Springsteen’s Gets a New Beat from J Street

Bruce Springsteen has a new toy and his name is Jay Weinberg.  JerseyCool was in the house at last week’s Springsteen show and couldn’t help but feel that , even though the Mighty Max Weinberg was missed, this younger Weinberg has added a new dimension to the E-Street band.

Jay Weinberg, Max’s 18-year-old son, was tapped to play drums for most of Springsten’s latest tour because Max has been tied down rehearsing for his new gig as Conan O’Brien’s band leader on the new Tonight Show.  The results reveal a promising career for the junior Weinberg and a re-energized Springsteen on stage.

Several times during last Thursday’s show the Boss beamed, almost with fatherly pride, at Jay Weinberg. The pride was well placed as Jay added a new dimension to old standards like Badlands, Prove It All Night and Adam Raised a Cain. Some of these oldies but goodies sounded almost brand new with the hard pounding Weinberg, who with flowing black hair and beard looks like he would be more comfortable behind the kit for Metallica than the near-60-something Springsteen.

Springsteen has been on a good run of late. Ever since his Seeger Sessions Project when he took on hits from the 60s – the 1860s – he has been rejuvenated on stage.  For his Magic tour, Springsteen began collecting signs from audience members and performing some of his most-requested numbers like Rosalita, Incident on 57th Street and Kitty’s Back.

The Boss has continued this practice into his new shows, performing requested covers from artists as diverse as The Ramones and Bob Dylan. The new energy is even enough to forgive Springsteen some of his more indulgent choices, such as the long, long, Land of Hope and Dreams and the Seeger sessions holdover, American Land, which is a barnburner of a closing tune, but feels out of place with his most recent material.

Springsteen’s music from his latest album is almost an afterthought on this tour. On a good night, he’ll barely perform four songs from Working on a Dream, which is his third solid E-Street Band album this decade. It is almost as if he is having so much fun with the bad that he can’t stand to disappoint his fans by missing any of his greatest hits.

It’s easy to quibble over song choices, but as Springsteen chugs on toward his 60th birthday these is nothing but positive vibes coming out of E Street these days.

Closing Giants Stadium

Springsteen is in Europe now but swings back to the US for more tour dates in the Fall. He’ll be closing out Giants Stadium on Oct. 2, a show that is being billed as the last musical show at the stadium before it is torn down.

The show’s are already sparking controversy as tickets have popped up on broker sites before they go on sale Monday.

For Springsteen’s part let’s hope there isn’t a repeat of the Ticketmaster malfunctions that plagued the Meadowlands shows. Let’s also hope that the Oct. 2 date is, indeed, the last advertised show. People are still feeling burned after Billy Joel added a new “final” show at Shea Stadium well after tickets went on sale.

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