Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Springsteen Tour Announcement

Tour Dates have been posted for the fall Springsteen tour, his first full tour with the E Street Band since 2003!! I won't post them right here, but you can go to the official Springsteen site for all pertinent tour information. I must say that I am a little dissapointed that this is not a bigger tour than it is. The furthest south he is going is Washington D.C., and with the exception of Giants Stadium, it doesn't look like he is doing any more than one show per city. In addition, it seems there are at least three days off in between each show! Is the E Street Band getting too old for this job? Or does Max Weinberg have to fly back and forth between NYC and each show to film his nightly performance on the Conan O'Brien show? Who knows.

The date I will be attending will most likely be November 11th at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. I am sure I can make it back to Greensboro the next day before my 2:30 class. I can make a nice weekend home visit out of it...I hope to see all you dixie folks at this performance. Which led me to thinking...

It has never seemed like Springsteen has had much of a presence in the South. As a friend of mine from Alabama once said, he plays "country music for yankees." I suppose that there are some cultural, historical divides that seem to prevent his music from reaching a wider audience in the south. Considering that his lyrics tend to serve as narrative to the working class white factory man, differences in Industry between North and South could also account for Springsteen falling on deaf ears down in this part of the country. The North has always been more industrialized and city-based, while the South was Agriculture-based up until the Civil War. The Post-Civil War south experienced increasing urbanization, in order to modernize in the wake of an economic system that was literally left in ashes at the end of the Civil War. This Rural-Urban migration brought different populations of people together, all of whom migrated to the city in order to find some chance at work and assimilation into industry, since their former ways of self-reliance and sustainability could no longer be obtained. It should also be noted that dependence on the convenience and low price of slave-produced goods that could no longer be obtained obviously gave the American Economic system a huge kick in the ass, both in the South and the North as well. All of this is to say, that the effect of the romanticizing of industrial, working-class, urban lifestyle that we see in Springsteen's lyrics does not seem to translate as well when applied to the American South, which has a unique and vastly different history than the rest of the Country.

The Country music that the South is know for developed out of a rememberance of that slower, older way of life, where as in Springsteen's music seems rooted in the gritty industrial smokestacks of Central New Jersey. Immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century moved south and west to escape this way of life and to find their own land to work. Sometimes American cultural divides can be seen clearly in simple questions like who likes Bruce Springsteen and why? As much as I can tell, his audience tends to consist largely of liberal, working class to middle class white adults (as biographer Dave Marsh has said, you see more black people onstage at Springsteen concerts than you do in the audience) based in the North and Midwest.

I would write more but I need to do homework. I am a f ull time student as well. I may finish this later, but for now, meet Old Gregg:


J. Neas said...

Alls I know is I saw him put on one hell of a show at the coliseum on that tour back in '03. He doesn't ignore the South, he just gives it the same, quasi-disinterested, occasional show like most bands.

Which is why I love the Drive-by Truckers/Jason Isbell and their constant touring of the South. Glad some musicians get it. Of course they're from here, so, whatever.

andywqfs said...

right i heard about that you have trouble posting pictures in your blog?