Sunday, 15 June 2008

Bruce Springsteen

I first discovered Bruce Springsteen in my teens nearly (gulp!) 30 years ago. I saw a clip of him playing 'Rosalita' live on TV, and I was hooked. The energy and enthusiasm of his performance, the swirling music, the quixotic lyrics, the tightness of the band, his dynamism... magical!

I bought all his albums, and whenever a new one was due for release I would count down the days and be there at the record shop to snap it up. And I tried to get tickets to see him live - how I tried! But every time they would all sell out before I could get one.

I continued to love Bruce over the years, and continued to try and get tickets to see him live. I'm not a great concert-goer to be honest. Over the years I've seen some big names perform - Yes, Jethro Tull, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Bjork - but most of those it has to be admitted were because I was tagging along with someone else who wanted to see them. But ever since seeing that clip of Rosalita, I really, really wanted to see Bruce Springsteen live.

Well, last night I finally made it! T and I went to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live in Cardiff... and it was magical. Every bit as wonderful as I'd been hoping all those years. Bruce and the E Street Band may have an extra thirty years weighing on them, but it doesn't show. They're as tight and energetic as ever, and still played a magnificent 3 hour show without a break.

And guess what they played as the last song?* Yes, 'Rosalita'. For all I know Bruce and the band may finish every set with 'Rosalita', but I felt like he was playing it for me. I travelled home with a grin ear to ear, and I'm still smiling now, though this morning my shoulders ache from clapping and arm-waving, and my voice is hoarse from singing along.

Thanks Bruce - you're the Boss!

P.S. Here's a short clip of the original live version of Rosalita I saw all those years ago - for the full length version, go to:

* Actually, after I Googled 'Bruce Springsteen Cardiff' and found some other acounts of the evening, it turns out 'Rosalita' was not the last, but the penultimate song. I hadn't realised, because we had to leave at that point in order to catch the last train back to Carmarthen. I guess years ago I'd have been happy to miss the last train and kick my heels in the station overnight for just one more song - is our decision to leave when we did a sign of the wisdom or the feebleness bestowed by age? Either way, I'm still glad I got to hear 'Rosalita' when I did. It seems even more special, somehow. Bruce moves in mysterious ways!!!


Leanne said...

Oh moonroot!! Bruce IS the boss! he's wonderful!! Iv e seen him five times now, and yes, he still rocks!!

Leanne x

Reya Mellicker said...

Bruce is DEFINITELY the Boss! I never understood his allure until i saw him live. From that moment on, I've been a full on super fan. He is a GREAT performer, he gives everything. Wow.

didn't know we were both Springstein fans. Next time we see each other we should turn up the music loud and dance around. Yes?

David Williamson said...

I've never seen a performer take such JOY in his music and his audience. Normally it's the crowd straining to grab hold of the singer (and there was plenty of that!) but Bruce seemed just as desperate to connect with every one of the 60,000 people in the stadium.

Mike Farley said...

It is such a wonderful moment when you get to see someone "live" that you have yearned for. I remember in 1992 seeing Peter Gabriel with you for the first time - magical! And how, back in the 80's every time a Big Country tour came along my pulse would quicken. I still get choked up when I hear the late lamented Stuart Adamson sing "Ships". So sad what happened to such a kind and generous man.
But on seeing Broooooce - well done! He is on my "to do" list of people "live". It's a very short list actually. Bruce Springsteen. Billy Bragg. er.... that's it.

deborah oak said...

The things you learn about your friends from blogging! Yes, I didn't know you loved the Boss!!! I love him too...and it tickles me to imagine him in Wales. Did you know he climbed the walls of Graceland as a young man? The Boss loved the King...and it shows.

Lisa G said...

I was there at the Millenium Stadium as well! First time I have seen him live, it was AWESOME!!!

Moonroot said...

The things you learn from blogging indeed! It's great to find out unexpectedly that friends from both Blogland and everyday life are Boss fans too. :-)

Reya, yes yes yes to the dancing!

Deborah - thanks for reminding me about the Graceland incident - I had heard that story before but forgotten it.

Mike - let's grab the chance to see Bruce together if we can (I definitely want to go again now) - and as I'm sure you know I'd love to go and see Billy Bragg too. Can't believe it's 16 years since we went to see Peter Gabriel together!

Lisa G - Wish I'd known you were there I'd've tried to say 'Hi!'. It was awesome, wasn't it...