My post concert missive. I am no more a fan of the “The River” than I was yesterday before I attended the concert. But to stay that it wasn’t phenomenal isn’t correct either. I get why The River. You get to a certain age, the 60s in this case, and it gives you pause for reflection to see where you have been really so you can see where you are headed. I heard that in the Bruce speak last night in between songs. Meager if you compare it to previous concerts though. I love his concerts and I have no discernment in terms of this one is better or worse than that one. When I am there they are all beyond spectacular and he surely didn’t disappoint last night. I’ll play a game this morning and maybe you want to as well. Turn The River into a single album and pick the songs.
I had an interesting seat companion last night. If you look out into a Bruce concert audience you truly see a sea of white faces. And by that I mean in complexion color not necessarily nationality . This is not an indictment of his music, on the contrary you know he is as non-racist as you can get. I suspect it is simply musical taste when it comes to black people liking his music. In the seat near mine was this black woman. Maybe in her 50s with the coolest T Shirt that read, ‘ This Girl loves her Bruce Springsteen” in hot pink letters on a black T shirt.
I am trapaphobic. Yes, I made that up to explain it cause it is not about small spaces or elevators. I can go into panic attacks if a person’s knees near me touch the seat in front of them thereby blocking any visible escape route next to me. I don’t ever take anything but aisles seats in theaters and on planes and in restaurant booths. Her seat was the third one in and mine was the fourth. I bought the tickets anyway knowing this and just figured I will deal with it by staying in the aisle the whole time. The security guard had other ideas. I asked the woman if she would trade seats with me. It would get her one seat closer towards the stage and me one seat closer to the aisle and away from her very large knees touching the seat in front completely. She said ‘no’ and she was just sitting there looking so kind of annoyed maybe the whole time. I took my seat and nothing happened. I waited. No panic attack. Nothing. Years ago a great doctor gave me a book instead of a pill to help and it did. Two things I learned. You must go through panic attacks not around them and you need to bring them on yourself so you can control them and get rid of them. It works most of the time just fine. Anyway I did that last night. Nothing, no panic.
Then the music started and it was totally forgotten, knees, seats and all. It was so fun though to see this lady just come to life, dancing, singing along, smiling. At one point she turned to me to ask if I as OK. Very cool she was.
A long time friend and former employee of mine worked backstage security last night and has for concerts for near 20 years. He has seen everyone in concert. He is black. He told me he was blown away by Bruce’s concert and by how nice a guy he is. No surprise there. So nice of my Donald to greet me last night with some Bruce T shirts. Of course I had to apologize this morning for calling him every 5 minutes last night after the show to get me backstage. He was a good sport about it this morning.
What a night and what energy. Yes the songs are a bit slowed down and rearranged to a degree more fitting with a 60 something energy level but that doesn’t matter at all. It is NOT the same thing as seeing some old group that can barely squeak out the hits from years ago.. His show is fresh and new no matter what and his energy level for the time is always over the top. Badlands, Promised Land, Thunder Road ( of course my camera dies during my favorite song) Rosalita, The Rising, Born to Run, 10the Avenue, Dancing in the Dark, and more and the final rousing rendition of Shout. I pretty much won’t venture into an arena concert for anyone anymore but Bruce. Hell I’ll be there for his show when he’s 80!