Prove It All Night
Preaching 2008 and beyond
Escovedo's pointy cowboy boots hadn't touched down yet the next night at the Continental Club, where River City's Lou Reed uncaged Real Animal every Tuesday night on South Congress for months. From Iggy Pop to hep C, Escovedo looped punk rock back to its irritant and initial role model, the Rolling Stones, concluding with a cover of "Beast of Burden." In one set, siphoned from one recording, rock & roll's crusty, dusty back pages raged and purred electric with the immediacy of live expression. How many such performances occur nightly – hourly – here in Austin?
In 1999, when Springsteen reunited his Band and stopped over at the Frank Erwin Center, "Prove It All Night" exhorted itself into "Two Hearts," the singer shouting into a microphone inches from the yowl of guitarist Little "Silvio" Van Zandt. When the former song went unplayed this spring in the Bayou City, it was sought out by one casual fanatic via 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town, then discovered on a bootleg from that same year at Winterland in San Francisco, its plea and promise expanded biblically from four minutes to 12 on Roy Bittan's long, wintery piano intro priming Old Testament guitars.
"When I was a kid, I used to think ... as long as I went to bed and said my prayers, everything would be all right," warms Springsteen as intro, his preacher no different than Nick Cave, Wovenhand's David Eugene Edwards, or fire and brimstone James McMurtry. "But you find out that you gotta prove it all night, every night."