February 2nd, 2009
04:06 PM ET

Bruce Springsteen: Cooler than all of us combined

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Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

I’ve always thought that, as far as bona fide rock stars go, there isn’t anyone more incredible than Mick Jagger, strutting around like a peacock in leather pants and a red bathrobe, singing “Brown Sugar.” But Bruce Springsteen, last night at the Super Bowl, damn, if that wasn’t one of the greatest performances of all time I don’t know what was. He’s like one of the Seven Wonders of the World, right up there with The Great Wall of China and Fresca.

I’m assuming, of course, that you saw the Halftime Show. If not, I hope you have a good excuse. And no, “I was out in the front yard trying to break up a fight between my brother-in-law and the pizza delivery guy” doesn’t count. What do you think this is, Easter?

Anyway, Mr. Springsteen was sublime. Granted, he doesn’t have David Bowie’s panache, Stevie Nicks’ mysticism or Bono’s sunglasses, but The Boss is, well, The Boss. And last night he rocked the crowd in a way it hadn’t been rocked since John Madden bodysurfed the nosebleed seats.

As I watched his performance, I thought of how one of the great things about Springsteen is his versatility. He is simultaneously a rocker and a poet. Someone who can pump us up with his roaring anthems and turn us introspective with his somber ballads. The kind of guy whom you expect to belt out “Born in the USA” with the E Street Band but by whom you wouldn’t be totally surprised if he brought out the Von Trapp children for a chorus of “Edelveiss.”

And sure, he’s one of those celebrities who gets involved with politics. And maybe you don’t agree with his views. But come on, people. He’s Bruce Springsteen. Even John McCain was in the crowd for those Obama rallies.

I’ve actually never been to a Springsteen concert. It’s one of my big regrets. That and giving my dog elbow macaroni and meat sauce last night. I did, however, once see Mr. Springsteen here in the Time Warner Center. I was on an upward escalator, he was on the downward one next to me. It was one of those great New York Moments. That guy looks a lot like Bruce Springsteen. Wait a second, that IS Bruce Springsteen.

And yes, I played it cool. If by cool you mean shouting out “Bruuuuuuuce” and – oddly – doing that University of Texas “hook ‘em horns” thing with both of my hands. Apparently during moments of great excitement I turn into Matthew McConaughey.

Anyway, Bruce Springsteen – ever the coolest guy around – said hi and gave me a little wave.

It was the day for which I had long been waiting.

The day I could finally say, “Eat your heart out, Courteney Cox.”

Filed under: 360° Radar • Bruce Springsteen • Jack Gray • Super Bowl
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Hi Jack: "Fresca" as one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Well, I give you credit cause you made me "wonder" about that one so I guess it's true. I was surprised that they still make Fresca...so go figure!

    This was the first time in ages that I actually enjoyed the football game and halftime show more than the commercials! There is "hope" afterall.

    Historically, I have to admit enjoying the Superbowl halftime show that was in 3-D and the hype around making sure you had your 3-D glasses to watch it. It was cool and lame all at the same time. Then, there was the halftime show with Diana Ross, when she rode out on the helicopter....oh, the memories....classic stuff. Springsteen's show can now join the rankings! 😮

    February 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  2. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    Bruce Springsteen was great, huh!
    A master of music from the old days, with a superb performance, he was the best part of the final. The game in itself, ended so frustrating, with a throw record, but not normal in football. And look: I’m not American, I don’t understand much and am not very demanding in gaming.

    But back to Bruce …
    He is better every day. This only shows that I am not more a girl of 20 years that sang his old songs.
    Just as well that music has no age: Bruce, with his 59 years, I with my thirty-(some) and the ROCK that is timeless.

    E “Born to Run ‘is the best of the best!

    February 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  3. EJ (USA)

    Truly, I would've preferred Steven Tyler. I haven't seen his mouth in a while.

    February 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  4. Kathy, Chicago

    The Boss is the best. I think that I saw him 3 times in concert. When I hear his songs, especially the old ones, I think of my college days and the beach. A kinder gentler time!

    February 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
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