Friday, November 30, 2012

The Boss rules!

Facing severe disappointment when my surgery date got pushed out into mid-December (after hoping it would be at the end of October, and then the end of November), I decided to do something fun as a consolation prize. So Chris and I bought tickets to see Bruce Springsteen!

I've never been a huge Springsteen fan; in fact, I never paid much attention to him until he recorded the Seeger Sessions album (tribute to Pete Seeger) and he caught my attention! I love that album. And then he campaigned for Obama not once but twice. He's apparently also an advocate for gay marriage.

My friend Nancie (who paid for part of Chris' ticket as a birthday/Christmas present) told me that Bruce gives one of the best concerts ever, but I really had no idea what an amazing performer he is.

The morning of the show I read online that Bruce had gone to the 24-Hour Fitness in the Pearl District on Tuesday night to work out. I should have known that a star like that who works out in a regular, public gym is not your average rock star.

So here are just a few things that made this a concert to remember!

Crowd surfing
Singing "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"
  • He clearly loves his audience! He enjoyed interacting with them, was constantly smiling, and sought out people to bring up on stage with him.
  • He engages his audiences by inviting them to bring requests on signs. At one point he goes out into the audience and collects the signs and chooses from the requests.
  • The music--good, salt-of-the-earth songs about the struggling in America. He talked about his hometown on the Jersey Shore finally becoming successful after so many years of economic depression, only to get hit by Hurricane Sandy.
  • He has incredible respect and fondness for his band. After the band took their final bows, Bruce left the stage last, after patting each band member on the back as they walked off the stage.
  • And his band, man were they amazing! Five horns, two percussionists, a fiddler, piano player, a couple of guitarists, and two backup singers. Oh, and an accordionist! One of the guys playing saxophone is the nephew of Springsteen's long-time saxophone player, Clarence (clearly very popular with the crowd and beloved to Bruce). He had a beautiful tribute to Clarence at the end of the show.
  • Fun and touching ways of reaching out the audience. He was constantly urging the audience to sing along and shaking people's hands. He kissed an older woman in the front row and pulled countless people up on stage with him to dance. When he got a sign request for "Growing Up" from a new 50-year-old, he invited him up to sing with him (that was one of the times I cried). Some women had a sign that said "Lesbians Love Bruce," with t-shirts to match. He invited the whole crew up onstage with him to dance their hearts up. He danced with young girl, and invited two others to sing (although they didn't know the song). He also sang a heart-achingly beautiful song with acoustic guitar, sans band, called "If I Fall Behind" (another request, from a couple who had the song at their wedding). I cried...again.
  • Pure stamina. I have never before seen such a high-energy, vivacious, happy performer, who sang nonstop for nearly 3-1/2 hours! The man is 63, but he moves and interacts like a 20something. Twice he walked out into the pit to sing in the middle of the crowd, and once he crowd-surfed all the way to the stage (that's trust!). Truly amazing. The music critics agree.

I didn't know a lot of the music (except for the mega-hits), but I really liked it and wondered why I'd never listened to him much before. I never knew I was a Bruce fan, but now I'm definitely a devotee! Loved every second!!


  1. You see, there really IS a god :))
    One gig and you're a convert. I say it to everybody
    Your next task is to get there twelve hours early and get into the pit
    Did it his year in Manchester, Sunderland and London
    Already planning next year in Glasgow, London and, Coventry
    Love to you all

  2. You are absolutely right, Keiron. Actually, Chris' vice-principal was in the second row of the pit and touched Bruce twice--also got a fantastic photo!

    Not sure if I will ever become a groupie like you, but I will definitely go again when he returns to Portland!