Friday, 21 June 2013

Taking tea with Bruce Springsteen

Snapped this couple, on the Ricoh Arena pitch, as Bruce Springsteen sang his heart out. They unfolded the picnic chairs, got out the Tupperware, and had supper as the other 40,000 people in the room watched the Boss. Surreal.

I never really enjoy Christmas, but last year it really was the longest day: Dr Girlie Nice-Smile bought tickets to see The Boss at the Ricoh on the Solstice. Plus a stay at a nice hotel nearby, full of middle aged couples squeezing into tee shirts and jeans to see if Bruce Springsteen has still got it at 63. And boy, has he. Looks like he still knows it and loves performing to boot. Pulled a request card from the audience with “Play anything” on it and held it aloft with a “I love you people!” Then spotting that the author had written “I’d look good playing your guitar” on the back, pulled her up to prove it.

Best bit for this fan (I fell, aged 15, for Born to Run: still play it – on vinyl – regularly, nearly 40 years after I bought the album) was when Mr S kicked into the title track and the reserved, middle class British audience finally got to their feet. A madman who’d been miming to the stands from the pitch finally hit overdrive - and then fell over. Then came 10th Avenue, then – unbelievably – She’s the One (at which point everyone seemed to check their smartphones; shame on them). And then the rest of Born to Run; every track. Over seven minutes of Thunder Road, and as Jungleland played out, I seemed to have something in my eye. Nothing from my second-favourite Springsteen album, Tunnel of Love, but then that’s about his breakup with the previous Mrs S, and maybe the lovely Patti Scialfa being on stage (the current Mrs S) had something to do with it; anyway, never mind. We all helped out with Hungry Heart, the quality of Springsteen’s passion carried clearly in Wrecking Ball, and the quality of his voice shone throughout. What a show, what a man. Three hours with nary a break. We went hope elated, and even after two hours queuing for a taxi, no-one complained. We could all die happy now, we’d seen The Boss at his best.

PS - Issue 11 of Benzina out this week; more soon

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