Bruce live is something very special indeed. This was my 8th time and it's always serious value for money. 31 songs on Saturday night. 3 hours 20 minutes I believe he played for. (He's record is something like 4 hours 40). He played for well over an hour on Saturday when he announced he was doing the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album in it's entirety. But it's a lot more than that. The boundless energy of the whole band is just a joy. I had a permanent grin for the full show. And his ability to make such a huge gig (60,000+) feel like an intimate show. Then of course there is the sheer brilliance of his songs and The E Street Band. The mighty Max Weinberg is one of the best drummers out there and has been for 40 years. His kit consists of kick drum, 1 snare, 1 tom tom, 1 floor tom, hi-hat, 1 crash cymbal and 1 ride cymbal. Just saying!
It's become a trait since about 2005 for fans lucky enough to be at the front, and by lucky I mean prepared to queue up for 8 hours and then wait a further 2 hours in the stadium, to hold up banners with song requests. Bruce dives into the crowd, pulls out several of these banners and when the mood takes him gives the band a quick glimpse of the request and they go straight into it. A set list done this way must involve the band having to rehearse, and for newer members learn, at least 50 songs from his considerable canon, if not more.
Songs like Badlands, with it's crowd singalong that bears no resemblance to the recorded song but fits in perfectly and has been a staple for at least 30 years, make you feel like you're part of one very big joyous family. Bruce is 62 and way fitter than I'll ever be but as is inevitable with age you lose people close. E Street Band members Danny Federici and more recently iconic sax player Clarence Clemons are no longer with us. Clarence's place has been taken by his nephew Jake. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out was one of the last songs played. It's a song from the Born To Run Album that Bruce wrote about the formation and early changes of the band. The line 'When the big man joined the band,' accompanied by the clips of Clarence and Danny on the big screen was just too emotional for words.
He got the nickname The Boss from his early days in bands when he was in charge of collecting their fees then distributing said money to the band. It's a nickname he was never comfortable with due to his blue collar background and mistrust of bosses. But it's a name that's stuck that he's now come to accept because to the millions of Bruce fans he is, simply, The Boss.
After the gig myself and cohort Ian decided too let the masses descend on the tube station while we found a pub. Great idea. The pub we stumbled into was playing back to back Springsteen and for some reason the throng inside decided to do the songs justice we all had to stand on tables or chairs to sing along. Met a lovely couple from Ireland who's names I never managed to get my tongue round. We just christened her Wendy. Bruce fans will get it and she didn't seem to mind. Another group of about 20 lads had took in the gig as one of the guy's stag do. Brilliant. And then there were the Swedes decked out in yellow. Got chatting to one and when I mentioned Doncaster he got very excited and said how his country had destroyed our town. I looked confused til he said, 'The Vikings. 9th Century.' I showed him my Rovers tattoo (for those that don't know Rovers' badge is a Viking) and I'm now his best friend for life.
Had to get a taxi back to the hotel as the tubes had long since gone to bed. Ended up sharing a taxi with an American who told us about 12 times that he'd built the film set for a Jennifer Aniston movie. We'd never heard of it. I'm not sure he had either.
Then back to reality and back on air this morning but with a yearning to go to Coventry on Thursday to see Bruce Springsteen live. I've heard he's pretty special.
Playlist Monday 17/06/13
Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag - Pigbag
Land Of Hopes And Dreams - Bruce Springsteen
Moving To New York - The Wombats
Cemetry - Bang Bang Romeo
Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
It's Alright, It's OK - Primal Scream
Blood, Sweat And Tears - The D.O.T.
London Calling - The Clash
Chevy Thunder - Spector
Rock 'N' Roll Star - Oasis
L.A. Woman - The Doors
Permanent - Section 60
Wrecking Ball - Bruce Springsteen
Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
Pelican - The Maccabees
Too Bad (That's Sad) - Edwyn Collins
Stingin' Belle - Biffy Clyro
Sitting On My Own - The 48ks
Can Stand The Rain - The Talks
What's Up - 4 Non Blondes
Revolution - Young Kato
Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
Honey - Swim Deep
All Day And All Of The Night - The Kinks
Wrapped Around Your Finger - The Police
Come Home - James
Under China - Auction For The Promise Club
Kings And Queens - Thirty Seconds From Mars
Lost Innocent World - Gogol Bordello
She Bangs The Drums - The Stone Roses
Jeremy - Pearl Jam
Gloria - Van Morrison
Thousands Are Sailing - The Pogues
The Changingman - Paul Weller
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out - Bruce Springsteen
I Still Believe - Frank Turner
Vicar In A Tutu - The Smiths
Egyptian Reggae - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers