But the most memorable moment, the one that demands immediate distribution, came after the “Apollo Medley”—a medley of Smokey Robinson a cappella and a rafter-raising version of “634-5789.” Suddenly, the mood went sombre and Springsteen said, “This is for Trayvon.” I first heard “American Skin (41 Shots),” at Madison Square Garden a dozen years ago, but now the lament, as the circumstances changed from the shooting of Amadou Diallo, in New York, to Trayvon Martin, in Florida, was less subdued, far tougher, as if to underline the outrage. Like “Born in the U.S.A.” and the new “We Take Care of Our Own,” “American Skin” belies its easy reading; it attempts to get at the complexity as well as the grief and fury of its subject. But better to just let you experience the song. Here it is, performed in Tampa, last week:
The Boss is turning out to be Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez all rolled into one for an angrier age.
Note to Bruce: GET SOME!