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Bruce Springsteen live at The Point, Dublin
Bruce and his army of musicians made like this night in Dublin was the night of their lives – and maybe it was.
Eamonn McCann, 19 May 2006
The only song from the back catalogue in two and a half hours was ‘Johnny 99.’ Everything else was from the Seeger Sessions’ recapitulation of the sound and the spirit of the folk movement of the ’50s and ‘60s, when the socialist edge was openly on show and performers saw themselves naturally as agitators, too.
The roar of approbation which greeted intro fusillades against wars and neo-con wastrels suggested an audience self-consciously on-message. But then there was the blissful wave of recognition for ,i>“Were you drunk or were you blind/When you left your two fine legs behind?”, dismayingly inappropriate. Memories of starry flags aloft at the RDS to ‘Born in the USA.’
But enough. All any man can do is his best by his own lights. He had a 17-piece ensemble, two fiddles, four guitars, banjo, drums, bass, keyboard, sax, trumpet, trombone, tuba (!), three backing singers and whatever I’ve forgot, and they made like this night in Dublin was the night of their lives, which maybe it was, an occasion of stadium rock and Sandino’s lock-in, a strictly traditional carnival, Irish-inflected, anti-conservative, gospel-rooted, the way America might sound coming up for the rising, all genders and ages and colours front-stage at the end, billowing out an engulfing storm of optimism and anger and fierce expectation of justice eventually triumphant.
Pharaoh’s army got drownded,
Oh, Mary, don’t you weep
Every face afterwards was aglow with contentment. But I wonder if many were sparked into action, come morning. Which I have to believe for myself was his hope.