Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Impersonators

The tickets were free. Why else would I go to see a Bruce Springsteen tribute band? But let's start with the more important question: why does a Springsteen tribute band exist? The man is not only alive, he's still touring. He just played a bunch of shows in Jersey a couple of months ago. If you're a huge fan, wouldn't you just go see the man himself? Or just stay home listening to his records? Why on earth would you pay good money to see an impersonator when the real thing is available to you?

The tickets were free because the show was only half full. As it turns out, the answer to the above questions is that people who are eligible for Medicare are the ones who would pay good money to see a Bruce impersonator. The last time I the youngest person at a concert was when I saw the Rolling Stones when I was 15. I know that I'm getting older, and that this is music that people 15 or 20 years older than me grew up with, but there was something completely disconcerting about sitting in the middle of a sea of baldness, paunch, and bifocals at what was, at heart, a rock concert. Then again, the Stones themselves must be closing in on 70, if they aren't there already.

We only stayed for about half of the show, not because it wasn't a good approximation of Springsteen, complete with a fake Clarence Clemmons and a fake Stevie, because it was a good approximation, but because the whole experience was just too weird. It was like being in an alternate universe where the entire E Street canon existed, but all of the songs were written and performed by a guy named Lloyd Springstein.

I couldn't help, though, feeling somewhat sorry for "Bruce" and the rest of the band. I imagined them all growing up, dreaming of becoming professional musicians, dreaming of rock stardom. They all practiced and practiced, spent years sacrificing, just to spend every night of their lives pretending to be someone else. I don't know if it's a step up or down from being a professional Elvis impersonator, but either way it made me both sad and thankful that the show took place in a theater equipped with a bar.


tunsie said...

do you mean if somebody gave u a free ticket,they can abuse you with bad entertainment? send them a bill 4 your time and emotional trauma while attending this bad show.c'mon,U don't see me going 2 a johnny cash impersonator even if i got a free ticket......tunsie.tunsie

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