A Night with Jake Clemons

It’s been a while since I’ve managed to get to a live gig, but last Thursday night I headed to Lizottes in Newcastle to see a young man who I discovered through my absolute idol, Bruce Springsteen.

Jake has been touring with Bruce and the E Street Band since 2012, after the passing of his uncle, Clarence Clemons (‘the big man’) in 2011, who was one of the original members of the E Street Band.

Having been a huge fan of Clarence, I was keen to see how Jake would fill those huge shoes when Bruce and the band came out to Australia in 2013. I was blown away by his talent… simply amazing. The band came back in 2014 and I managed to get to four concerts this year, each and every one of them unique, energising, uplifting and inspirational.

So back to Lizottes… I was curious to see how this young man, a musician in his own right, would hold the stage without the fanfare and excitement of the band.

I needn’t have worried. I have to say it was one of the most musically spiritual experiences I’ve had in a long time. This young guy has been through an emotionally charged few years with the loss of  Clarence in 2011 and while the E Street Band was on tour in February 2014,  Jake’s father tragically died in a fire. This saw him make an emergency dash back to the US, mid tour, with him returning in time for the 2 Hunter Valley shows.

Jake has clearly been affected by the loss and it comes through in his performance on stage. Heartfelt lyrics, reflective storytelling, spine tingling sax solos and beautiful harmonies with his two band members brought the tears… yes there were tears as he spoke of hope, friendship and love, while he mesmerised us with his dulcet tones. Stints on the guitar, sax and keyboards while he skilfully weaved his way through songs and stories, sometimes one morphing into the next, I found myself lost in his world.

His words about tough times and getting through them, resonated with me, in particular this line that will remain etched on my mind for a long time to come…

“Hope does not disappoint”

Thanks Jake, you’ve reminded me why I love music so much, it brings the world together. It’s why our hearts have beats.

 

 

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