We’re talking Bruce Springsteen, here

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So I had this friend I decided to bring to a Bruce’s concert for the first time in his life. He liked Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple and rock’n’roll stuff and during the years I have given him some Bruce cds and music, but you know, if he’s dear friend, you want him to see Bruce live, to understand. I don’t think too many people can actually understand, I mean some appreciate, they come to the show and sing and dance, but they’re not hooked. We, as fans, grew up with Bruce, he’s been there for all our lives, it’s different. But it’s not the same for everyone, and sometimes I don’t want to bring someone I’m not sure will really appreciate the experience. Anyway.

I bought him the ticket, and instructed him on the essential songs he had to learn to come preparared: you know, just that 50/70 basic songs to cover a possible setlist-changes situation. My friend was really the best: he stayed in line from 4.30 in the morning, witnessed to all the chat between fans without batting an eyelash, endured a whole day under the sun. I have to say that my Bruce buds were really nice to him, but still he endured and smiled for a whole day of discomfort.

Then there was the show, and speaking of a Bruce Springsteen’s show, let’s just say it was a thing of rock’n’roll perfection. At the end, I turned to my friend and asked So? Do you understand now?

And he said Oh Yes, I do. And I said I’m betting that if next month a new date was announced you’ll come, right?

And he said…Well…

and I was like Oh my God he didn’t get it he still doen’t get it after such a show I’m going to beat you you uncultured swine and he said “You know, I don’t know if I’d come, this concert was perfect, how can he do better? There’s no way he’s gonna top that! is there?”

and we were all like AAAAWWW Come here and let’s hug, next show you’ll see. Don’t you worry about Bruce. He can, and he will.

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All I’m thinking about

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Three moments of your life, three songs.

My first show, in 1999, bolt of lightning and love at first sight: My love will not let you down

My first time in America to see him, in 2003 after Milano San Siro: it cannot and WILL NOT end here, we’re going to New York! : Rosalita

My first show as a mum, Devils and Dust tour: All I’m Thinkin’ About

 

 

Summertime blues

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A moment in a Bruce show you’ll never forget

In 2008 I was in Milano, San Siro.

Now I’m going to spare you the details of how that was my first Bruce gig (not to mention my very first Rock Concert ever) and yeah, some #rocknrollbaptism I got.

I want to spare you all the same old stuff about how much I had dreamt of the day, since first becoming enthralled as a teenager with his Live 1975-‘85 —  my first Bruce and the one I knew by heart from obsessive listening.

I’ll also spare you my missing the 2003 San Siro date out of effing shyness (although, perhaps, this I’m omitting out of deep deep shame) and the 2007 Assago night despite a desperate late attempt to tickets.

And I’ll spare you the joy, the packed stadium, the widespread excitement, the dream-come-true feeling I was pervaded with on that Wednesday night, June 25th, 2008, when I was there.

Having spared you all that, I can swiftly come to the point.

He came onstage.

And me, I was waaay up on the second floor. He looked tiny in the distance. Bruce came onstage and I remained breathless for a good minute or more, repeating to myself and to my friend next to me: «I can’t believe he is there, he is real, he REALLY DOES EXIST». Then he spoke Italian, and I melted.

As he opened with Summertime Blues I was still enchanted with his presence and at the same time struggling between recognizing the song, concentrating on his every movement and accent so to record even the slightest detail, and just letting myself go and dance… This excruciating moral dilemma slowly evolved to choosing the last option as songs progressed to Out in the Street (and that «Andiamo, Milano!», like it was a matter of life or death), Radio Nowhere and Prove it all night.

I was already on the n-th cloud, but I had no idea of what was coming to me.

None.

And it’s hard to put to words, but you know it when it happens to you. It’s that little something that might… that could… you know what it can do if you let it.

That one, long blow in the harmonica. The Promised Land.

My heart bloomed in my chest. I felt home. That, was the moment.

Hearts of stone

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I’m a late fan, I’ve seen my first Bruce show when I was 28. I’m not that ignorant at all about music, it’s just that I had some holes in my education… big holes, allright. And then he came into my life. No, not Bruce: my man. He arrived and placed himself in my heart. And he’s a Bruce fan. He tried with the regular Springsteen education, Listen to this one, read the lyrics, just to see me pout and say Naa, I really don’t like this one. He dedicated some songs to me, he played some others in the most romantic dates, he even messed with my Ipod removing some of my stuff and replacing it with his, saying You need to improve your musical culture. And all he gained was a big fight.
Then one day he came with the final resolution. He probably remembered that Larry Katz phrase, There are two types of people: those who love Bruce Springsteen and those who have never seen him live.
I hadn’t, so he bought me a ticket: If you don’t love him after that,  I’ll never bother you with the Bruce question.
Ok, so, let’s go to this show. Not so much enthusiasm on my part, I admit it. But then, I like to sing at concerts, and I really knew quite a few of his songs, so I was mainly like Ok, I’m just hoping he plays some basic stuff, wide popular. And let’s hope these three hours (THREE HOURS? GEEEZ) pass in some rush.
Wake up at 5 am, big day of hard work in line and then in the pit, but we were in the front row, and all is good. Then the show began, the Band came out, the crowd shouted. And then Bruce is on stage, the stadium explodes, he looks at the people, and smiles. Just smiles.
All at once, I realize I’m sooo screwed. He’s got me. And he’s never letting me go.