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WHO'S THE BOSS? A SPRINGSTEEN VIRGIN INVESTIGATES

Bruce Springsteen has achieved the level of greatness that all musicians aspire to reach. He has managed to make music that is poetic, tangible, and most important, awesome. If you ask any man who he'd be if he could be anyone else, the results put Bruce No. 2 after James Bond. Sadly, I am just discovering this.

Two months ago I decided to go to the Springsteen concert this weekend at the Ford Amphitheatre with a couple of Bruce fanatics. Ever since, I have been determined to know more than the lyrics to Thunder Road and Born to Run. I borrowed an iPod and have been on YouTube trying to get a feel for his critically acclaimed live performances. I have in this time concluded that he is a genius.

There were some initial hiccups. Not wanting to jump to the Essential Bruce Springsteen album, I stumbled on an album completely foreign to me. The Ghost of Tom Joad was not what I expected to find on my first investigative listen. The songs were quiet, introspective, and had folk undertones. They lacked the force of his popular songs. Songs like Youngstown were full of intelligent commentary and backed by a simple acoustic guitar. I got the opposite of what I expected, but I was not disappointed. I plan to continue this education so I don't seem too ridiculous at the concert.

Although he turns 60 this month, he rocks harder than most. I usually would disagree with those who suggest that there is something wrong with my generation. But on Springsteen, I'd have to agree with the older generation. If there is anything wrong with us, it's our lack of Bruce.

Jacob Stewart Gibbs High

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

The Boss turns 60 this month and he's on the cover of AARP The Magazine, but he's still cooler than you. He's at Ford Amphitheatre at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets $36-$98. www.livenation.com.

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