Bodine talks marathon shows, music class, and playing The Boss with frontman Tom Vitorino.
Mammoth rocks at the Village this weekend with another line-up of top-notch tribute bands at Mammoth Rocks and A Taste of the Sierra. The Rising – Bruce Springsteen Tribute band, is back for another year and ready to play a 4-hour set, Tom Vitorino, the “Boss” of the group told The Sheet.
Springsteen is known for record-breaking shows, lasting four hours or more. Vitorino said The Rising usually plays the 90-minute sets American venues ask for, but in Europe, shows can last the better part of a day.
The marathon shows under the bright show biz lights get hot, “Like when you step on your shoe and sweat comes up through the lace holes.”
Vitorino grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, but vacationed at the Jersey Shore where his “romantic relationship” with Bruce’s music blossomed. This was in the 1970s and ‘80s when all of Springsteen’s songs had a bullet, think “Born in the USA” and “Dancing in the Dark”.
He said he was lucky enough to grow up at a time when schools in America still had the money to teach music to students and was introduced to a variety of instruments including the clarinet. “The family wasn’t very happy when I brought that thing home.”
He played in local bands, playing guitar, bass and vocals and later harmonica, building the resume he would need to fill Springsteen’s shoes.
Playing the Stone Pony in New Jersey one night in 1996, Vitorino said they closed a sound check by playing “Stolen Car.” The club credits itself with launching Springsteen’s career. The owner of the bar told Vitorino he sounded exactly like Springsteen. “Great, I’m blessed with a gravelly voice.”
“They told me I should do a tribute band thing,” Vitorino said. “I told them, ‘People who do that are losers,’” he said and laughed. “And here I am.”
His laugh even sounds like Springsteen’s.
The band started as Asbury Park, in 1999 but changed its name in 2002 when Springsteen released what Vitorino considers his finest work, The Rising. The Boss had only put out three albums in the 1990s (“Maybe he was saving it up?” Vitorino asked), then produced The Rising in the wake of 9/11.