Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meet Me in the Land of Hopes and Dreams, Part 2: Jazz Fest with The Boss




I'm glad I decided to do a whole separate post and not combine it with the first part of our NOLA trip because seeing Springsteen was just such a big!freakin!deal! for us.  I've kind of been putting this post off because it's hard for me to fully express how meaningful this was.  It's (relatively) easy for me to talk about my children, my friends and my faith and wax poetic about those things, but when I try to express my feelings about my favorite singer and how going to an outdoor festival with my husband ranked among the top five experiences of. my. life (wedding, birth of our two kids, and Cursillo are the remainder of the list, if interested) and things get, well, weird.  I don't know why I'm embarassed or uncomfortable.  Some people love to sky dive. Some people love Disney World.  Some people love backpacking through  Europe.  I love hippie music festivals and Bruce Springsteen.  Okay?

First of all, before I get to the pictures...I wanted to just share a little bit about my love for this man as a musician and as a songwriter and as a performer.  I would say he's definitely in my top five artists/bands that I love and more often than not probably fills the number one spot (James Taylor, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, and a couple of others also vie for the spot).   If I had to pick a style of music I like I would either choose the singer/songwriter genre or just classic rock.  The Boss really fits into both catagories, but then he adds in so much more.  Lots of his music has a very folksy feel, which I LOVE.  At times, you can hear shades of blues and gospel music as well.  I love the variety so much.  I can listen to Born in the USA and then The Rising and they are completely different albums, but both are so good without even focusing on the lyrics. 

But, of course, there is so much to be said for the lyrics themselves.  Most of my favorite songs of his are like beautiful poetry- "Thunder Road" is probably the best example I can think of.  I will say that, in recent years, his writing has gotten very political and is almost a bit of a social commentary. Although, Peyton and I obliviously differ a LOT from Bruce in our political viewpoints, I feel like a lot of his newer songs that are written about current situations really resonate.  He's written and sung about September 11 and Hurricane Katrina and I feel like the way he expresses his thoughts is just beautiful. For example, the song "The Rising" is written entirely from the point of view of one of the firefighters that rushed into the towers on September 11. As I've said before, we are pretty conservative (honestly, I believe if you're a Ron Paul fanboy like Peyton, you really can't legitimately get too much more conservative before you're in far right talk radio host territory).  That said, we are lovers of social justice and we have a heart for the poor, so much of it is really relatable.  So, when I hear his songs that are clearly written with a political agenda, I don't so much think about him embracing Obama or slamming Bush in his response to Katrina.  I try to take a big picture approach.  

Additionally, his lyrics have a decidedly spiritual quality that I love.  Now, don't y'all think for one hot second I'm claiming to know for sure this guy is truly a Christian.  [Although...and I know this is super weird...I've prayed for him to have a real relationship with Christ if he doesn't.  I know that is beyond strange, but I just like him so much.  There are certain actors I've prayed the same thing for...mainly Katie Holmes, mainly during my late junior high years when Dawson's Creek felt next to reality.   I know that is beyond weird.  I'm a weird girl, okay?] That said, I think a lot of his songs contain a great deal of truth. Peyton and I are not huge KLove fans, but we do love some RUF tunes (in spite of our Wesleyan heritage, yes, we do listen to music written and performed by reformed minded brothers and sisters) and songs from the Modern Hymn Movement (Keith Getty, anyone?).  All that to say, you can only listen to "How Deep the Father's Love" so many times on repeat before you need a break.  And I always think it's really, really, neat when secular music includes religious overtones that I can confidently affirm. 

Lastly, he's just an amazing performer.  Not in the over the top, Lady Gaga sense, but just like he's going to give you a good show.  Peyton said he read one reviewer who said he had been to hundreds of live shows and Springsteen's were always the best.  In addition to playing nice long sets, he plays his heart out.  This is the difference between seeing him and Tom Petty.  We love listening to Tom Petty's cds, but as far as seeing him live, there was something left to be desired.  There was NOTHING left to be desired with this concert.  I won't tell you what I told Peyton about the look on his face when he was singing at some points because it's kind of inappropriate, but let's just say it was a look of serious ecstasy and that expression is not one I'm used to seeing on a person's face publicly. [I said that as delicately as I could.]

