BS and GBS

So exactly two weeks apart the honour of seeing two of the best live bands ever: Springsteen and the 16 or 17 piece E Street Band at the (relatively) intimate Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, and last night the awe inspiring celtic/roots/east coast/pop powerhouse that is Great Big Sea. Even though I’ve seen them both many times before, a brief report:

Bruce:
Still a pretty great rock 'n roll experience. The songs that don't mean that much to me on record work live, and the band is easily as good as it gets. Even Bruce’s nutty schtick works because everyone in the band is having a really fun time. Springsteen feeds off the energy of the crowd and it keeps things fresh - even crowd surfing across the pit, which is a pretty radical way of proving how much you trust your audience. A truly special moment. I found myself smiling a lot, and I like that he includes some really old tunes in every show now. He was in great voice and very inspiring, even for an aging, cynical hack like myself. Maybe especially for an aging, cynical hack like me...

GBS: Another fantastic singalong extravaganza of high energy folk rock madness. Crowd on its feet from the get go. “Sold out to the doors” as Mr. Doyle likes to say. Too many highlights to list but basically two hours of stripped down folk rock, presented loose but played tight with those great big voices building great big harmonies. No one does it better than these boys. The only downside of seeing this band for me is that it always puts me in mind of how great the singing in Redhill Road was and how far that band could have gone with those four voices, so I get a bit nostalgic and wistful. What a night though, in the second row of the beautifully intimate Music Hall in T.O. And the other thing I like about these guys? I share a body type with a couple of them (although, unfortunately, not the same hair gene.)