Bruce Springsteen delivers keynote at SXSW


by ANDREW HORANSKY / KVUE News and photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 15 at 6:41 PM

AUSTIN -- At this year’s South by Southwest, it’s been difficult to miss Bruce Springsteen.

On Wednesday, the"'Boss" performed at the 30th Annual Austin Music Awards. On Thursday he was back, giving the keynote address for the music portion of the festival. He spoke at the Austin Convention Center.

Springsteen’s speech was at times autobiographical as he sang the music of artists who inspired him. Songs included “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals. 

He was also inspirational and shared advice for musicians.

“Be able to keep two completely contradictory ideas alive and well inside your heart and head at all times. If it doesn’t drive you crazy, it will make you strong,” Springsteen said.

More than 1,000 music fans filled the hall. Those who could not get inside watched the speech on monitors outside.

The afternoon even included a tribute to the late Woody Guthrie who would have turned 100 this year. Springsteen led the audience in singing “This Land is Your Land.” 

Many in attendance said it was an unforgettable experience.

“Very inspiring speech,” said Robert O’Brien, a visitor from Maine.

“It helps people reconnect with what this festival is really all about, which is music,” said Betty Weiss, visiting from Washington DC.

Springsteen spoke for approximately one hour and received a standing ovation.