Music Isn't Competition
By Four Walls
August 11, 2015 11:42am CST
I was reading a post where someone asked the question, "Who's the best American touring band, the Eagles or Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band?" Grammatical faux pas aside (when you compare two, it's better ), why does it have to be a "competition"? This isn't the sports mentality ("my favorite teams are the Reds, the Cardinals, and whoever's playing the Yankees and the Red Sox"). I've seen both the Eagles and Springsteen live. Comparing them is the proverbial apples and oranges. Springsteen definitely puts on the better show, hands down. The Eagles basically stood on stage like statues (actually, I've seen statues move more) and replicated the recorded version of their songs so much that they could've been lip synching for all I know. (That's why I refused to pay those stupid prices for their tickets: I saw them when they were in their early 30's and coked up and they were boring, so how much more will that be true now that they're in their late 60's?) Springsteen's shows are a celebration of music, life, and rock and roll. And talk about high energy? You can lose five pounds just watching him! However, Springsteen's voice (if you want to call that gravely growl a "voice") can grate on people's nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. His subject matter is also pretty limited (a comedian friend always said he didn't understand why Springsteen was so popular in New Jersey because all of those songs he does about how bad New Jersey sucks). Not that the Eagles are more expansive, but they have the benefit of having four lead vocalists versus one, and exquisite harmonies. But, as I said, it's not a competition. There should be room in one's life for a wide variety of music. I saw Springsteen for completely different reasons than I saw the Eagles, and I saw the Clash for reasons unrelated to either Springsteen or the Eagles. Leave the competition to the sports teams.
• United States
11 Aug 15
I never saw the Eagles, but I did see Don Henley, and it was a really good show. He did move around ... certainly not as much as Springsteen or Billy Joel or Elton John or even John Mellencamp after his heart attack ... but he certainly wasn't a statue, either. That being said, all of them had their positive qualities, and all of them were great shows, in my opinion. I agree that it does not have to be a competition, especially since different artists have different strengths and weaknesses and offer different things. Sometimes you might want to go have fun and jam out at a high-energy concert. Sometimes you might want to relax and peacefully enjoy some good music. It isn't only different people that like different music - I like a variety of music and do not always want to hear the same things. That being said, of course there are some musicians that I personally like better than others, but that does not make them better or worse just more to my taste than others.
12 Aug 15
Yeah, I guess bands and artists cannot be compared. I guess if you really love music you cannot have a favorite, you will have favorites. I love Springteen's smokey voice. I just cannot get enough of John Fogerty's voice though. When you talk about snarl and twang in a voice Fogerty was in a league of his own.