published a journal (oh, c’mon, Bruce, just call it a blog) about his Super Bowl experience on his official Web site, and it wasn’t just a “thanks to all the fans we love you!!1one” post (although there was certainly some fan appreciation within)—it was a pretty great you-are-in-Bruce’s-mind tale, one full of digressions and backstory even a little bit of doubt. A few choice bits after the jump.
On the evening’s footwear choice:
I better go with the combat boots I always carry. The round toes will give me better braking power than the pointy-toed cowboy boots when I hit the deck. I stuff my boots with two innersoles to make them as fitted as possible, zip them up snuggly around my ankles, stomp around in my trailer a bit and feel pretty grounded.
On the completely mind-bending nature of playing to a bazillion people, and having that be your job:
I was worried that I would find myself ‘out’ of myself and not in the moment. My old friend Peter Wolf once said ‘the strangest thing you can do on stage is think about what you’re doing.” This is true. To observe oneself from afar while struggling to bring the moment to life is an unpleasant experience. I’ve had it more than once. It’s an existential problem. Unfortunately, right in my wheel house. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad show. It may be a great one. It just means it might take time, something we don’t have much of tonight. When that happens, I do anything to break it. Tear up the set list, call an audible, make a mistake, anything to get “IN.” That’s what you get paid for, TO BE HERE NOW! The power, potential and volume of your present-ness is a basic rock and roll promise. It’s the essential element that holds the attention of your audience, that gives force, shape and authority to the evening’s events. And however you get there on any given night, that’s the road you take. “IS THERE ANYBODY ALIVE IN HERE?!”…there better be.
On the class lines being shattered by the Super Bowl performance (well, at least the telecast of it, cough cough):
Since the inception of our band it was our ambition to play for everyone. We’ve achieved a lot but we haven’t achieved that. Our audience remains tribal…that is predominantly white. On occasion, the Inaugural Concert, during a political campaign, touring through Africa in ’88, particularly in Cleveland with President Obama, I looked out and sang “Promised Land” to the audience I intended it for, young people, old people, black, white, brown, cutting across religious and class lines. That’s who I’m singing to today. Today we play for everyone.
And, finally, on the comedown after the show:
The theory of relativity holds. On stage your exhilaration is in direct proportion to the void you’re dancing over. A gig I always looked a little askance at and was a little wary of turned out to have surprising emotional power and resonance for me and my band. It was a high point, a marker of some sort and went up with the biggest shows of our work life.