The Mao, Gluttony, 8, 9 & 16 March 2021
Review – Geoff Jenke
As we entered the venue, I wondered, is this show really good or have people just been starved of live music over the last 12 months, as it was a large crowd heading in. Also is 6pm a good time for a rock and roll concert?
The show was put together by David Minear, a passionate Springsteen fan and he gathered together 21 of Adelaide’s finest classical and rock musicians to recreate the sounds of Bruce Springsteen. The stage was a full concert stage with lighting and sound and after a tribute to Michael Gudinski, the band launched into Bruce’s most famous song, Born in the USA. The sound was good and the band tight.
Moving into Thunder Road, with Ian Politis haunting keyboards, it became obvious the vocals were to be shared amongst the vocalist. The River came next and was one of the highlights of the evening.
It was good to see the band didn’t just stick to the “hits” with Tuscon Train off the 2019 album Western Stars getting an airing. In fact, it was this song apparently that got this whole project on the road. I’m on Fire fell a bit flat, but Jungleland more than made up for that with a magnificent sax solo in the middle that Clarence Clemons would have been proud of.
The Streets of Philadelphia from 1994 also didn’t quite live up to expectations with Melissa McCaig on vocals. Melissa is a fine singer, but her vocals are not powerful enough to sing lead on Springsteen songs. (but to be fair, she did have a lot of microphone issues during the night).
The Ghost of Tom Joad, although a Springsteen original, was made famous by Tom Morello’s band Rage Against the Machine. Tom went on to join Bruce’s band and in concert they have duelling guitars and vocals during the song. Tonight, we had musical director Julian Ferraretto on violin giving as good as Dusty was giving on his guitar. Volatile! The definite highlight of the evening.
The run home of Brilliant Disguise, Dancing in the Dark, Wrecking Ball and Glory Days was good but didn’t live up to the brilliance of Tom Joad. There could only be one song left for the finale, Born to Run. The musicians were in full rock mode, the vocals were shared and people got up and danced. Now there is something we haven’t seen for a long long time.
So, while we have may been starved of live music over the past 12 months, Classic Bruce was indeed a good show. Turns 6pm is also OK for a rock show.