15-07-13

A critical analysis of who's the boss.

I can be very short or very elaborate on the events of Saturday. I'll be both.

SHORT:
Bruce Springsteen ruled, everything else wasn't really good. Werchter sucks. Beach people.

ELABORATE:
Okay, so, you knwo how I like normal venues and small shows and the likes? Well, every once in a while I get luyred into some kind of mass event because I really like music. This time it was Bruce Springsteen, who was set to perform at TW Classic, a festival on the Werchter fest site.

I fucking hate Werchter. I carry the same disdain for it as I do towards den Humo, Studio Brussel and Pitchfork. Those are things that are considered cool, but, what a lot of people don't know, is that those are things that are actually not cool. You know what's cool? Independent music press. DIY shows. A genuine love for music. Musicians treated as people and not as demi-gods. You know what's cool? Buying records, making your own choices, not getting influenced by what's hip. Having an opinion. You know what's not cool? Werchter.
And don't be fooled. Don't think Werchter is cool because they booked Trash Talk last weekend. Doesn't make 'em cool. Au contraire, they're ruining alternative music, one band at a time.
Keeping everything underground is perhaps the only way to keep hardcore independent. At least - if that is what you want it to be. - VUUR (in Ten Fifteen fanzine)
Anyway, I wanted to see the Boss, and my friends were going, so off I was to Werchter. I'm not gonna point out all the flaws and vices, but there are a few. First off, everything is expensive. Okay, I saw that coming, and if you don't think about it too much it's alright. But the people, oh the people. What's up with people thinking they're going to the beach or some kind of pool? Beach blankets, camping chairs, the whole shebazzle. Ridiculous. Also, too many people. Way too many.
Luckily there was kind of a quiet spot in the back where we pretty much chilled a lot. We heard Balthazar in the background upon arrival, but that was boring. I was excited to see Blondie perform but they kinda dissappointed. Sure, they played the hits and it was alright, but it was alright. Nothing more, nothing less. And, if I'm not mistaken, not entirely live. But okay, I can scratch that off of my bucket list (if I had one). I did a dance or two, sang to the tunes, and then went for more fest beers and chills.

Ben Harper was a blues musician. All sounds the same to me. Background music. Sure, it's good, but it doesn't appeal to me. Santana was rather boring. The same could be said for Keane. Luckily I got to hang out with Petit, that was fun. Slept through a bit of Santana, because the beers and the sun were getting to me. Slept away my klopke and after that I had a coffee and I was ready for the rest of the evening. I encountered Sander, who awkwardly but consensually followed me for the rest of the evening. Cool. Cool dude.

So we went to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Now that was a good show. Fair enough, it was about an hour too long (he played from 10 pm til half past midnight) for my liking, and I got a bit bored in the middle, but only for aminute, cause, you know, he's the Boss, and the Boss knows how to entertain a crowd. Starting out (and basically ending as well) with the phrase "CAN YOU FEEL THE SPIRIT?" and going straight for the audience, he captivated the hell out of the crowd. He took requests from signs. Even played fucking Jailhouse Rock. Dude's a beast. And he played a show. Like, continuously. No yeah yeah yib yab, no 5-minute breaks, no 10-minute 'interactive yelling', no nonsense. He played the rock and the roll, the American way. New songs, old songs, hits, non-hits. He did his thing and his thing was amazing. He took a girl up on the stage to sing a chorus with him. She didn't sing too well, and you could see she was nervous as fuck and just wanted it to end, but the band stopped playing entirely, the girl sang the chorus like a fucking champ and Bruce stood there smiling like a motherfucker. Dude is 63 and still looks and acts like he just passed 30.
That's just one example of the joy-machine that is the Boss. He turned every frown upside down, and I can't imagine anybody in the audience who didn't want to marry the man. His vitality is inspring, as are his songs. He took people on stage to dance with him during Dancing In The Dark. There was this woman who pretty much dragged the Boss on stage to dance with her. It was delightful.
The moment supreme, for me, was of course Born To Run. I basically paid 78 euros simply to hear that song played live. He could've done just that, like a 5-minute set, and I wouldn't regret anything. It was as amazing as I imagined it to be. Cool. But instead he played a 150-minute set, without filler. That's cool.

There's lots more to say, but also not, cause I'll end up saying it was cool 30 times. It was very cool, I'm glad and endured a mainstream fest to enjoy the Boss and watch him play his heart and other organs out.

Nice.

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