Watching Bruce Through Kate’s Eyes

Posted on

I’ve been seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform since December 1975 and each time I go, I am utterly amazed. First of all, it’s pure rock and roll with plenty of showmanship. But you get your money’s worth. The shows last between two and three hours without an intermission. The band rocks out from beginning to end and clearly seem to be enjoying themselves.Kate recalled how, at 13, she begged me to take her to see him the first time I attended a performance in Hartford. She really wasn’t into his music but liked my passion and certainly liked the idea of a rock concert. I asked her to name the saxophonist and damn if she didn’t name Clarence Clemons.  But, she really wasn’t into his music, it was a school night, and the parents agreed, it just wasn’t the right time.Last night was the right time. We decided that for her birthday we’d make it an event rather than a gift. The second tickets went on sale, I scored three seats in a reasonable location and then informed her to much rejoicing.We braved Friday night rush hour and arrived at the XL Center around 6:30. With our dinners in the back, we sort of tailgated, and played lots of cuts from live recordings to enhance the mood. As it turned out, a coworker was also up from Maryland and had gotten a pretty good number to access to the General Admission floor and was close to center stage, texting status reports.Knowing he never starts on time; we meandered over to the center, lingered over a choice of t-shirt as a memento and then took our seats, which turned out to be pretty good. Kate and Sarah waved to one another and then we settled in.That is to say, for the next 2:45 or so, we were mainly on our feet, swaying to the music, clapping, cheering and singing along. As has become custom on the tour, he took signs with song titles from the fans and played two as part of the “stump the band” portion of our evening. For the first time, according to Bruce, the band played “Wild Thing”. These days, you hear it and think of Charlie Sheen in Major League. Seeing the band play it, you’re reminded it’s a rock and roll song first and foremost.Kate was hoping for Radio Nowhere, I was hoping for Cadillac Ranch and neither of us was disappointed. Sarah tried in vein to get him to take her suggestion of “The Fever” which he hasn’t performed on tour in ages.The band was without Patti Scialfa, as has been the case for over a week now, and he explained she had a tumble off a horse and was pretty banged up. He assured us it was not the same horse that bucked Madonna. Jay Weinberg sat in for a series of songs, easing into being his dad’s full time replacement in the coming months and he did well.The band was tight and what impressed me all over again was how versatile they were. I lost count of the number of different instruments that were used by the band but it helped keep the sound mixed. It was also lots of fun watching the interplay between the performers while Bruce was playing to the crowd.His set list was good including the tour premiere of “Jackson Cage” so we had a unique line-up of music. For completists, here’s the run down:1. Badlands2. Outlaw Pete3. Jackson Cage (tour premiere)4. She’s The One5. Working On A Dream6. Radio Nowhere7. Seeds8. Johnny 999. Ghost of Tom Joad10. Raise Your Hand11. Wild Thing (sign request, tour premiere).12. Rockin’ All Over the World (sign request, tour premiere).13. The E Street Shuffle (sign request).14. Waiting On A Sunny Day15. The Promised Land16. The Wrestler17. Kingdom of Days18. Lonesome Day19. The Rising20. Born To Run21. Cadillac RanchEncores:22. Hard Times23. Tenth Ave Freeze-out24. Land of Hope & Dreams25. American Land26. RosalitaWhat was fun about “American Land” was how easily they switched from rock to pub music. They and the audience were clearly having fun with this one.Kate adored every moment of the evening, declaring it one of the best presents she’s ever received.Mission accomplished.

One thought on “Watching Bruce Through Kate’s Eyes

  1. Wow. Cool. I’m trying not to be jealous. (By the way, what is it with rock’n’rollers and the horses? Camel, which my friend Neil used to play in, the wife of the bandleader got thrown from a horse a few years ago. Andy Latimer wrote part of the A Nod and a Wink album around the experiences they went through as a tribute to his Susan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Blog Listing