I had the pleasure of spending an evening recently in the company of Bruce Springsteen. It's not what you think - we attended the last night of the Brisbane tour of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The concert was nothing short of incredible. This man is the ultimate performer and he sings from the heart. Being part of the audience was a privilege. Bruce came on stage at 7.45, no support band, and played for just over three hours...no break, non stop. The concert was amazing....totally. From the acoustic rendition of his first song, off his first album to Atlantic City and Born to Run I enjoyed it all.
The performance was amazing, however it was the human side that Bruce showed that really hit home to me. This man knows that he is where he is today because of the support of his fans and he personalised this concert for so many of them.....no mean feat in a crowd of 11000.
He performed to the group with seats behind the stage recognising that they were equal in the "fan stakes" even if they did have the cheap seats. He included them,making them feel very much a part of the whole proceedings. It was good to see. With no set schedule of songs, Bruce took inspiration from the crowd, at times selecting a poster or banner from those in the mosh pit and using it as a prompt for the next song. Another time, he asked someone what there favourite song was and why, and then played it. He did the "Dancing in the Dark" thing that first brought Courtney Cox to our attention, selecting a girl from the crowd with a poster saying she wanted to "dance with Bruce to mend a broken heart". From her smile I would say it worked. Another girl wanted to dance with Jake - nephew of the legendary Clarence Clemons. She too got her chance, until Bruce signalled enough. As for the 11 year old boy attending with his dad - he originally had a chat with Bruce, then later was invited on stage to sing with the Boss....which he did. The highlight though was the "slide" he earnt as a reward. Knees ready, Bruce and this boy took a run up and slid across the stage as only Bruce can! That has to be the memory of a life time for this young man.
The ultimate for me though was the trust Bruce placed in the hands of the audience. Twice he left the stage to walk the floors of the Entertainment Centre to mix it with the audience. Saying hi, giving high fives, letting people see and feel him, hanging out with the crowd.....and then launching himself into the audience to crowd surf his way back to the stage.....the whole time singing his heart out. Incredible.
15.3.2013- however somehow in all of the excitement I forgot to blog about it!