Was there really ever any doubt about who is the greatest live act in Rock and Roll history?
The answer, of course, is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band by a mile. Not even close.
At least that’s according to Rolling Stone.com who asked readers to rate the Top Ten Greatest Bands of all time.
Here’s what Rolling Stone.com says: “When Springsteen began performing with the E Street Band in 1972 it was a four man-group, with Clarence Clemons on the saxophone, Danny Federici on the organ, Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez on drums and Garry Tallent on bass. When the group last toured in 2009 there were 11 people onstage with Springsteen, and although the sound has grown more elaborate the band hasn’t lost any of the passion or the power they originally had. They’ve been off the road for about a year and a half, but the rumor mill says that a 2012 tour may be in the works.”
Well, thanks folks for confirming what I’ve been saying since I first saw Bruce and The Mighty E Street Band blow the roof off the joint way back in 1978. No other band brings the same energy, passion, electricity, musicianship, endurance, (Did I mention passion?), and overall satisfaction that Bruce and The E Street Band. Some might call me obsessive, but I’ve seen the band perform over the last 30-plus years about 50 times (which is nothing compared to the “concert count” of some Springsteen fanatics!). And I have never once been disappointed. Au contraire, mon frere.
Instead I’ve been awed by the way the band has not only stayed together as a solid unit but also has maintained it’s incredible strength and dominance as rock and rollers. From the soaring saxaphone still played nightly by the bands eldest member, Clarence Clemons, to the majestic guitar work by Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt and the vastly underrated Nils Lofgren and the howling vocals of Bruce Springsteen (who’s voice has matured with age), these guys can’t be beat.
Sure there are some other great bands out there and I’ve seen quite a few of them. (If you’re wondering…The Rolling Stones were a distant second, with Mick and Keith huffing and puffing to keep up with Bruce and the band. U2 came in a surprising distant 6th.)
But nobody comes close to holding an audience in complete rapture for 3 hours night after night after night like Bruce and the band. Each show I’ve seen has been a roller coaster ride of emotions featuring flat out rockers, melodic mid-tempo numbers and slow ballads that has left me breathless and exhausted and wanting more.
The synergistic combustion of energy that gets passed from the band to the audience and back again in a semingly never ending cycle is what really makes Bruce and the band the best.
If you’ve never seen the band perform live you’ve really missed out on something special:
So thanks to the well informed and hip readers of Rolling Stone.com for a well deserved tip of the cap to the greatest band in the land. And if you ever get a chance to see Bruce and the E Street Band in concert…run…don’t walk to the nearest show.
You’ll thank me later.