Kennedy Center Honors show

bobmc

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Anyone else catch this? Honorees included Dave Brubeck and Bruce Springsteen (and Mel Brooks, Robt. Deniro, and Grace Brumby).

The Springsteen segment closed the show; John Mellencamp opened it, followed by Ben Harper (and a female singer that escapes me) Melissa Etherridge, Eddie Vedder and Sting.

Not a huge ME fan but she sure came out swinging, and I liked Vedder and Mr. Sting.

Was it me, or did JM do a Bruce impersonation? Kinda embarrassing IMO.
 

dzeitlin

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the female that sang with ben is jennifer nettles of sugarland. great voice and very easy on the eyes. i thought that was a really good duet.
 

guitarmook

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I was just about as underwhelmed by Sting as I was by Johnny Cougar.

I thought the highlight of the evening was the Dave Brubeck tribute. A great quartet, then the Armed Forces horn section, then his 4 children, and all tight - great stuff.
 

Go Cat Go!!

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I loved the way Ben Harper was grooving to Dave Brubeck's tribute. He was just sitting back with his eyes closed nodding in time to the music. Actually that whole tribute was my favorite part of the show.

John Stewart's best line - Listening to Springsteen I realize I am not a loser. I am a character in this great play - about losers.

I love Eddie Vedder's and Sting's renditions of Springsteen's material.

I may be in the minority, but I really don't like the classic Springsteen songs. I much prefer the material from the '90s forward.

Man! What happened to Aretha? She is carrying lots of unhealthy weight these days. I hardly recognized her.
 

mge80

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John Cougar Mellancamp has tried, albeit unsuccesfully, to be Bruce his entire career.
I think, in the beginning, he freely admitted this. In fact, a line from an early song (very early..."Johnny Cougar" early) said something like "what could I say that hadn't already been said better by Mr. Springsteen?".
 

bobmc

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2,532
+1 on the Brubeck tribute; my wife thought Dave mouthed "Sonofabitch" when they introduced his boys.
 

Primakurtz

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Mel Brooks is awesome, isn't he?

I was a little bummed at how... "Broadway" the stage band was. It made Springsteen's old songs feel a little schmaltzy.

The musicians were great players, but there was no sense of imminent disaster, which for me is an essential part of great live rock music. No danger makes for smooth TV and lousy rock.
 
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Mel Brooks is awesome, isn't he?

I was a little bummed at how... "Broadway" the stage band was. It made Springsteen's old songs feel a little schmaltzy.

The musicians were great players, but there was no sense of imminent disaster, which for me is an essential part of great live rock music. No danger makes for smooth TV and lousy rock.

Oh (I didn't see it), so it was Schaffer, again (the king of Sanitzed for your Protection TeeVee Rock), eh?
 

Dave Shoop

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John Stewart's best line - Listening to Springsteen I realize I am not a loser. I am a character in this great play - about losers.

I agree that is a very good line and actually perceptive on many levels.
 

Steve_2020

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kenny aronoff was an absolute monster (as always) on drums
Finally got to watchnig it last night. Kenny does Rule. If Max W is tied up with Conan the next time Bruce goes out (according to Steve VZ, it's TBD even IF they will go out again after the 2 year break they are now on..) his kid apparently does a good job filling in. But Kenny would be The Man for the E Street Band.

Kenny really drove that house band for the Bruce segment, just as he did last year when the Who were given the Honors award..

I like this show a lot these days. It's very different from the industry self-promotional awards shows (grammys, emmys, oscars, acm's, cma's) or 'popularity' -and still promotional- awards shows (peoples choice etc) which are on almost every month now.

I usually tune into the Kennedy Honors show for the rock or pop artist being honored and wind up enjoying all the honorees' segments and usually learning a bunch in the process.

They did the Bruce segment up very right, imo. Good choice of tunes (for a career overview at the Kennedy Center Honors, later broadcast to the country on network TV) and a good band to play them- Kenny the ace in the hole. Good choices for singers. To be fair, Bruce Springsteen's stuff is powerful music and if the show's musicians and singers can manage to do justice to it....it's great. They did.

Jennifer Nettles - who dueted with Ben Harper - is a very fine singer who I really enjoy when she untwangs her style as she did here. Unfortunately in Sugarland, she's about the twangiest singer in Nashville country music, and too much for me. Always enjoy Watching her tho :) -!

Someone mentioned Paul Schaeffer. He has nothing to do with this show, which is (probably) rehearsed and for sure presented in Washington DC. Rob Mathes is co-musical director and handles all the rock stuff, plays keys in that band.

The last couple of years at least he's used Kenny and the same bass player (the guy who has the same non-haircut as Kenny':)). And Shayne Fontaine on guitar.

The house rock band was kinda fitting this year as Kenny started out powering John Mellancamp's 80s hits and JCM was on this show. And Shayne Fontaine had a couple years in the spotlight in the early 1990s as the tour guitarist on Bruce's one non-E Street rock tour.

John Stewart was way excellent and you could see why the oscars want him and why he's rumored to be the guy who will eventually take over for David Letterman..

All in all: one of the best musical programs I've seen on TV lately. This and Elvis Costello's ongoing Spectacle series on Sundance.
 
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