A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Bruce Springsteen, Xcel Center, Night One. A chattier-than-usual Bruce. The rare requests -- "If I Should Fall Behind" (performed solo) and "Savin' Up" (which Bruce wrote for the late Clarence Clemons' first solo CD and had never performed ) -- made the show extra-special.
Springsteen, Night Two. A completely different show, and equally intriguing. The band opened with 1980's "I'm a Rocker" and sprinkled in songs never heard on this tour, including a haunting version of "Stolen Car" that stunned the almost-capacity crowd into silence.
"American Music Awards." The best performance of the night belonged to Pink, who re-enacted the video for her latest single, "Try," with dance and gymnastic elements, sung upside down. She brought down the house.
SANDY TAPP, ARDEN HILLS
Lindsey Buckingham's guitar work, Dakota. His 72-minute solo show was too short at any price ($125!), but his finger-picking was fancy, fast and often phenomenal.
Pete Townshend, "Late Show With David Letterman." Dave found common ground -- they both have tinnitus. Dave hears appliances in his head; Pete hears birds. Rock on, geezers.
Pink, "American Music Awards." Move over, Madonna. Pink stole the evening with her riveting, sometimes violent pas de deux interpretation of "Try."
JON BREAM, STAR TRIBUNE