Let’s have a Party

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I’ve seen just one show, for now. Until two years ago I was not a genuine fan, I just knew some songs, and I had always refused to go to a concert because not really knowing the music I was afraid  I would not have been able to appreciate the whole show. I know how silly this sounds now, believe me. Anyways. You know how it goes: you finally see him live, you have your rock’n’roll Baptism, and you’ll never never ever be the same. I just want to say two extra things. One, is that after three o four songs, I was thinking As a rule, in life as in a rock show, you don’t want to get off to flying start and burn everything you have in the first five minutes, and then jump the gun. So I thought Well he has done two mega rock songs, now he’ll set to something less dramatic, less passionate, or he’ll never be able to maintain this kind of energy and adrenaline for three hours. AH!

The second thought I want to share, is that I’ve read some criticism in regard to the end of the show: how is predictable and less exciting than the rest of the concert. But to me it was unbelievable, all the lights on, girls who can dance with Bruce, any kind of people, old men, kids, old women who ask to dance with rest of the band, ok, permission granted, there’s just this party atmosphere but it’s a big rock show! and it’s rock’n’roll and yet it seems a small country festival, everybody knows your name and above all Bruce knows you…and they all laugh, the people dancing in the field and on the upper floors and the people onstage, and you’re there with your friends and smile and laugh…It’s a unique sense of fiesta, it’s wonderful.

 

 

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I found something I didn’t even know I was looking for, and now I am never letting go.

ilaria
You know what they say about Bruce, right? That you can’t fully understand him and his music until you see him live. Well, I never really believed that. I mean, I already loved the guy, I felt like I could understand what he was talking about in his songs. What else did I need? Nothing, I thought.
Until, of course, I saw him live.
And, let me tell you, it was nothing like I expected it to be.
It was 2009, and I went prepared. I arrived in front of the stadium the day before, waiting in line for about 30 hours. I met many amazing people. I laughed, I shared stories. It was exciting, and as beautiful as I imagined it to be, and then some. I mean, I consider myself to be a lonely kind of person, so I did not think about making friends. But I did, and it was awesome.
And then the moment arrived, and the concert started.
The funniest thing is, I don’t remember anything about the moment Bruce and the band came up on stage. Like, totally blank.
But there’s moment I remember so clearly it feels like it was yesterday, and it’s the moment he started to sing Drive All Night.
At the time the song didn’t mean much to me. I’ve always thought it was a brilliant song, but that was it. I didn’t feel connected to the lyrics, if you know what I mean. I didn’t even remember the damn song when I heard people talking about it during the queue the day before. That’s the reason why I took a moment to look around me while Bruce was singing the song just a few feet away from me. On my right there was this guy, around 40 years of age, good looking. He was the one who took care of the list and roll calls outside the stadium. What I’ll never forget is his face. He was shouting the damn song, looking like an emotional wreck, smiling and crying at the same time. I think it was the most beautiful thing I saw that night. And that was the moment I felt connected not only to him, but to everyone who was there that night.
And that’s the reason why I can never get tired of going to his shows. It feels like home, I feel like I’m going back to my family. I may be tired, nervous, sad. I may be in pain, but nothing matters. There’s no other place I want to be, no other people I want to be with.
That’s what Bruce Springsteen means to me.
A family. A home.
I found something I didn’t even knew I was looking for, and now I am never letting go.

Guilty, your Honor

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Without Bruce Springsteen’s music my life would be easier. Yes. I’m serious. And it’s not a “better – worse” question.
Before bumpin’ into the crowd’s roar at “Born in the USA”, followed a few minutes later by a “father vs. son” speech introducing “The River”, music for me was just, you know, entertainment. Fun. Dance floors and easy-listening.

After those few minutes, I realized that some kind of music can change lives: it will become a lifetime companion, it will never betray you, if you let her into your heart. Your life will change, and in better.
Ok, and that’s the positive part. Problems start to arise when you start thinking “Wow, if music make people feel better that way, and I wanna try to make people feel better, well, I can try playin’ music!”. That’s when things get complicated.

