This second reunion tour, which stopped at Compaq Center on Monday night, was about much more. In the wake of this country's most horrid tragedy in the last 50 years, this tour was about a renewal of spirit. This tour in support of the new album The Rising is much more of a return to the thematic blue-collar revivals that made the group international stars on the Born in the USA tour. The difference is the message....
Not once during the 2 1/2-hour set was the tragedy of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks mentioned by name. The survival instinct that spread across this country, however, is captured in the songs from The Rising. Monday night it was spread out across one end of the Houston Rockets' home court to the delight of a crowd of thousands.
The true reach of a tenured rock band is the demographic of its audience. In Houston, thirty-somethings in leather coats and red bandana headbands danced with 50-year-olds in Levis and T-shirts. One look and it was easy to tell if a person was a Dust Bowl fan of Springsteen's The River or the former zeitgeist of Born In The USA....
The emotional lows were struck early so The Boss could spend the rest of the night bringing the house back to life....
The day before Election Day, Houstonians couldn't have asked for a more entertaining inducement to be pro-active in the nation's politics.
And sometimes, reality rears it's ugly head:
Tomorrow's concert in Austin has been postponed so the "Big Man", Clarence Clemons could have surgery in Houston for a detached retina.
E-Street's Clemons underwent surgery after Monday night's show in Houston, said Harris Cohen, spokesman for Shore Fire Media in New York City, Springsteen's representative.
"The surgery was successful," Cohen said, adding he was not aware of 60-year-old Clemons having any previous eye trouble. The surgery was done in Houston, Cohen said. He declined to release details on the hospital or which eye was involved.
Cohen did not know a date for the rescheduled concert, but the Austin American-Statesman reported it had been set for March 2.
The status of other performances, including the next scheduled stop on the tour in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday isn't yet known.
Clarence Clemons is 60? Damn...I suppose none of us are getting any younger, eh?