Sunday, October 05, 2008

Give It Back

I'm sure I'll hear more at the gathering of the LLWL Gang (i.e., lunch) on Monday from those who attended the Springsteen concert yesterday on the Parkway, Rocking on the Parkway, but it sounds like it was a successful get out the vote rally/concert. The Inky reports, in As Springsteen sings, Obama's camp signs:

Bruce Springsteen had pounded through his second song as though his acoustic guitar were a pickax, then handed it off to an assistant. The rocker in rolled-up plaid sleeves slung another guitar over his shoulder and tossed out a raspy line that made clear to the thousands on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway how he feels about Barack Obama.

"We tried this four years ago," said Springsteen, who held concerts for then-Democratic nominee John Kerry and headlined yesterday's get-out-the-vote rally for Obama in Center City. "This time, we're winning."

Though organized by the Obama campaign in just a few days, the concert, at 20th and the Parkway, drew an estimated 50,000 people. According to Obama staff, it also added 21,000 new ground troops to the Illinois senator's campaign effort in must-win Pennsylvania.

As Dan Deluca's review notes, Set is short, but Springsteen still long on emotion:

'I'm not Barack Obama, but I'll do my best,' Springsteen said, stoking his own base while telling the crowd, which included Obama volunteers and non-rowdy Bruce fans, that 'it's good to be back in my home away from home.'

With that, he went into a 'Promised Land' that was dusty and spry, quick-strummed on acoustic guitar. He sang in a cracked country voice, folksy and intimate without the thunder of the E Street Band, but full of belief and itching for a fight.

That and the six songs that followed - including Guthrie's 'This Land Is Your Land,' complete with oft-omitted Depression-era lyrics about 'some are grumbling, and some are wondering, if this land is still made for you and me' - all adhered to the Springsteen strategy of cataloging dreams on the verge of being crushed, bucked up by a faith that refuses to die.

* * * *

"I've played to some crowds in big stadiums," he said, laughing. "Just like Sen. Obama."

And yesterday he kept the tempo moving, letting the crowd handle the "show a little faith" line in "Thunder Road." The songs were delivered with cheer and combativeness, their confidence unwavering.

* * * *

Springsteen referred to America as "a repository of hope" and "a house of dreams" in an impressively articulate speech that preceded "The Rising."

That dream house, he declared, "can't be pulled down by a thousand George Bushes or a thousand Dick Cheneys." And it provided Springsteen with a reclamation metaphor he artfully meshed with the 9/11-inspired "The Rising" and "This Land Is Your Land," the latter infused with a Bo Diddley-beat-powered "Yes we can" chant.

"I want my house back," Springsteen declared. "I want my America back, and I want my country back."

For those (like me), who missed the concert, here's a clip of part of Bruce's talk with the audience, followed by his playing "The Rising":

For the full text of his comments, see Phawker, THE BOSS: We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident. For more pictures and video, see Daily Kos.

UPDATE (10/5): For a video of the entire Springsteen set, see 'The Boss' Plays For Obama On Parkway, at CBS 3.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...


Thought you and your readers might dig this piece we did on The Boss's Philly Concert For Change.


Jonathan Valania