Tuesday night belonged to the E Street Band, my sisters and me.
Well, mostly it belonged to me and Bruce, but it was also fun to have my sisters along.
I last saw Bruce Springsteen perform live back in 1984 when I was a summer intern at the hot rockin’, flame throwin’ Z95 radio station and he was lighting it up on his Born in the U.S.A. tour. It was an unpaid internship and, to compensate me for those mornings I trudged to work in the wee hours of the summer, the two disc jockeys I worked for were kind enough to get me four tickets to the Alpine Valley Show.
I remember an epic night.
But, I think Tuesday night’s show was even better. Maybe it’s because I’m older and so much more appreciative of the time I get to spend with family and at live music events.
Maybe it’s because Bruce Springsteen is older and so tender with his lyrical tributes and so passionate in the way he celebrates every measure of the 26 songs on his set list.
Maybe it’s because the world is older, still crawling out from the past few years and so thankful for live events again.
For whatever reason, Fiserv Forum rocked hard and so did we.
Bruuuuuuuce still plays with the energy and sheer delight of a 15-year old getting his first gig. I’d like to know his workout routine and diet because he may have grown older but he has not aged.
He pounded a series of guitars for almost three hours non-stop. With the notes of one song still reverberating, he shouted “One! Two! Three! Four!” and launched into the next. It was really unbelievable.
My sisters and I sang, danced and high-fived with all the equally thrilled people in our section. The gentleman next to me knew every lyric to every song.
I loved the way Springsteen performed with such reverence for the night’s audience and his current band, and also for members who have passed away. “Last Man Standing” both haunts and inspires. It’s a tribute to his first band and he wrote it shortly after he learned that George Theiss, who invited the then 15-year old Bruce to play with his band a half century ago, had died. “I’ll See You in My Dreams” honors Clarence Clemons in a beautiful, poignant way.
Saxophonist Jake Clemons channeled the spirit, talent and sense of fun with which his uncle Clarence Clemons lived and played. A picture scroll of Clarence added to that sense of honor and loss.
During an evening dedicated to preserving the memories of the people who had boosted him along the way, Bruce Springsteen treated my sisters and me to an amazing memory of our own.
If you can get tickets to the E Street Band 2023 tour, I highly recommend it.