Sometimes in the blessed name of Elvis, you just let it blast!

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I think we all agree on the low musical judgement, regarding the 92/93 world tour with the band of misfits en route. But I have to say that I was 16 at the time, it was my first show ever, and I have fond memories of the concert per se.
I remember me and my friend arriving at the big queue, two mommy’s sweethearts in jeans and bandana on the wrists meandering at the half of the queue, a guy from the security telling us to go back at the end of the line and one girl in queue saying Well if it’s just the two of them… Imagine something like this happening to one of us today? bahahah.
And so we entered, and waited, and waited.
I barely knew he had a new Band, that was not THE Band. But I onestly thought I would never see the E Street on stage, and that was the first time in my life I was going to see Bruce, and I was beyond excited. I remember the crowd in the parterre waiting for the show began to sing the Glory Days chorus, I’ve never heard that on the next tours.
I liked the opening with Better Days, to me it was one of the best opening ever (not beating Tenth Avenue, ok). Bruce soo young, smiling, lively, bouncing all over the stage. We think now he has energy on stage, and he does, but those days… well, younger crowd, younger band, and younger Bruce. With a black shirt with paramecium, long hair, and big big smiles, just happy to be onstage again.
And me, well, I was already on nirvana, I was so happy!
Born in the USA, that was the second song I was waiting for (ok, again, I was sixteen!), but when it happened I thought it strange, the drums not quite beating the right “beat”, Roy overflowing at the synth, it was too weak, too…blah.
I really liked Local Hero and Darkness, not so much If I should fall behind, I thought it lame, at the time. Nothing compared to the ’99 version, anyway.
57th Channels was good, with that intro “No justice No peace”, but besides that I thought it was a song with a meaning, with the video on Rodney King riots in LA, and all those channels and nothing worth watching, and our inability to be satisfied no matter what abundance we have. And how about if we shut it down and talk to each other, what a concept! I thought it had a strong message, but after that tour it simply vanished… he only got it back a little in Livin’ in a future, I think. And anyway that line: sometimes in the blessed name of Elvis, you just let it blast! is a really good one.
I really don’t remember a single moment of The river, my first The river, I want to kill myself right now.
Living proof was a really powerful one, I think because Bruce really felt for it.
My hometown was great, and Badlands was a blast: the crowd was goin’ crazy, beer flying everywhere, fists rising at the sky, jumping and shouting. A great one, with any band.
Leap of faith, that’s another of which I don’t have any recollection at all: and it’s one of those few songs for I’ll offer a relative to the altar of the Gods of Rock just to have a chance to hear it live, now.
Man’s job. Ok, that was my favourite of the two albums: at that time I was dating a girl older than me, and I listened to that song thinking it was about the work a real man has to do to be with an older woman. I know I was just deluding myself, but you read in a song what you want to read in it, sometimes.
Roll of the dice, too long, really, did not care for it.
Lucky town, a nice one, I really like this one. I think it’s a great rock song, very underrated in Bruce’s career.
Gloria’s eyes. Cover me, Brilliant Disguise, Real man, I don’t have any memories, complete fog.
Tougher than the rest, Patti on stage with a miniskirt, ended the song with a kiss.
Thunder road, I don’t remember it, not a second. How patetic is this?
Light of day, WOW, just WOWZA. That was the first time I hear of this song, but such energy, Bruce unleashed on stage…Great rock’n’roll moment.
Human touch, I honestly have to say that is not such a bad song as many fans think, in my opinion. Maybe it’s also because it’s the title track of one of the weakest albums of his career, but the song alone is good, for me.
Then Glory Days, Working on the highway -choosing a girl to dance onstage with him- and Bobby Jean (not a bad triptych, considering, ehn?): a lot of singing, and sweating, and rock’n’roll in full blast.
Hungry heart. I know there had been timid signs from Bruce’s side to try and sing it in a soul version, but as far as I can remember we anticipated the chorus, and it ended with him givin’up the choisters and he sang the old version. It’s funny because I think in general he does onstage what he actually wants… but in that tour, with Hungry Heart, it was like the crowd said: Ok new band, 4 years without a show, no Clarence, and you want to change H.H. too? No way! You sing it how WE want it!!! bahahah.
My beautiful reward, that was strange, ending a show with a slow piece, but it was actually beautiful. And anyways he didn’t end it: he remained onstage to annouce Born to run, and the crowd went crazy: people crying, shouting, girls tossed in the air, hats flying, my backpack opened while I was jumping spilling everywhere the contents, and I did not stop to collect any of them, someone even estinguished his cigarette on my pack! (at those medieval times you could smoke in a sports arena!). I am fully aware of the fact that really, today, that Born to run version would be easily classified as ugly, to be kind. But we were completely happy at that time, I went home on a perfect cloud of happiness and joy.
And so, what can I say… I know, that was not a great band, nor a great tour, in the history of Bruce’s tour. But I have really great great concert memories, and, well, let’s say that sometimes I wish it was ’92 all over again.
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So, what’s your favourite moment at the show?

