Sunday, September 30, 2007

Loose Ends Pt. 2

Bearing down on the new book this week, with hopes of having it finished before the next millennium, so blogging will be sparse for awhile (or should I say even *more* sparse?), except for another One Book and Beyond entry which I intend to post later this week.

Some other odds and ends:

+ Paul Guyot messaged me earlier this week to ask why I didn't acknowledge Bruce Springsteen's 58th birthday (Sept. 23) on the blog that Sunday. I guess I figured anyone who cared already knew, and those that didn't know didn't care. However, on Monday I did attend the first of two rehearsal shows for Springsteen and band's "Magic" tour at the beautiful, historic (but non-air conditioned) Convention Hall on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.

Springsteen has held rehearsal shows for most of his recent tours at the venue (or in the adjoining Paramount Theatre, both built in the 1920s), and it's always a special experience. In addition to being walking distance from my front door, Convention Hall is also a fairly intimate venue for a rock show. Seating only about 3,000 (fewer for the Springsteen shows), it's a lot smaller than the arenas he generally plays, and is roughly equivalent to a high school gymnasium. Reportedly, only 1,500 tickets were sold for each night, making the occasion even more intimate.

However, despite its rich history, CH is essentially just a big concrete box. As a result, the sound has never been good there, and Monday's rehearsal show was no different. Springsteen brought a full arena stage and sound system and it was almost too much for the venue. I was shoving bits of tissue paper into my ears seconds into the opening song, "Radio Nowhere." The combination of the sound coming from the stage and then bouncing off the wall directly behind me was physically painful - and I have been to a *lot* of shows.

Performance-wise, the show and setlist were a little rocky too, but the new songs are terrific and it's always a wonderful thing seeing Springsteen at CH. Some of my favorite concertgoing experiences have been at the venue, especially the truly great series of charity holiday shows Springsteen and the Max Weinberg Seven performed there in December 2001. After the events of the previous months, those shows felt like a collective tension release. And never has "My City of Ruins " - which he performed each night - seemed so heartbreaking.

+ For those interested, the podcast of "Deadly Secrets" that I narrated for The Star-Ledger is now available - for free - as a 3-CD set. The 15-part series - tracing the life and crimes of suspected serial killer Robert Zarinsky - is also available as a tabloid-sized reprint. You can find information on both here.

Above, from left, Danny Federici, Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen on stage at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, Sept, 24, 2007. Associated Press photo.


JMags said...

Maybe you can write about the trials and tribulations of the new book, without of course, giving much away.

wstroby said...

A little too soon, but I will when I can.