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.


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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."