The Music That Survives the 9/11 Pain
Anything written about September 11 risks trivializing the gravity of that devastating moment in time. But when I think about that horrible day from 15 years ago, I often think about the music that helped get me through that very difficult time.
In my memory, Ryan Adams wonderful double-CD “Gold” came out before September 11. However, it turns out that the release date was two weeks after the tragedy — funny how our recollections twist sequences like this in strange ways. The September 25 release date means that Adams had been working on this double-CD long in advance of the fateful day. Eerily, one of the best songs on this release is “New York, New York,” which chronicled the artist’s ongoing affection with the city. Even more eery, was the imagery on “Gold” — a sleepy looking Adams draped in an American flag.
Ten months later (in July 2002), Bruce Springsteen released “The Rising.” With songs such as “Empty Sky,” “Lonesome Day,” “Into the Fire” and “My City of Ruins,” no other album captured all the pain of that time period in such a poignant way. As the first full studio album that the E Street Band had released in 18 years, it marked a dramatic return to relevancy for this artist. I attended several shows in several cities on the tour that supported “The Rising” and I remember how emotional these concerts were — even more emotional than the standard three-hour Springsteen show.
I am so excited to have secured a ticket to see Bruce at the Consol Energy Arena in Pittsburgh tonight as part of his current tour. For me, I can’t think of a better way to honor my many memories of the 15th anniversary of September 11.