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: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zEema3T8wCI
* 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!!!