Rabid Movie Review: Bruce Springsteen - London Calling: Live in Hyde Park at Beach Theatre (special benefit performance)

Share on Nextdoor

[image-1]“Phantom” Dan Federici was not only one of the great keyboardists of our time, but also one of the backbones and guiding lights of the E Street sound. His 2008 death from Melanoma shook the rock universe to the core and set Bruce Springsteen on a campaign to raise awareness of the deadliest form of skin cancer. London Calling: Live in Hyde Park is a benefit film, with 100% of Beach Theatre’s profits going to the charity set up in Federici’s name, The Danny Fund.

Everything you’ve ever heard about Bruce Springsteen is true. The energy, the captivating persona he wears like the mask of a combination of musical genius and madman is ever present. And as he tears through a setlist akin to a burning Cadillac speeding down the Jersey Turnpike in flames, you temporarily forget that a 3 hour show performed by a 60 year old man seems unfathomable.

The audience in attendance at St. Petersburg’s Beach Theatre seemed like any typical film crowd waiting for the lights to fall like burnt out stars. But once the anticipated moment came to fruition, and the opening chords of a cover of The Clash’s London Calling began blaring through the theater’s speakers, a true rock crowd was birthed. On their feet, clapping along, singing the background vocals of Badlands, these folks were instantly transported from Corey Avenue to E Street. I’ve personally been a part of the congregation for 13 Bruce shows of my own, but never expected such a raucous crowd at a taped performance. A magic that is as powerful as it is indescribable is ever present in the company of Mr. Springsteen’s work.

The set list covers a majority of Bruce’s work from Born to Run to his latest, Working On a Dream. A litany of rare [image-2]covers make an appearance, such as The Clash's London Calling, Jimmy Cliff's Trapped, The Young Rascals Good Lovin, and Eddie Floyd's Raise Your Hand. And to give you a brief glimpse into the depth of Springsteen‘s musical catalog, a performance of Hard Times (Come Again No More), written by Stephen Foster in 1854 is also included. Fans of the popular New Jersey band The Gaslight Anthem will enjoy lead singer Brian Fallon’s guest appearance as well.

London Calling: Live in Hyde Park is showing a final time on Friday June 18th, once again at Beach Theatre on St. Pete Beach with 100% of the proceeds going to The Danny Fund. If you’re a rock fan, new or old, a local resident, or interested in raising awareness of Melanoma, you owe it to yourself to be in attendance. As the man himself says “it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.”


If I was tasked with the responsibility of explaining to the disenfranchised youth about the true definition of rock star, I have a fair guess how’d I’d start out the lecture:

“Any rock singer who is equipped with the rare ability to reach through the canvas of a movie screen, in a performance taped months prior, and touch an audience, to rise them from the conformity of their foamed-cushioned seats in a damp, dark theater, to make them dance and shout without hesitation, nothing short of “rock star“ would you dare call that performer.”

London Calling: Live in Hyde Park is the new concert film by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, filmed last summer at the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London. It's two week limited engagement concludes with a 9 PM showing on June 18th at Beach Theatre in St. Petersburg Beach. Any chance to see New Jersey’s most successful bar band is a treat in itself, but to catch the legendary band on the big screen for a great cause was a rare opportunity to dance down E Street.

After the jump, uncover The Rabid One’s review of the film, as well as details for it’s last Bay area showing this week…

Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.