Prove It All Night
March 24, 2012
“This is my confession
I need your heart
In this depression
I need your heart.”
For the second time in the past few weeks, I had the tremendous opportunity to see one of the iconic musicians and performers of our generation. Bruce Springsteen along with the E-Street band was scheduled to be playing in Tampa, a short 25 minute drive from my hotel in St. Pete. My sister Marika & her husband Brian had seen the show a few nights earlier in Greensboro and strongly encouraged me to check it out.
Not that I needed much encouragement as I have been a Bruce fan for years and have been catching his shows since I saw my first one back in 1982. He is one of the few performers that you can always count on to deliver an amazing performance no matter the circumstances. I admit that I was a little worried as Bruce is now 62 and the band recently lost his sidekick with the passing of Clarence Clemons, I thought perhaps the show could not live up to what I had seen during his prime.
That fear pretty much evaporated about 15 seconds in to the show and instead he delivered what was easily among the most passionate energetic performances that I have ever seen. Bruce Springsteen is spitting nails angry at the current state of our country and still in pain over the loss of his friend. All these emotions are encapsulated in his brilliant new CD, “Wrecking Ball” and they were released in a furiously explosive performance.
While the Elton John show I saw recently was a journey into the past, this show was a powerful statement of the moment we are in now. Bruce’s songs about the down and out are almost always better in the live setting than on CD and his anger came through in rousing fashion. While mostly sad and bleak, the songs also have a basic belief in the power of the human spirit to endure and eventually overcome. By the time the house lights came on for the stirring encore after 2 and a half hours and 25 songs, it was a celebratory rejoice for the possibilities of the future. If this show comes to a town near you, get tickets immediately.
After the show it was back to St. Pete to attend the first qualifying session for the Indy Cars of the 2012 season. It was a beautiful sunny, perfect day and there was some excitement in the air as the cars took to the track. With all the new cars, new engines, new drivers and uncertainty over who was prepared it was fascinating to get an actual test of where the teams are at the moment. That there might be some surprises was also a possibility as some of the smaller teams could possibly have a break through with their new car.
Qualifying itself was a mixed bag, there was certainly a familiarity at the top of the grid, with Team Penske capturing three of the top six spots with Will Power taking the pole for the third straight year. Teammate Ryan Briscoe was second and Helio Castroneves qualified fifth. Two Andretti Autosports drivers were next with Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe in third and fourth. In something of a surprise, Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top six.
The biggest surprise is who wasn’t in the top six, as neither Target Chip Ganassi driver qualified well. Scott Dixon came in seventh fastest and Dario Franchitti was ninth quick. All in all it was a good first qualifying session, and sets up for an intriguing race. The new cars which take some getting used to, are not as bad as I feared and they certainly sound more like race cars with their turbo-charged engines.