Column: Bruce is the Boss

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August of 2000 marked the last time I went to a concert, at least one of my choosing. I saw Pearl Jam and had a terrific time.  

Concert opportunities come along all the time, but honestly, I just don’t want to go to them. I feel awkward. With CDs, you can dance, sing along and pretend you’re in the band, and I suppose you can do that at a live concert.

However, at Christmas, my sister bought my mother tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Value City Arena on March 24. Since I didn’t have to work that night, I went with mother and had a surprisingly good time.

Before the show

We arrived around 5:30 so we could fight off traffic from the basketball game and the start of the concert. We ended up spending 45 minutes on line because they wouldn’t let anyone in that early. (The concert was supposed to start at 7:30.) Someone in the line said, "This is a Bruce thing" because he probably didn’t like the sound from soundcheck. I thought, "Ah, Bruce is male diva."

We found our seats (nosebleed section) but a curtain blocked off the section. With guidance from the ticket lady, we found new seats and they were right behind stage! Granted, during the concert we could only see the back of them without aid from the performance screen, but Bruce Springsteen is known for his tight jeans, so the view was very good.

I watched all the comings and goings from backstage, and at one point thought I saw Bruce. I nudged my mother and watched her eyes zone in on the curtain. It was like she was willing the curtains to part, because the next thing I knew, Bruce was walking out, smiling and waving at us. Now, I’m not a big fan of his, but that was a slice of awesome. I looked at my mom; she was blushing and had the biggest smile on her face. She’s so in love with him.

At 7:30 p.m., the show didn’t look like it was going to start anytime soon. So, I eye-flirted with red-shirted stage crew guy to fend off boredom. The good-looking man sitting next to me smelled as if he took a bath in beer and sewage. Too bad.

During the show

By 8:30 p.m., the crowd was getting restless because Bruce still hadn’t taken the stage. Finally, he kicked things off with rousing renditions of two songs I don’t know. My mother told me they were "The Ties That Bind" and "Radio Nowhere."

From these performances on, I had to give the band mega props for putting on a good show. They had so much energy and were running around the stage singing songs off their new album, "Magic," and even a few I knew, like "Born to Run," "Glory Days" and "Because the Night."

I now understand why my mom has had a crush on Bruce since he first came onto the music scene. During the band’s rendition of "Livin’ In the Future," Bruce walked to the back of the stage, got on the platform and started walking and singing right by us. I was sitting on top of the folded part of the seat. He stood right by me (of course, there was stage distance to behold) and motioned me to stand up and smiled at me! He is The Boss, so I jumped up. He moved on to work the rest of the area, so I nudged my mother; we both smiled and giggled like love-struck schoolgirls.

Even though he came on late, and I didn’t know 80 percent of the songs in the 140-show, I came away from the concert with a healthier respect (and like) for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and maybe, a bit of a crush.

Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.

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