Bruce Springsteen with the Seeger Sessions Band
This entry is being typed on the night of May 10th, almost two weeks after the fact. As is nearly always the case, my memory has faded considerably. On top of that, I attended Jazz Fest on three other days after this one, which really blends my recollections. Between a paper record and what’s left in my head, I can recount the following. Dad and I arrived at the fairgrounds a lot later that we would have liked this afternoon and didn’t get our usual parking spot. We walked in and headed to economy hall basically between acts. We went to the congo square stage where The Soul Rebels performed at one o’clock. I don’t remember the performance but I know we stayed for the whole thing so it must have been decent. If I remember right they did a good job of getting the audience to participate. After they finished I think Dad went to the Acura stage to see Sonny Landreth. I stopped at the grandstands and then went to get something to eat. I ate in the gospel tent where the Melody Clouds were performing. Later, I met Dad at the Acura stage where Allen Toussiant performed with Elvis Costello. The closing act of the evening was Bruce Springsteen with the Seeger Sessions Band. A far cry from his E-Street band stuff, this evening’s performance was basically folk music. I’m not a music critic so I can’t effectively convey just how good his performance was. As this entry is late I can say that the press regarded the show very highly and much has been written about it. Springsteen may not be an amazingly talented musician, but it’s readily apparent he gives 100% and leaves it all on the stage. Among other sings tha were ‘relevant’ to the current situation in New Orleans, Springsteen concluded with a moving rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “even though there are 100 bands in the city that can do it better than we can, ” said Springsteen. Unlike every other time I’ve heard the song, it wasn’t an upbeat rendition. He just sung it rather quietly, and there were several other verses that I didn’t know were part of the tune. Dad said we’ll be talking about this one performance 20 years from now. I can’t disagree, and I’m glad I was there.
May 4, 2019 Update: It’s all on YouTube.