Deb: Colin and I were offered two front row tickets to BruceSpringsteen and the E Street Band the other night. Colin was doing shows in California, so I called me buddy Barb and said, “Have you ever seen Bruce?” Her response was a great example of why I adore her. She got breathless. “No No NOOO!” was her breathy response, escalating in both pitch and volume. Because after all, it is the Boss.
I proceeded to tell her that she was about to have the night of her life. I did not worry about building up her hopes only to see them dashed after a half hour into this concert. Because it is the Boss. And as such, I knew with certainty that even if he were not her favourite artist, she was going to see a show like none other. In this case, three hours and forty minutes of pure rock and roll.
Our benefactor also left us passes for the E Street Lounge that had food and cocktails, but we arrived only ten minutes before the concert. Toronto was jam-packed with cars and people this night, which made parking spots as scarce as hen’s teeth. But finally I found one and hurriedly headed to our gate, marveling at the crowds and, in particular, their unusual concert-going gear. But as I pushed my way through Klingons, Sailor Moons, Darth Vaders and Avengers, I realized all too late that it was Fan Expo 2012 and I was in the middle of a fabulous moving comic book. After I finally made it to the gate, Barb came running up, having paid … WAIT FOR IT ... $50.00 for parking, breaking my previous record of $40.00.
If anyone from the appropriate department at City Hall is reading this: Really? Really? Gouge much? Come on. Man up on that. That is literally robbery! I digress.........................
So we ran down to our seats giggling and arrived just as they started playing Take Me out to the Ballgame as we watched Bruce and the band leave their dressing room and head to the stage. Bruce usually plays at the ACC but tonight we were in the Skydome (yes, I know, Rogers Centre ... SKYDOME!), which is also home of the Toronto Blue Jays, hence the song. The roof was open and the CN Tower loomed above our heads and the weather was sassy warm with a perfect little breeze, light blue then dark blue sky as our roof. We were starving and thirsty and just as we arrived at our seats, the beer and wine cart pulled up, making the timing perfect to toast Bruce’s entrance.
I smiled over at my Bruce newbie, my E Street virgin, and her mouth was agape and her eyes were wide. This was my 6th Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce concert. I warned her, as she was new, that when the crowd sounded like they were booing, what they were really doing was yelling Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce in low even tones.
The way I figure it, you can’t be a veteran at a Bruce Springsteen concert because each and every time it is as if you are seeing him for the first time. He comes on, sans warm-up band at the stroke of 8 as promised and proceeds to go, full tilt boogie, till the rockin’ end. In the middle he picked a little girl out of the audience and she sang a duet with him like a pro, and no, it wasn’t a plant. It was so dear and he had us in the palm of his hand. He leapt, he dived, he ran, he blasted us with song. And even then, he did not look spent and his voice never faltered. Other than the fact that he is sopping wet, he appears like he could keep going and going. In the middle of the concert, in the middle of Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, they did a beautiful tribute to the big man, the late Clarence Clemons, which the crowd loved. Clarence’s nephew Jake has taken his spot in the band and it seemed right. Talented and adorable with a great personality that shines through. Good thing. Big shoes to fill.
Barb and I rocked. Barb and I rolled. Barb and I got our groove thing on. Barb and I got our buzz on. We were eternally young that night and we have our generous ticket donor and Bruce and the E Street Band to thank for it.
It constantly comes up in the press that there is an age where a rocker should stop rocking. Bruce and the band is the best example for me of the theory that rocking it out is ageless. There were huge newbie cheers when Bruce asked who was there for the first time. And now they know why they were there and they will be back. He’s the Boss. What can I say?
Glory days indeed!
And PS for part one of the other Bossy side of Two Bossy Virgins please see Monday’s post.
Barbara: No, Deb couldn’t have oversold this concert as this was a concert for the ages. No wonder half of Toronto came out to see him (clogging every road around the arena, and driving those parking prices to insane heights). We talked a bit the other day in the comment’s section about how seeing music live is an experience all to itself. Especially when it is performed well. And especially when it is the kind of music born to be played live. Bruce’s brand of rock n’ roll is just that. Honest, gritty, raw, true. Thank you, Deb and patron saint of concert tickets: you gave me a night I will never forget. Thank you, Bruce, you inspired me and delighted me. By listening to your heart, I was able to hear my own.