Feeling hungover and nostalgic...
It's coming up to the six year anniversary of my favourite Bruce concert I've ever attended.I've seen him nine times,this was the second time seeing him,and it has always stood out as my favourite.So what made it so special for moi?
So many factors.I was going to the concert with three of my good friends,two of which had never seen him live before but were big fans of his nonetheless.We set off for Thomond Park all giddy and soaking in a rare Irish heatwave with the whole day ahead of us,each wanting a specific song to be played by the Bossman.
We walked up to the stadium slightly tipsy with giddiness ever increasing and who waves to us from the passing by car?Only Little Steven Van Zandt with a big smile on his face!Day already made.
We got onto the pitch just after five and were struggling to find a way into the pit.Growing anxious I told the boys to stay put while I ran around the grounds like a headless chicken looking for four of those precious pit wristbands.I eventually salvaged four of them from one of the stewards and ran back to the boys with giddiness overload.Off we went into the pit.We found a nice central spot,looked down to put our belongings on the ground and THE MOMENT we looked back up The Boss walked on stage for an unexpected and magical pre-show.
After that 'Did that actually just happen?' mini set we came back down to earth and tried to gather our thoughts.Minutes before main show a guy tried wagering a bet with me on what will be the show opener.He bet €5 it would be Fields of Athenry while I went for Spirit in the Night.I don't think anyone in the stadium would have predicted that This Little Light of Mine would the first song but it went down really well to a crowd in great spirits.We were already in the palm of his hand.
Back to the specific songs we all wanted.Bruce Newbie #1 wanted to get American Land,but I said don't get your hopes up,but if he does play it will be in the encores.Second song in they blast it out and I was never happier to be more wrong in my life - we all went absolutley crazy to it.(Newbie #1 was also ecstatic to get Ain't Too Proud To Beg which he knew from the movie Remember The Titans!) Back then I was obsessed with Hungry Heart and was in heaven watching Bruce downing a pint and collect his Irish Passport after the opening salvo.Bruce newbie #2 wanted Thunder Road and Bobby Jean and Bruce answered his call.Bruce's little introduction before playing Born To Run start to finish was magical with the sun setting and the opening harmonica/piano intro gave us all Brucebumps.My other friend wanted Drive All Night and he was also duly rewarded,he looked like he was in trance as he took in a great performance of the tune.Later that night we did our best drunken Bruce impersonations on the dancefloor of a nightclub as the DJ belted out Dancing in the Dark,BITUSA and BTR.
So we all got our requested songs,the crowd was great,the stadium was great,the weather was beautiful,Bruce and the E Street Band were clearly loving life on stage accompanied by a great setlist.Everything was perfect.Life affirming.
At the end of the gig the two Bruce newbies turned around to me whilst trying to pick their jaws off the ground.Bruce newbie #1 uttered to me in disbelief....
'He's not human.'