When I say I could write pages and pages on this, then believe me. I actually will be writing about 100 pages on this gig. It’s the topic of my master’s thesis and if you want to read the finished thesis, drop me a line, happy to share.* I will try and be as short as I can.
There are only a few gigs that people attend in their lives that they consider to be legendary. This was one of them for me. I mean, Bruce Springsteen at Wembley Stadium. That’s about as cool as it will get in the UK. We queued for about 4 hours outside the stadium and ended up with a fairly good spot somewhere towards the front. The man doesn’t need a support band, and I love that. He’d rather use all that time to play himself. So you get 3-4hours of Bruce instead of the usual 1.5 hrs from a headliner. The weather was ridiculous while waiting, we got rained on massively (I mean buckets) twice. So soaked is an understatement. Bruce made a quick comment on the weather, but hey it’s London.
The one thing I do have to say: the acoustics were awful. It was tinny, echoing in all the wrong ways and just not great considering the stadium was built with exactly that in mind. It might have been that the sound check just wasn’t done well, I can’t compare as I haven’t seen any other act in this Stadium. And one other issue: security. It was atrocious, bags were hardly checked and generally the staff didn’t seem to care too much. They were however super nice and friendly, so no complaints there.
5 of the first 10 songs were sign requests, sow e were treated to songs like ‘Save My Love’, ‘Lost In The Flood’ and ‘Rosalita’. Although I do prefer ‘Rosalita’ later on in the show, it’s such a party song, so toward the end is much better. We were then treated to ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ in its entirety. From the first song on the album, to the last. This is another thing that makes Bruce stand out. Hardly any band will perform a whole album live – mainly for time reasons. Darkness is one of my favorite albums, so it truly was a treat to get to hear songs like ‘Racing In The Streets’ live.
The first encore was basically just a massive party. ‘Pay me my money down’ followed by ‘Born to run’ and ‘Bobby Jean’. And what would a Springsteen gig be without ‘Dancing in the dark’? two lucky girls got to go on stage. One older woman got to dance with the boss the other was a younger girl who got to play guitar with Stevie. That’s fan bonding right there. I love this about Springsteen shows – the age range is mind-blowing. The music has been passed down from the original fans to their kids and then their kids. 40 years of music shared among families – that’s just beautiful. Not many bands can achieve that.
The second encore was a rendition of Twit n’ Shout. A naughty little nod to the local authorities and the shut-down of 2012 when Springsteen and McCartney performed Twist & Show at Hyde Park and literally had the power turned off because of curfew.
And as if that wasn’t enough, we had one more hoorah in store. Bruce came back out and with just his voice and his harmonica – no other instruments – he sang ‘Thunder Road’ to 72,000 people. It was magic, it was beautiful. I wouldn’t change any concert experience in the world for those 5 minutes.
*Update: I finished the dissertation and got my results, happy to report, if you write about something you love it reflects in your marks. *pat on the back*.