We weren’t quite cool enough to get into last night’s Springsteen tribute show at Carnegie Hall, benefitting Music For Youth — but Stereogum reader Steve was there and filed this detailed report on the show and witnessing Craig Finn’s dream come true. He writes:
Overall, the gig was a snoozer (dear lord, why did someone let Kevin Bacon sing “Streets of Philadelphia”) but the show’s producers knew what they were doing by putting the best two performances at the end. First old folk legend Odetta came out (was wheeled out, actually) and did the best version ever of “57 Channels (and Nothing On).” And then the closing spot was our Brooklyn-via-Minneapolis guys. Not surprisingly, their version of Nebraska’s “Atlantic City” was flat out amazing. Their arrangement was similar to the one Springsteen and the E Streeters used on their 99-00 reunion tour–slow through the first verse and chorus, and then exploding into a wall of sound for the rest of the song. The Springsteen fans in the audience ate it up. Finn’s smile and hand interpretations of the lyrics as he sang were infectious. These guys need to record that cover and put it out, maybe as a benefit for the event’s charity, Music for Youth.
Then the crowd got the surprise they were waiting for with Springsteen walking on stage.
the Boss did “the Promised Land” and “Rosalita” solo acoustic then invited everyone on stage to do “Rosalita” again with the house band. He asked for volunteers to sing verses, and I felt compelled to yell out Craig’s name. So he took the first verse and from my 8th row seat, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Springsteen happier seeing someone else sing his word. Craig nailed it, and then pogoed to the side of the stage. Then as the song got to the fourth verse, Bruce called out for Craig to sing lead again. The best part was when Craig got to the line “There’s a little cafe/where they play guitars all night and day ,” and he pointed to Bruce to do that infamous lick on the acoustic guitar. As a Springsteen and Hold Steady fan, it was a magical moment.
So there you go–I’m sure all the Hold Steady haters and Springsteen bashers will come out if you run this, but since I had to go for my job as a music journalist for [LARGE COMPANY NOT NAMED VIACOM] and they don’t care about the Hold Steady, I wanted to share it with someone.
Hold Steady haters, maybe. But do Springsteen bashers even exist? Billboard adds that Patti Smith turned in her Boss-penned hit “Because The Night,” Newport-smoker Joseph Arthur offered “Born In The U.S.A.,” and that the evening netted $100,000 for MFY. The Boss commands a crowd. Thanks for writing, Steve!
UPDATE: Fresh Bread was on hand to take this sweet pic and the full setlist.
01 “Nebraska” (Steve Earle)
02 “Streets Of Philadelphia” (The Bacon Brothers)
03 “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” (Elysian Fields)
04 “The River” (Josh Ritter”
05 “Because The Night” (Patti Smith)
06 “The Rising” (Marah)
07 “My City’s In Ruins” (The Holmes Brothers w/ Young Peoples Chorus)
08 “Brilliant Disguise” (Robin Holcombe)
09 “Spirit In The Night” (North Mississippi All-Stars)
10 “New York Serenade” (Uri Cane)
11 “Cover Me” (Juliana Hatfield)
12 “One Step Up” (Low Stars)
13 “Thunder Road” (Badly Drawn Boy)
14 “Born In The U.S.A.” (Joseph Arthur)
15 “Dancin’ In The Dark” (Pete Yorn)
16 “Hungry Heart” (Jesse Malin & Ronnie Spector)
17 “I’m Going Down” (M. Ward)
18. “57 Channels” (Odetta)
19 “Atlantic City” (The Hold Steady)
20 “The Promised Land” (The Boss)
21 “Rosalita” (The Boss)
22 “Rosalita” (Bruce Springsteen And The Finn Street Band)