“In a better world, Joe Grushecky would live in a mansion down the road from Springsteen’s. Instead, this enormous talent spends his days teaching some of western Pennsylvania’s most troubled children….Who do you know who has made back-to-backgreat albums more than 20 years ago, and is doing the same thing now. There’s Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, Springsteen, maybe a few more. He’s on that level.”
Thank goodness for Pittsburgh, it’s not a ‘better world’. Nothing says the Steel City like a free outdoor Summer gig with Joe & his band. Even though he’s been kicking around for years, I have pitifully only recently discovered just how much fun one of his concerts can be. Better late than never. Find out for yourself tonight at South Park. My thanks to Joe for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
Thanks, Joe. I am with you on that Soldiers and Sailors gig. Incredible! As a fan, I sincerely say thank you.
For the second straight year, Bruce and Joe put on a pair of shows that may as well be locks for the best of the year. Scoring a photo pass is probably the most insignificant aspect of the night as I was too busy enjoying the show too really worry about the shooting conditions (which, at the angle I was at, was ass). Who cares, right? How lucky we are to get to see the shows? Pittsburgh rocks for sure! Proper reviews here, here and here. My buddy John got some cool shots of him arriving for sound check here.
Tonight is the first of two the big Grushecky/Springsteen gigs in Oakland. Hopefully these will become an annual event as last November’s show was one of the best of the year. Here’s a shot of Joe from last week opening up for Ian Hunter. Can’t wait for tonight!
For the last several years I have not been a fan of Bruce’s live stuff. Ever since his Seeger Sessions tours, I have felt that he ‘screams’ all his songs in concert and had no desire to even bother with seeing him again. That thinking was premature as this show was probably my favorite of the year. Could it be he had the Houserockers backing him and was more loose than usual? I don’t know but even when he was ripping it up on lead during several of Joe’s tunes, they sounded great. Setlist here.
This blues fest is in it’s 21st year? Wow? Shutting down main street for a relatively free night of booze and blues on a late summer evening is sure the way to go. Yeah, I missed Cracker, Donora, Local Honey, The Grievious Angels, and Lohio who were all playing the same night. I like hometown legend Joe, even though he is always my least favorite guest at a Springsteen show. Good ole’ blue-collar rock.