About ten days have passed and I seem to have lost the essence of the show experience. I find it difficult to remember detail about any of the songs. As dearly as I would have loved to catch time in my hands and hold it, to hang on to the essence of the experience, I could not do it. It is over. It is gone. I will have to find a way to deal with the sense of loss that threatens to overwhelm me at the moment.
But I can see myself very clearly on both nights. In Sunderland in the pit, absolutely overwhelmed by the mass of people pressed around me (have read that somebody said he has never seen so many people squeezed into the pit and that he thought it was quite dangerous), absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of Bruce Springsteen so near me. The second night in Manchester, up in the second row of the second tier, ignoring the stiff youth next to me and just dancing and singing as I have never done before, having the weird feeling of dancing on top of the world with the rain clouds rolling over us.
I will have to learn to live with the yearning to feel it all again, to do it all again.It is very unlikely that I will be able to do this again. My country is too far from his regular hunting grounds, the financial and emotional prize is just too high.
I do remember jumping up when he started with Badlands again in Manchester. And I think I probably screamed when he followed it with No Surrender, which is a song dear to my heart and has become something of a mantra for my fragile writing career. The Prove it all night/Two hearts combination was an absolute treat, straight from the Live in NYC DVD which I love so much. You can look (but you better not touch) was another surprise, Save my love made me see him as a bare-chested youth on the Promise documentary, Cadillac Ranch filled me with joy as it always does, the solo The Promise on the piano made my heart ache.
And then The River, which he did in Sunderland, too. This time I caught on to what drove the show into a new dimension. It was this song. Haunting, heartbreaking, so very human, delivered with all his heart. With that amazing falsetto part at the end. After that song nothing was the same. The heartache reached a new level, but in between the heartache every song became a party on its own. Thunder Raod, Atlantic City, Land of Hope and Dreams, each and every song from Wrecking Ball, 10th Avenue Freeze Out with its tribute to the Big Man … Emotion too intense to describe. (Not in the sequence I mention them here.)
And then came Twist and Shout. I have seen it on YouTube – 1988 or thereabout, a young Bruce in a sleek black leather suit, a wild South American crowd. And here I experienced it in England. The joy, the exuberance I will never forget.
I will never be this happy again. I will never be able to forget about most other things in my life and just dance the time away like I did for those six and a half hours Bruce Sprinsteen gave me on 21 and 22 June.
I can only thank him and continue to live according to the many songs that have become important in my life. The promised land, Badlands, Born to Run, No Surrender … the list is long and it continues to grow.
Thank you, Bruce. Inadequate words, I know, but all that I have.
Photo proudly by myself. 🙂