Exactly 30 years ago I’ve seen my first Bruce show, 1985, Born in the USA tour. It was also he first rock show I ever attended, and what can I say, a good start is half the work!
I went to the concert with my best friend Bobby Jean, and her parents; we were fourteen years old and had planned for a week to escape the adults and go in the field, but her parents kept a veeery tight leash, plus, to be honest, there was a huge crowd and we were a little bit intimidated.
So we arrived after lunch, take a seat on the upper level, and waited under the sun.
I still remember which t-shirt and jeans I wore, and that they were selling a lot of phoney merchandise outside the stadium, and I spent almost everything I had in cotton strips, wristbands and bandanas, all of them spectacularly tacky and to me pretty wonderful.
I remember the moment when the roadies took Bruce Excalibur out and put it in its place, at that time he did not walk out with the Fender already embraced, he picked it up when entering the stage.
I remember Clarence as tall, beautiful and huge and really the best dressed of the Band (ah ha).
I remember Bruce coming out from the left side, grabbing the Excalibur and raising a fist in the air.
I remember that I thought the red headed woman as a good vocalist.
I remember that at the third song, Out in the street, we were all standing up, and nobody ever sat again for the whole show.
I remember that I was not a great fan of Nebraska at that time (I was fourteen and my fav albums were The River and Born in the USA), but then he played Atlantic City and a whole new world opened in front of me.
I remember a see of lighters on the ballads.
I remember that I had not a clue on what he was playing during Trapped or Because the night or Rockin’all over the world, what a shame!
I remember that during Working on the highway Bobby’s mum was dancing like a crazy, and she never stopped from that moment on.
I remember that Hungy Heart was the second song I’ve ever memorized, and when Bruce offered the mic out to let the crowd sing I was so overwhelmed to think that I was singing with Bruce that I completely forgot the words, standing there with my mouth open not being able to remember a single thing of a song I was singing for about two years now.
I remember the crowd choirs on Glory days.
I remember the hormones going crazy on I’m on fire.
I remember that when the first set ended we took a seat back to back not talking, just too moved to speak.
I remember that when he began the reprise with that nasty Cover me intro we thought for a moment we were ended up to a Madonna show by mistake. And a friend of mine later said to me that at that intro he thought there could be a problem with the sound system and with his friends was trying to understand how to report it to the mixer crowd.
I remember that I was well-prepared on The river, Born in the USA, Darkness and Born to run, I knew a little of Nebraska and that I had bought with my allowance The Wild and Greetings just three days before the show, so I practically knew nothing of those works.
I remember that I did not know the words from Rosalita, and I was very worried and expressed my concerns to a girl seated just next to me and she answered very politely that surely Bruce would not have minded, and that she herself did not know all the songs by heart.
I remember that I had a crush at that time on Gary and when Bruce introduced him I screamed so loud that all my neighbors looked at me.
I remember that Clarence changed himself for the second set, wearing the colors of our national flag. What a man!
I remember that new guitarist, Nils something, wearing lots of cotton strips, wristbands and bandanas, him too.
I remember that starting Ramrod he shouted: Now… we begin! Oh my.
I remember when he played Can’t help falling in love I was crying so heavily that Bobby’s mother came to give me a handkerchief.
I remember thay were selling anisette popsicles, go figure, and eeew.
I remember a group of boys and girls that at the very end on the field during Twist & Shout began to do the conga, and I still smile when I think of their young faces, so happy.
I remember Bruce jumping on the piano, Bobby and I thinking he was probably going crazy.
I remember that while going out at the end, the stadium speakers announced they were selling at the box office tickets from the next show in a close Country, and we thought with admiration of these superior beings so godlikely cool to be able and brave to go and see no less that ANOTHER Bruce show, abroad even!
I remember that I was really amazed that he had not played The price you pay (ah ah).
I remember me and Bobby in the back seat of her parents’ car on the way back, singing No surrender and swearing we were gonne see him together each and every time he would come back.
I remember going out of the car in my parents’ yard and shouting BABY WE WERE BOOOOORN TO RAAAAAAAN!!! and my dad worried about the neighbours.
I remember that for a whole week after the show I wore one of those cotton strips around the neck, and I really felt too cool to describe.
I remember that show, my first, beautiful, magic show, it will always have a special place in my heart, my dearest and first moment with Bruce.
Do you loooove me? oh yeah.