When Bruce Rocked SXSW Music
I’ve always been mindful of the saying that you shouldn’t meet your idols. Or, slightly twisting that concept, that you shouldn’t seek to see your idols do things that are significantly outside of their comfort zone.
Such was my thinking when Bruce Springsteen was announced to keynote the 2012 SXSW Music Conference. Yes, I’ve seen his live shows dozens of times in dozens of different cities around the US and Canada — and I have zero questions about his ability to entertain a crowd when he is has an electric (or acoustic) guitar in his hand. But could he deliver a speech that would live up the very high standards of this live concert experience? I was very skeptical.
And my skepticism was very wrong. Springsteen’s keynote presentation at SXSW was absolutely amazing in the range of topics he covered and the depth in which he covered them. In fact, his keynote served as a nice preview of the talents he would later bring to his autobiography and his live Broadway show, both of which are equally brilliant.
If you missed out on his appearance at March Magic seven years ago, then celebrate Bruce’s September 23 birthday by watching the video here. These 51 minutes will leave you feeling a lot better about the world.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.