I read some interweb stuff about how SNL isn’t bringing in new music groups and just seems to be catering to the older crowd. I touched on this in a previous blog, Foo Fighters Slay It. Well, if you have something to sell, you’re going to make the rounds. Talk shows. SNL. Whomever will put you on the air. In S46:E8 of SNL, Lorne Michaels pissed off the internet again by bringing in an even older act…Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
The Boss pulled a pair of songs from his new album and the first was “Ghosts”. The album these songs come from, Letters to You¸ is a tribute to Bruce’s first band, as he is the sole surviving member. “Ghosts” is the epitome of that tribute. Powered by the Boss’s lyrics and robust voice, he’s accompanied by a driving tambourine and keyboard. At first, with the set behind him and the time of year, this can easily be confused for a Christmas song, but the haunting lyrics bring you back to the powerful message that he has about love, loss and honoring the memory of those that left this world before us. This is clear from one verse:
“I shoulder your Les Paul and finger the fretboard
I make my vows to those who’ve come before
I turn up the volume, let the spirits be my guide
Meet you, brother and sister, on the other side”
”I’ll See You In My Dreams”
The second set was more of the same. Honoring and paying tribute to those that came before him. “I’ll See You in My Dreams” was more of a ballad but had some big beats to back it.Maybe it was his emotions, but at times it seemed that even this song got to The Boss as that gravely voice of his faltered once or twice. It definitely didn’t ruin this soulful performance.
Bruce went into the Hall of Fame in 1999 and was followed by the E Street band in 2014 and they all lived up to their reputations. Steven Van Zandt was by his side in his trademark bandana (did you know it was because of a car accident in his youth…I never knew). Max Weinberg looking as corporate as ever on the kit (I feel like that would’ve been my look if I made it big). Unfortunately, 2 members could not make it because of Covid restrictions, but their fill-ins stepped up and no beat/note was missed. For their first SNL performance since 2015, they didn’t disappoint. Wearing a denim shirt with a popped collar, Bruce was in full Boss mode belting out powerful lyrics with that gravely voice that seems to never fail him.