Month: February 2014

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 2014 Melbourne concert

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In contrast to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s extremely long show, I’ve decided to try to make this post a short one (looks like I failed). So for four hours he played, and my friend and I were standing for about seven. At 64 years of age he can play for four hours? He really is The Boss. Please keep in mind I’m a casual (or new) Bruce Springsteen fan.

We got there just in time to see Dan Sultan, and he was alright. I hadn’t heard of any of his music but his performance was pretty damn solid. He’s got a good voice and the songs rocked. He calls his music country soul rock ‘n’ roll. Works for me.

Aussie legends The Hunters and Collectors were next, and the only songs I knew personally were ‘Holy Grail’ and of course ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’. The older crowd around me were very excited to see this old band. I was impressed by what I heard because the songs had plenty of character.

Bruce was frustratingly forty-five minutes late to start. He began with the big one, ‘Born in the USA’. Then played many songs after that. Many.

I think if you’re going to be forty-five minutes late and then play for four hours you shouldn’t tell the audience five minute long stories (on two occasions I believe it was).

Jon Bon Jovi’s latter material, a man who I’m a big fan of, is often compared to Bruce Springsteen’s. The more I listen to Bruce, the more I can see that. Difference is that Bruce’s new stuff is pretty good and he’s always been the working class man. Bon Jovi’s new album is about as exciting as a brick wall. Springsteen’s new songs ‘Wrecking Ball’ and ‘Death to my Hometown’ stay true to his origins and sound great too. One of the highlights was ‘High Hopes’ from his most recent album. Crazy solos and jams, it was so cool!

A Bruce Springsteen show is for hardcore fans. AC/DC play the same relatively casual set every night, while The Boss played the most unpredictable concert I’d ever seen. He played songs from sign requests, and while Melbourne fans the previous night heard the Born in the USA album is full, fans on this night heard Born to Run in full. That’s fan dedication. I would actually recommend hardcore fans to attend multiple shows if possible, because those who attended the Aussie shows last year, or even other shows on this Aussie run, get a new surprise every night. That’s commendable. Playing the Born to Run album in full also meant I got to hear my favourite Bruce song – ‘Jungleland’. That epic track is the definition of Boss.

Most bands leave for a few minutes while the fans cheer for their return to perform an encore. Apparently there was an encore, but I didn’t really notice as Bruce barely left the stage. I couldn’t believe he had performed this long without any breaks. After ‘Dancing in the Dark’, he played a cover of ‘Twist and Shout’, and that’s when my friend and I decided we had enough. Not with Bruce, but with standing for so long. Supposedly there was a twenty minute jam and then he performed another song in a second encore. Wow. Four hours.

Bruce Springsteen is no doubt a terrific performer, especially at his age. However, I would only recommend attending his concert if you are a hardcore fan. He played the hits, but also played quite a few album tracks. This is also the only concert where I would actually consider sitting in the seats, or at least recommend taking breaks if you’re standing. I think Bruce should not rock up forty-five minutes late and not tell five minute stories if he’s going to play for four hours. It’s the longest concert I’ve ever been to. I know that for the hardcore fans, four hours is still not enough, so I wish I had been a Bruce fan a long time ago.

I give his show a 3.5/5, but it easily deserves a 5/5 if you’re a hardcore fan. His biggest fans will certainly get value for money.

Here’s the setlist:http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/bruce-springsteen/2014/aami-park-melbourne-australia-6bc57a42.html

Baby Animals “Feed the Birds” Live concert film review

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So last Friday on Valentine’s Day and Suze’s DeMarchi 50th birthday, her band the Baby Animals came to celebrate their first live DVD with a public screening at Cinema Nova. The DVD was filmed on the recent tour of the same name last year in Sydney. The setlist seems to be identical to the Melbourne show I saw about a week prior to the filming of this DVD, so I’m not going to repeat what was written in my review of that show here. I’ll just talk about the film itself.

I’m not sure what’s on the extras of the DVD, but the film itself is nothing more than the show. Members in the audience (the cinema not the film!) would clap after every song. We don’t even see the band leave and then come out for the encore, the encore set just happens. It’s surprising how well Suze’s voice holds up. Even the songs from nearly 25 years ago she sings them just the way they sounded on the record.

The film also made me appreciate Dave Leslie’s guitar playing more because the cameras zoomed in on his fingers as he was performing solos and the cinemagoers applauded that as well.

Fans also get to see the ‘Feed the Birds’ phenomenon and watch it as many times as they like if they’re into that sort of stuff…

The setlist was chosen by fans, so this DVD is a gift for lovers of the band. It isn’t a very long show so casual fans may get a kick out of it too!

Rating: 4/5. 

You can buy the DVD here if you like: http://store.socialfamilyrecords.com/shop/live-dvd-pre-order/