One Track Mind: Bruce Springsteen, “Jungleland,” Sydney (2013)

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Back when I was writing my Jungleland entry for the Sparks Fly On E Street series, E Street Nation had yet to discover Bruce’s decision as to the replacement for long-time saxophonist and side-man Clarence Clemons. Early bets leaned toward Ed Manion, or maybe even the return of the Miami Horns, with the nay-sayers voting against Clarence’s nephew Jake Clemons.

Well, then the decision is made and it’s a big horn section with both Manion and Clemons. The tour starts and the tension builds: will they play “Jungleland” again? I wrote about that emotional night in Gothenburg, a night when “Jungleland” drove home the reality of the things that had come to pass.

Currently, Springsteen is playing some dates in Australia. On night #2 in Sydney, he brought out an intense version of “Jungleland,” with guest guitarist Tom Morello taking a snarling solo, and with Jake Clemons taking ownership of his uncle’s iconic saxophone mini-epic. Clearly, that solo still moves Bruce, with the song itself retaining all of it’s power and import. Bruce’s vocal howls at the end are spine-chilling.

Some fans said that “Jungleland” should have been retired as a tribute to Clarence’s memory. No, I’m sorry…this is the tribute.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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