SO, now that I've spilled my music lover's heart, here are the pictures from the concert...

The entrance to the concert

I think outdoor festivals are so much fun.  It's just so relaxing and enjoyable.  Everyone was so friendly and polite ("Go ahead and step on my blanket, no big deal!", ect.) Crunchy mon Peyton was totally in his element ;)

I was too!

Peyton was kind of sad we didn't make our way over and take them up on this, though!

I could have watched and listened all day! [As much as I love music, I usually get bored after a bit at concerts...not the case here.]

The two big screens were a nice feature for us vertically challenged people! 

Especially since I wasn't wanting to sit on Peyton's shoulders like these chicks!

Just looking at this scene makes me want to go back.  I think Jazz Fest will be an annual  tradition regardless of who's playing!


Peyton took this video and I think it turned out great.  We were super impressed with the video function on the Rebel.  Pause the playlist on the right hand.  It's worth, promise.
"There's bodies floatin' on Canal
And the levees gone to Hell 
Them who's got, got out of town
And them who ain't got left to drown
Tell me how can a poor man
Stand such times and live"
[He wrote this song about Katrina and I think it's neat he sang it in the city he wrote the song about.]

He knows how to work a crowd, yes?

Funny story here: I put this picture on Facebook and said something about Bruce and Peyton commented "Um, that's not Bruce".  The worst part is that it wasn't like I was just in a hurry and didn't look carefully...I had noticed it when I uploaded the picture and though "hmm, that doesn't look like him at all and I don't think that's what he was wearing".  You'd think I'd recognize someone after the hours of YouTube footage I stayed up watching several nights after the concert. I'm such a ditz sometimes.  

At one point, he got this kid on stage with him to sing along. Classic. 

Like I said, he's an awesome performer.  The drum was a nice touch.

This was our bus driver on the way back from the concert.  He pretty much acted as a tour guide, even though that was so not part of his job.  It was neat to hear all the details about the city like you would on a real bus/carriage tour. We loved him!

We also saw this band playing on top of a bus on the way back.  The sights you see in this city!

I'm having a hard time with the fact that I feel like I've done a pretty poor job of putting into words all this experience meant to me (not to brag, but I feel like I'm usually pretty good at documenting my memories and emotions in words).  I hope the pictures kind of captured some of the emotion where my words were lacking. It'll have to do.
{happy girl in her happy place}

Grab your ticket and your suitcase
Thunder's rolling down the tracks
You don't know where you're goin'
But you know you won't be back
Darlin' if you're weary
Lay your head upon my chest
We'll take what we can carry
And we'll leave the rest

Big Wheels rolling through fields

Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

I will provide for you

And I'll stand by your side
You'll need a good companion for
This part of the ride
Leave behind your sorrows
Let this day be the last
Tomorrow there'll be sunshine
And all this darkness past

Big wheels roll through fields

Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

This train

Carries saints and sinners
This train
Carries losers and winners
This Train
Carries whores and gamblers
This Train
Carries lost souls
This Train
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train
Faith will be rewarded
This Train
Hear the steel wheels singin'
This Train
Bells of freedom ringin'
This Train
Carries broken-hearted
This Train
Thieves and sweet souls departed
This Train
Carries fools and kings
This Train
All aboard

This Train

Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train
Faith will be rewarded
This Train
Hear the steel wheels singin'
This Train
Bells of freedom ringin'

1 comment:

Carrie said...

You are a "strange girl" but I love you for it. Hahah! Your facial expression comment.... OMG. Girl! ;)

It cracks me up that you and Peyton aren't really KLove fans.... but doesn't surprise me at all. Haha! My radio pretty much lives on KLove these days. Yay for RUF music, though! You've reminded me that I need to bust out my CD's :)