Nov 7, 2007

Long Live Happiness!

Let's start regal. It's a Thursday night and Jeff and I go to see The Hold Steady (aka "The Steady") at the State Theatre. Normally, The Steady brings the pain at First Ave. when they roll through the Deuce Cities, but this time they go the traditionalist route. Think 2,000 seats (yes, seats), crazy architectural flourishes, the whole nine.


Despite the admittedly weird club environment (no booze service after the second band?!?!), The Steady hold things relatively steady. That's code for "sweet show."


Okay. Holy shit. The next night, through a divine act of God or some other spiritual intervention, Jeff and I manage to score front row tickets to Bruce Springsteen. @#!#!@!#!@!#. The real story of how we ended up in this lucky position at the last minute is too complicated and amazing to describe in full detail on the internets.

Bruce is Jeff's favorite recording artist of all time and a close second for me (Bob Dylan always wins that race), so we are beyond excited. Although, after this night it may be Bruce for me too.


The show was absolutely top notch awesome rad sweet. Even at 58, Bruce and the E-Streeters put most bands on the planet to shame. These concert photos are courtesy of the Pioneer Press, cause the Xcel Center doesn't allow photography -- gay but true.


When he's not being executed for crimes against his former people, Saddam Hussein is the lead guitarist in the E-Street Band. True story: 50's and Danielle were part of the backstage catering crew for this show and totally stood, like, 10 feet from Lil' Steve.

Also learned: Max Weinberg looks "totally fit and healthy" in real life, Clarence Clemmons' dressing room is called "The Temple of Soul" and must be addressed as such, Nils Lofgren is "very nice" and rides an exercise bike before shows, oh and Clarence also eats three lobster tails and $175 of caviar after every show. Thanks for the inside scoop, 50's Dad.


Bruce and that one super short dude who plays slide guitar sometimes. Bruce blazes for 2.5 hours straight, sets the place on fire and places Thunder Road during the encore. Celebrities seen: Ron Coomer, Paul Molitor, Dan Wilson. Oh, and that one drummer guy from Conan. Max Weinbaum.


Holy shit! The intensity continues. 50's manages to snag Bruce's setlist from the garbage can while cleaning up at the end of the night! We scan it so that the internet can see it for all eternity. Big ups to 50's!


After the show, Craig and Angie (in town for the night from worlds far away) come by for some post-show record listening, brews, smokes and Bruce appreciation.


Jeff makes some important points about our new theory for modern music: the best music is from a new separate genre called "Inclusion Rock." Bruce is at the forefront of this movement, we decide.


I second this notion.


Inclusion rock is an emotional roller coaster. Craig has actually gotten the chance to meet and talk with Bruce earlier in the night, face to face. Needless to say, this is a huge moment and we're all on a life high just thinking about it.

Brucisms are Truisms.


After those dudes leave, the Vaders stop by at like, 2AM. We stay till 5 with them, listening to Bruce and filling them in on the particulars of "Inclusion Rock" while Heidi Vader fills us in on how she was at the video shoot for Dancing in the Dark back in the 80s. At 5AM, we walk down the street to Mickey's for breakfast and good conversation with our speed-addled waitress.


Bruce fans unite.


Fast forward to the next night. Not much can top the life-affirming joys of the previous night, but we're gonna try. We head over to So. Mpls for a night with Beak, Cam, 50's and the whole crew. Dinner at Buster's, with much serious talk about taking a friend trip to Spain and/or Portugal.


After dinner is when the drunken firepit crazyness begins. Booze, brews, cigs, friends, and three carloads of recently-ripped down cedar planks from LJ and MJ's new house make for more life-affirming moments of communion.


Not a lot of proper fire safety is being practiced on this night. Unflattened boxes are being thrown on at will, and we're all inhaling huge amounts of glue fumes as the adhesive on the back of these cedar planks burn into the black night sky. We invision our lifeless bodies being found in the morning by JC, slumped in our chairs with warm beers in hand.


Case in point. Shit is getting out of hand and Beak is not prepared.


50's attempts to keep things in control.



Raising our drinks and our hopes.


It's at this point (say about, 1AM) that 50's and I realize that a slow exposure makes fires look totes crazed. We start to experiment. We see a blazing dragon.


Jeff is thwarted by an ancient fire beast. Just another night in southside.


Beak fights back with some dragonbeast flame throwing of his own. Getting totally midevil in this piece.


I have harnessed the power of the fire, and now control it with the wisdom of a wizard and the precision of a really precise thing.


Cam is helpless to defend herself.


50's is relatively bored with the dragonfire process and yawns out his own fireball.


You get the idea.


Really, this was hilarious at the time. I swear.


J.C. adds a Chicago flair to the proceedings.


Our fire safety gets progressively worse, wtih dried leaves from the yard and recently-cashed Corona cases entering the fray. Also, we are very very drunk. The night ends predictably, with Jeff and I passing out in Beak and Cam's spare room around 6AM. Not much sleep this weekend.


Home improvements! More to come soon. Just know that this is not a prison cell. That would be really easy to break out of, cause it's wood, dudes.


  1. In case anyone was wondering, I've found proof that Bruce and Bono are friends!

    Check it!

  2. Anonymous8:16 AM

    holy shit. the steady, the boss ... we had the same weekend (minus the burning shit.) also i am from brooklyn. not the tc.

  3. I cannot believe all of this madness!

    FYI-Pirate blogs are in the works. Stay tuned.

  4. My very own Boss tale, from way back when (otherwise known as the early 90's).

    I'm working behind the bar at an establishment by the U of M. A van pulls up and three guys get out, enter the place and get a table near the front. It's Bruce and a couple of security guys.

    They order some food, and Bruce is intrigued by the concept of Cream of Turkey soup, so he has to try it. He likes it so much that he orders another bowl.

    Meanwhile, some of the bar regulars are trying to get me to slip a Springsteen disc into the CD player, an idiotic notion that I refuse out of hand.

    Anyway, after we get a photo for posterity, the gentlemen leave. The next day, the road manager for Bruce comes in and asks if we have any of the Cream of Turkey soup left. When we say that we do, he immediately asks to buy whatever we can spare. He later called and asked for the recipe, which was willingly given to him.

    I mean, it's not nearly as much fun as front ro seats and burning shit, but it's still cool, no?

  5. Anonymous9:57 PM

    Andy here. Amazing. The Steady, The Boss, and for these blog purposes, The TPC(!?). All a part of my life soundtrack. Especially since I left my beloved Deucecities. You guys just experienced the past two years of my life in song in a matter of a weekend.

  6. Anonymous3:26 AM

    look this is the "diet" i told you about you should really enter the site :) bye enter the site