Spending my Honeymoon with the Boss
The words I am about to write may come back to haunt me. I might jinx myself, yet. . . it’s something to brag about if you are a proud member of E Street Nation. Here goes: every single time I have tried to get into the pit, I’ve succeeded. Maybe Greg is my lucky charm; he, too, is batting 100% and has been to a couple of shows without me.
If Springsteen recognizes me as a frequent fan at his West Coast shows, he probably thinks of me as the annoying petite blonde who is always grabbing at him. At his shows, I’m the real life version of the grasping hands some people have in nightmares.
Because Glendale, AZ was the last show of the US leg of his 2012, I saw some old friends– a lot of the Springsteen faithful had travelled from the East Coast. There was much talk in the pit of Sandy (the horrible storm, not the song), the band’s lineup on this tour, highlights from the tour . . . and something else. I kept running into hardcore fans who talked of other fans, fans more hardcore than they. It seems to be a thing at Springsteen shows. Who is the most hardcore? No one is bold enough to claim the title, but I met a number of people who all knew other people who fit the bill. Springsteen fans, if nothing else, are generous to their brothers and sisters.
Why am I talking so much about the fans in this recap? Because after seeing Springsteen for countless shows, and talking the usual talk about the joy his concert brings, what the songs have meant to me over the years, how this is the music that matters most, or what a great performance the concert was, this show really hit home with me on one fact: the fans are part of the magic that happens at a Springsteen concert. I said I saw old friends there. They were people I met at other Springsteen shows, either in the pit, or in a bar after the show, or in line for the show, or at the concession stand. . . you get the idea. A couple of them were names I had learned (and remembered) and a couple of them were just people you talk to briefly, but have an immediate and strong connection with over Springsteen. When you go to the shows a lot, you see the same faces over and over.
As for the actual show, it was magic and joy. What can I tell you that you haven’t read in another review? Every show that Springsteen puts on is amazing. It is better than anything anyone else can do. He was put on this earth to sing these songs and give turbo-charged performances.
A few notes: Clarence’s son Jared came out on the stage during “Tenth Avenue Freezeout.” Some stupid girl jumped on the ramp where Springsteen stood during the tribute and he had to shew her off the stage. She violated the unspoken code. Springsteen fans may grab at him (guilty!) but we never jump on the stage unless invited, and we never jump on the stage during a tribute to Clarence. It nearly ruined the poignancy of the moment for Jared, Clarence’s son. At the end of the song, Jake gave him a big hug, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the pit.
Here’s the setlist of that magical, last evening. See you in 2013, Springsteen. Hopefully, I’ll be the girl in the pit grabbing (respectfully) at your ankles.
1.Surpise, Surprise (acoustic, tour premiere)
2. No Surrender
3. I’m A Rocker
4. Hungry Heart
5. Prove It All Night (with 1978 Intro)
7. Lost In The Flood
8. We Take Care Of Our Own
9. Wrecking Ball
10. Death To My Hometown
11. My City Of Ruins
12. Be True (sign request)
13. Light Of Day (sign request)
14. Darlington County
15. Shackled And Drawn
16. Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
17. Apollo Medley (dedicated to Sam Moore; Sam sings a few lines of the song)
18. The Rising
20. Thunder Road
21. Incident On 57th Street (solo piano)
22. Born To Run
23. Dancing in the Dark
24. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (with Garland Jeffreys)
*25. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Clarence Clemons’ son Jared on percussion)