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Of course an opportunity missed is an opportunity lost. Of course you wanted to be at that other show, the one where he played that one song. But this one, this show you are living, this concert is an opportunity not to be missed, and you didn’t. You just have to look around you, see all the people happy, smiling, singing…they don’t want to be anywhere else in the world. Of course it would have been fantastic to go to St. Louis or New York or London or Helsinki, because each show is magic, and every note has been played, as usual, as if it was the last note played on earth. Of course Bruce and the band played with no mercy. And of course tomorrow he’ll play something else, he’ll maybe play more, or even better. Still, you are living this concert, and you’ll have something unique from this show that will always be with you, and no one else will have. This song, this moment will live with you for a long time, and you have been given a priceless gift, a memory of happiness with your friends, or family, and of course, with your soul mate rockstar and band.

 

Some things never change

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It’s been 25 years. July 25, 1988, my first show, still stands as a highwater mark of my life. There have been others since, of course. But although I lost all sense of direction trying to get home that night and had to call my dad to come and get me, the show gave me a new direction in life and a new outlook on just about everything. I knew that Bruce Springsteen was now more than just good music to me. He was a guiding light and a means of finding purpose and content in my existence. I wanted to communicate what I experienced that night, and I wanted to re-experience it.

And communicating and re-experiencing it is what I’ve been trying to do ever since. Thus, although no one had even heard about the internet back in 1988, Greasy Lake is a direct result of that night 25 years ago. And seeing Bruce 59 times since has been my feeble attempt to take myself back to how I felt standing on my chair among 45,000 of my best friends singing along to “Twist and Shout” on a beautiful Copenhagen summer night. Sometimes I’ve been close. Other times not so much. And still other times I’ve felt what seemed even better. But never quite the same. And that’s probably the way it should be. Not to mention, it would be impossible. Times are different now. More individualism in society. Less inclination for strangers to morph into that one big soul. Bruce is different. He’s no longer that 38-year-old desperate man playing four-hour shows, because he couldn’t face his real life off stage. And I’m different. Halfway through my life. Mostly content. And a little harder to impress.

But just a little. The next show I saw, two days later, in Herning, was the best one ever. Some things never change.

(you’ll find the whole story on Greasy Lake: http://www.greasylake.org/news_blog_comments.php?id=1606&headline=The+summer+that+I+was+baptized+-+25+years+on )

The telegram

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In 1988 I was still in High School, and let’s say I wasn’t stellar in my grades. The Tunnel of Love Tour had started, and my mother agreed to let me see a show only if I failed no more than two subjects that school year (she has a gentle soul). I was at the sailing summer camp when the school gave the exams results, and I still have somewhere the telegram she sent me at the Camp: FAILED ONLY HISTORY & MATHS,  BRUCE SHOW IS SAFE KISSES MOM

Then in that very summer, after the Tunnel of Love shows, he announced the Amnesty Tour in September, and of course the very day of the concert I had my damn History test (karma has a way of biting you in the ass, you know…), so a new series of negotiations with my mother ensued. But at the end I just promised I would have passed that exam, that’s all.

So I went to the exam with my Tunnel of Love t-shirt under the suit, and as soon as the teacher let us go I jumped out of it kinda Superman-style, run to the train station and off to the show.

I had just the normal teenage years turbulence, you know. Just full of Bruce’s rock’n’roll, lucky me.