15 June 2006

Seeger Session

Tonight i went with my parents & brother Andy to what turned out to be, i think, one of the best five concerts i've ever seen in my life. It was Bruce Springsteen at the Bradley Center, playing mostly from his new Seeger Sessions CD, which is covers of Pete Seeger songs. The show was high-spririted, featuring 17 musicians onstage and one of the least cynical events i've ever seen.

Imagine a show where the closer is "When the Saints Go Marching In" and a group of 4 middle-schoolers in front of me (who entered normal, pissy, stupid middle-schoolers, not some home-schooled variety) unsarcastically singing along with a song whose 1st verse is:
We are climbing, Jacob's Ladder/yeah we are climbing higher and higher./We are climbing, Jacob's Ladder/We are brothers and sisters all.
A 12-year-old, with moppy hair, who when he first came in was only concerned with looking cool & looking bored, was up and down for every other folk song & loudly sang along with "We Shall Overcome". I knew a few of the songs (mostly i know Pete Seeger's Songs for Children), and could sing along with the rest, because like most good folk songs, you can catch on pretty quick. I loved how diverse a crowd could get excited about gospel music, civil right songs, and a lot of damn good instrumentation. The whole crowd continued to sing a chorus over and over when Bruce & Company left the stage before their encore... I half expected everyone to hold hands & sway when "We Shall Overcome" came on. I think if the Boss had suggested it, that's just what would have happened. It was such a great show. One of those brief moments of hopeful elation where you think maybe a mass of people as large as a stadium crowd can 'get it' all at once, can feel together, if only for a short moment.

Then, in the men's room on the way out a guy farts as he's peeing & 4 or 5 other guys, seemingly complete strangers make fart jokes at his expense for the next minute and a half. *sigh* . but at least for a moment...

3 comments:

noweverybody said...

How could you not make a pun on your name?

seeger said...

well, limericks don't fit in the title line...

joel said...

It occurs to me that a great explanation of this collective elation can be found in Barbara Ehrenreich's Dancing in the Streets, which is a great read...