I remember the thought very clearly: "This is church."
That was my take-away from Bruce Springsteen's last Nashville appearance, a GEC show in April of 2000. It was my first time to see The Boss live, and it was a full-bore, flat-out, hair-on-fire exploration of the spirit of rock 'n' roll.
And I expect nothing less from the man and the E-Street Band this Thursday.
Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks the Jersey Shore's resident revivalist's work has spiritual merit.
This link to a recent NPR Weekend Edition Sunday story about a new book about how Springsteen's music mirrors some of the Gospel's fundamental ideas is yet another example of how we can find truth in all kinds of pop culture, not just the ones marketed via certain companies.
The author, Unitarian preacher Jeffrey Symynkywicz, notes that Springsteen's biggest gift is how he conveys hope. "Springsteen isn't much of a romantic in his music," he says. "He presents life as it is — life in all its grit and all its pain."
I'm sure all that grit and pain will be on dispay at the SoC (c'mon...my new nickname for the Sommet Center...who's with me?!?) on Thursday. But I apologize in advance for those of you who may be in attendance, but won't see it clearly. Chances are, you're standing behind me...and I'm six-and-a-half feet tall. Sorry.
(And hey, if you're not preemptively irritated at me for blocking your view of Clarence Clemons, follow me on Twitter at tuneinlucas. You'll be glad you did...maybe.)