Our First Springsteen Gig…!Posted: June 24, 2012
So, last Friday, Mike and I went to our first Bruce Springsteen concert at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester – home of Manchester City FC.
We’d decided to spend the day pottering around Manchester prior to the concert – we’d not been there for years and thought it would be good idea but ended up very VERY wet – it absolutely threw it down ALL DAY. The only time we got remotely close to dry was when we went to a great Spanish restaurant called Evuna on Deansgate…but I digress.
Our friends – Mike and Jayne – are HUGE Springsteen fans – definite ‘Tramps’… Jayne has a weekly blog ‘I’d Rather Be At A Springsteen Gig’ that’s definitely worth checking out.
They’ve seen him in places all over the world – New York, Dublin, Paris, Barcelona…usually at back to back concerts in the same location and even then, feel like they could have gone to just one more gig or heard one more song…you get the idea 🙂 When the new tour dates came out, and Manchester was on the list, they suggested our going to see him with them.
Thanks to Mike and Jayne we’ve been able to listen to quite a few of his albums most recently Wrecking Ball. Now to be honest, I wasn’t that keen on Wrecking Ball. My first couple of listens to ‘We Take Care of Our Own’ irritated me actually, and my first full listen through of the album left me well if not cold, then decidedly cool. It was too much Irish folk meets gospel meets protest song. Don’t get me wrong, I found the lyrics very emotive and evocative, and as with many other songs written by him and other artists at pivotal moments in history, a powerful historic record. One of my favourite albums he’s done is ‘The Rising’ – need I say more… Another listen through and I was actually amazed at how much I remembered so I think it’d started to grow on me…
So there we were in the stands and VERY glad to be under cover – albeit very cold…the fans in the pitch area were out in the rain but thankfully for them it started to ease off as we got closer to ‘showtime’.
Mike and Jayne pointed out how to tell it was getting close to The Boss coming on stage (he’s not the most punctual of performers apparantly…!), one of the indicators being the guys climbing the spotlight towers complete with safety harnesses and lines – those towers are HIGH!!!
Anyway, they’d climbed the towers, uncovered the spots and got comfy. I was doing another scan around the stadium when movement caught my eye in the tunnel where the teams come out….and one of my abiding memories was firmly burned into place – seeing the guys starting to walk out – I actually think I saw it in slow motion…you know those really ‘arty’ shots you get on music videos…guys in jeans and dark t shirts walking to the stage… I got goosebumps.
And then they were there – on stage – and the crowd went crazy! I looked at (my) Mike with a huge grin on my face – saw the grin on his and just said ‘WOW’. The energy was AMAZING!!
They then took everyone in the stadium on an amazing and memorable 3 hour and 17 minute ride, even playing some of my favourites…(Waiting on a Sunny Day, The Rising, Born to Run, Dancing in the Dark) several tracks from the Wrecking Ball album – the title of the tour after all and which I must say, has grown on me ALOT 🙂 …and many other tracks we’ve heard at Mike and Jaynes, but not really listened to much other than that. Jayne’s Mike got his fave – ‘Atlantic City’ 🙂 The tracks flowed one into another – many with their own false-endings and mini-encores which Mike & Jayne are used to from all their other concerts, but that had many of us clapping multiple times through a single song LOL 🙂 The audience knew so many of the lyrics – I only knew a few, but it didn’t matter. I don’t think they played a song I didn’t like and I look forwards to stumbling across some of the concert’s playlist on our ipod. I’ve some amazing photo’s and video in my head to ‘playback’ whenever I hear tracks and I find myself humming phrases from all sorts of songs that have obviously got their claws into my psyche… 🙂
And yes – even I got a lump in my throat and more than a few tears in my eyes when the tribute to Clarence was shown…but must say his nephew Jake is doing an amazing job!
The full playlist for the Manchester concert can be found here as well as from other shows in the tour, and some great photos that definitely brought a smile to my face! I’m sure Jayne will post her review of the tour shortly 🙂
So, that’s how we lost our Springsteen concert virginity and as (my) Mike said to Jayne recently when she asked whether they’d recruited two new ‘Tramps’ – we’re possibly two amateur hobos-in-training 🙂
And if any of you want to have a look around some more Springsteen oriented blogs or a review of the Manchester show – try these!
- Review: Bruce Springsteen at the Etihad Stadium (menmedia.co.uk)
- Blogness on the Edge ff Town
- Better Days – Musings about the work and life of Bruce Springsteen