The lineup for the annual Coachella fest was announced last week, and many were "amazed" at the eclectic mix of performers from Paul McCartney and The Killers to Leonard Cohen and Lykke Li. That bit of old meets new meets semi-old (Yes, The Cure are playing that fest, too) was quite impressive, but the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has it beat.
The four-day Manchester, TN festival held this year from June 11-14 will feature Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band -- hot off his crotch-rocking performance at the Super Bowl. In his only North American festival appearance, "The Boss" joins a lineup that includes traveling treehuggers Phish, groundbreaking rappers The Beastie Boys, rising indie rockers TV on the Radio, and, of all people, Merle Haggard.
Bonnaroo has assembled other stars from past, present and future (Snoop Dogg, Nine Inch Nails...I could go on -- check it here) but the announcement really raises a bigger question: Is there any stopping Bruce Springsteen?
"The Boss" is everywhere these days. You can't escape him even if you tried to, and trust me, I've tried. Springsteen's resurgence started long before he raised the roof in Tampa on Super Sunday. He played -- it seemed -- just about every pre-Obama fundraiser and event. His song "The Rising" was played on repeat -- it seemed -- everywhere the now-president went on the campaign trail. Furthermore, he scored a Golden Globe for his poignant title track for The Wrestler, and while he failed to earn an Oscar nod for that song, he's flourishing with his recently-released critically-acclaimed album, Working on a Dream.
Springsteen is so hot these days, it wouldn't surprise me if Courtney Cox phoned him for a "Dancing in the Dark" music video sequel. Let's pray she did. Yes, for a man pushing 60, he's arguably at the height of his career. That's a bold statement when you consider his headband-wearing/nut-hugging jean "glory days" of the 1980s.
I've tried for decades to embrace "The Boss," but can't do so full throttle. I've dug a few of the Jersey hero's songs ("Secret Garden" moved me near tears during its Jerry Maguire comeback- well at least when soundbites from the film were interlaced in), but I've never gotten over his constipation-induced performance in "We are the World." Perhaps it's a New Jersey bias. Who knows. Either way, it doesn't matter. Bruce doesn't need me. He's got his legion of fans. He's got Grammy's and an Oscar. He's got a rocking pelvis that makes the ladies swoon. He's got Clarence Clemons. And now he's got Bonnaroo, which will no doubt usher in a new generation of "Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce" devotees.