Friday, December 14, 2012

The Ballad of the Hudson River Brotherhood

I watched only bits and pieces of the 121212 Concert for Sandy Relief Wednesday night.  Truth be told, its scheduled wrap-up time was eerily close to my Thursday morning wake-up time.  Instead of battling drooping eyelids, I used the DVR feature on Direct TV.  Now I can watch it at my leisure.  Life as a lazy man is a good thing.

Truth be told, given that the act whose music I enjoy the most is Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band and given that they were the evening's first act, everything that aired post-8:15 pm or so was gravy.  Although if I never see/hear Jon Bon Jovi and his too pretty by THIS MUCH voice sing "Born to Run" again it will be too soon, I enjoyed Bruce's abbreviated set.  For a group of 50 and 60-somethings who played a full concert in Mexico City less than forty-eight hours earlier I thought Messr. Springsteen and his band of merry men kicked the evening off in fine style.  Every time the camera panned to Mrs. Springsteen (Patti Scialfa) at her appointed place on the stage, I found myself wondering if Suzanne was eyes-on deep in the heart of Texas and - if she was - whether she was hurling expletives at her tv tied to a certain "Fisher-Price" guitar. 

I enjoyed watching Roger Waters - as I always do.  I have a recollection - ever fading into vagueness - of a story Bill told me a lifetime ago about an opportunity he had to meet and interview Roger Waters, which has embedded Waters permanently in my good graces (as I am certain he would be thrilled to discover).  While I can name fewer than three Pearl Jam songs, I enjoy Mr. Vedder's voice.  For my money - and it was a charity event after all - his work with Waters on "Comfortably Numb" was compelling stuff. 

Among the portions of the show that the Missus and I did see live from our living room (technically the den) on Wednesday night was Adam Sandler's "borrowing" of the great Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" into a Sandy-themed anthem.  The further removed Sandler gets from making movies (a) that make me think such as Reign O'er Me; and (b) with Drew Barrymore the easier it gets for me to ignore him at the multiplex.  Given the diminishing returns on his several most recent films it appears as if I am not the only one who has witnessed the separation of bloom and rose.  That being said, and in spite of his borderline brutal singing, I sat with a smile on my face throughout his entire performance on Wednesday night.  If it is just me, then so be it but when I see him in action at one of these events I never get the vibe that he is doing schtick or going through the motions.   He is there because he wants to be there doing his part to help out folks in need of help.

Let us just hope that Leonard Cohen has a sense of humor....


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