I've seen Bruce Springsteen three times. The first time was in 1995 when Bruce played at the Tower Theater in 1995 in support of his The Ghost of Tom Joad album. It was just Bruce and his acoustic guitar (and maybe a harmonica). Then I saw him with the E Street Band at the Spectrum with my oldest daughter in 2000. And then I saw him for the third time with the E Street Band and some orchestra members last week at Citizens Bank Park.
So a small theater to a sold out arena to a virtually sold out baseball stadium. And each time he was amazing. He's a showman's showman. And he's a great musician. And he has a mountain of fabulous songs.
But here's my beef: This last time he played for four hours, three minutes and 46 seconds. That's a long time. And that's cool. But one of the reasons that the show lasted so long (I'm getting to my beef) is that each song becomes an epic story. The intro to each song lasts for minutes. And the outro for most of the songs lasts for minutes, too. And after a couple of hours, the constant drum roll and guitar licks and piano and such make each song sound very similar. Yes, I know that criticizing a Springsteen show is sac-religious or something. But wouldn't it be amazing if he sang a 3:08 version of Growing Up (which is the studio length of the song) rather than making it into a 15 minute novel? And maybe a 3:19 version of Hungry Heart rather than a 10 minute documentary?
I don't know. Maybe I've got this all wrong. But I'd rather have heard most of the 34 songs on the set list shortened considerably and I would have preferred seeing Springsteen a little more raw. Maybe that's just me.
In any event, here's a great Bruce song that doesn't seem to get much radio play (as far as I know) and doesn't seem to appear at Springsteen concerts. And it comes in at a crisp 2:14.
Song 14: Bruce Springsteen doing Tomorrow Never Knows.