Because you have to deal with doors slammed in your face, relationship failures, nights spent awake driving in the cold, broken backs carryin’ guitars, amps, drums, just some examples.
But hey, there’s a few rewards, if you’re lucky enough. It’s your dreams, and life at large, and your audience’s dreams, and life at large, that melt together when you’re on stage.
And you, and them, you all feel better. And believe me, if doesn’t matter if there’s only one guy or millions in the audience. (ok, I have to admit I’ve got a better experience in the one-guy-option…).
And if you’re luckier, this happens also when you jump off the stage.
So, for all this and all what I’m dealing with since 1994, there’s only one man you’ll find guilty.
Bruce Springsteen.
I hope now you’ll understand what I mean when I say “easier life” a few lines ago, and maybe you’ll also find an answer to the “better – worse” question.
I got a pretty good idea about it.

Shine a light

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We all know the story of Bruce’s eureka moment seeing Elvis at The Ed Sullivan’s show, and I think we all had this electrocution revelation in our lives: someone had it bad, others had it soft, someone had it with Bruce, some with other rock bands or singers. But we all had it.

I had mine in 2012, when due to an elaborate sequence of serendipity and Cabala theosophy I found myself possessor of a Bruce Springsteen ticket, upper level of a stadium. But I was alone. Oh my God, alone? in a stadium? No way, I’m staying home. I’ll put on a cd and listen to his music this way, it’s more or less the same. I was really making a number of convincing myself, I really wasn’t a “concert girl” type. I just had seen some Music Festivals, some Town Festivals, and anyway in a company with a number of people equal and/or superior to a football team. So no way I’m goin’alone. Except it is Bruce Springsteen. Live. So I have a Springsteen ticket for one of his shows and I’m brushing him off like this? Ok, ok, I’m going. Alone.

On the ticket it said: Doors open at 2 pm, so I’m all “At 2 pm I HAVE to be there, or I can lose my place”. I stored my backpack with sandwiches, chocolate, water, energy boosters (potential heatstroke risk), an umbrella (potential rain risk), some fusees (just in case), and off on my way to the stadium. The Security let me enter with a smile, probably thinking of me as a silly girl, it’s 2 pm, I have a numbered seat in the stadium, the show will begin at 8 pm… But I don’t mind, and I smile back at them. On my section there was just me and a lady on the far corner, who was prepared for the afternoon wait with two books. I had in the backpack everything for a stranded stay on a deserted island, but I hadn’t thought of books, or magazines, or  even an Ikea catalogue. Nothing. So I spent the remaining SIX hours on the phone, calling people I haven’t spoken to in ages: Oh you get married? You have children? you are divorced??? way to go!!!

I called relatives and old friends and classmates, just like when you are moving in another Country, or leaving for a long journey around the world, and you don’t know when, or even if you’ll be coming back. And if you’ll ever come back, it’s positive that you’ll never be the same.
And, well, in a way that was what happened to me.

The show starts and ends, but that unique post concert feeling just doesn’t fade. We all have been there.

And in the days, and weeks after the concert, inexplicable things begin to occur. Full immersion (bordering on obsessive-compulsive behaviour) on the show bootleg; neurotic locating of other bootlegs, dvds, documentaries, books, and tickets. I need to have other tickets, I really really NEED to see other shows. And if he isn’t touring, or waaay to far for you to be there, you discover that it’s not just Bruce: he is your choice of dope, but anyway the rock’n’roll has hooked you. You want to see other artists, buy other music, live that rock’n’roll feeling till the end. You don’t know exactly how, but you need that music, and you are now a live concert animal. All your income is spent in that drug, if you can’t afford the overnight stay you’ll sleep in a tent, or at the bus station, but you’ll go to that show, one way or another.

In your personal Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the word Concert has replaced Livelihood, a term that has been unarguably at the very base of it for all your 24 years of existence.

And one day you understand it’s not just rock’n’roll. It’s a philosophy, and you don’t choose to embrace it: that flame makes you a prisoner, and it’s a life imprisonment.

So, back to that analogy I made at the beginning, speaking of Bruce when he saw Elvis at The Ed Sullivan’s Show, it’s just to explain that moment in your life when you have the consciousness raising, and for me that moment was Bruce’s show in 2012.

It was like getting ready in your room, one final check in the mirror, then shutting the door and walking out in the sun.