A Good Yarn

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bruce and The Rocket

Friday night I got to see this guy again:

and he brought along his friends this time:

It was a great show. He came on stage (about 45 minutes late. Bruce is always significantly late) and tore into his newest hit, Radio Nowhere. He barely stopped playing for over two hours. There were a couple of really short statements, but mostly it was just one song after another. Here's the set list:

1. Radio Nowhere
2. No Surrender
3. Lonesome Day
4. Gypsy Biker
5. Magic
6. Reason to Believe
7. The Night
8. She’s the One
9. Living in the Future
10. Promised Land
11. Your Own Worst Enemy
12. Incident on 57th St.
13. Workin on a Highway
14. Devils Arcade
15. The Rising
16. Last to Die
17. Long Walk Home
18. Badlands

19. Girls in Their Summer Clothes
20. Thunder Road
21. Born to Run
22. Dancing in the Dark
23. American Land.

Good mix of the old, old stuff, the brand new stuff and a few things in between. That encore was smoking! Badlands was amazing too and I've had it running through my head off and on ever since. Thunder Road is one of my Top Five Bruce songs, so I was really excited to hear it. If you haven't picked up his new album, I think it's worth it. Great rockers and it fits in really well with the old stuff. After the show they announced they were coming back again in March, tickets on sale this Saturday, so if you've never seen Bruce Springsteen, it's just one of those things you have to do at least once in your lifetime. I'll be there again, too.

Saturday was Talk Cinema and I saw this film:

It's a Canadian film, but when it gets a U.S. release it'll be called "The Rocket". It's a biopic about the great French Canadian hockey player Maurice "The Rocket" Richard. He played for the Montreal Canadiens for almost 20 years in the 40s and 50s, winning the Stanley Cup 8 times. He was a prolific goal scorer, including being the first to score 50 goals in 50 games. The film tells the story of his life, including the difficulty he had being a French Canadian. American audiences probably aren't as familiar with the discrimination that French Canadians suffered as they are with the civil rights movement in the U.S., but there are some parallels. Richard was often discriminated against in hockey, as well, and wasn't protected by the league. One of the key moments leading up to the French Canadian civil rights movement in the 60s was what is known as the Richard Riot of 1955.

Richard was regularly hit by sticks and beaten up by opposing teams without much protection from the game officials. In a game against the Boston Bruins, Richard was hit over the head with a stick by a Bruin. Richard retaliated and eventually even punched the linesman. The NHL commissioner suspended Richard for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs. The Bruin player wasn't punished at all. It was the longest suspension in league history and the people of Quebec (where hockey is unbelievably important) considered the punishment very unjust and too severe and there ended up being a riot in the streets. It was sort of a turning point in French Canadians no longer being willing to accept being treated as second class citizens and in the 60s massive changes occurred.

I liked the film. I was really caught up in learning more about the struggles of this great player and cheered him on as he showed an amazing amount of determination. After the Richard Riot, he came back to the Canadiens the next year and they won five straight Stanley Cups. This is just sort of a post script in the movie, so the focus really is on Richard's life and his role as a French Canadian role model, not really on hockey. Though there are of course plenty of hockey scenes. Watching men play hockey without helmets is really scary.

Today I'll be taking in my favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings. Happily, they'll be all padded up and wearing helmets. I don't hold out much hope of a Viking win, but it'll be my first time seeing LaDanian Tomlinson in person and it'll be great fun to see LT and AD (All-Day Adrian Peterson) running up and down the field. After that like every other football fan in the country, I'll be glued to the nearest tv set I can find to watch the Colts v. the Pats.

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