August of 2000 marked the last time I went to a concert, at least one of my choosing. I went to go see Pearl Jam and had a terrific time.
The past eight years have held many concert opportunities, but honestly, I just do not want to go to them. I feel so awkward. With CDs you can dance and sing along and pretend you are 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 the 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 arrive around 5:30 so we could fight off traffic from the basketball game and the start of the concert. We end up spending 35-45 minutes on line because they wouldn’t let anyone into the doors yet. (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 sound check. I think, ‘Ah, Bruce is male diva.’
Find our seats (nosebleed section) but there is a curtain blocking the section off. The ticket lady shows us a place where we can get new ones. We find new seats and they are right behind stage! Granted, during the concert we could only see the back of them without aid from performance screen, but Bruce Springsteen is known for his tight jeans, so the view will be very good.
I’m watching all the comings and goings from the backstage, and I think I see Bruce. I nudge my mother and tell her and I see her eyes zone in on the curtain. I think she was willing the curtains to part, because the next thing I know, he’s walking out, smiling and waving at us. Now, I’m not a big fan of his, but that was a slice of awesome. I look at my mom and she was blushing and had the biggest smile on her face. She’s so in love with him.
It’s close to 7:30 p.m. and the show doesn’t look like it’s going to start soon. Am eye flirting with red shirted stage crew guy to fend off boredom. Good-looking man sitting next to me smells as if he took a bath in beer and sewage. Too bad.
During the show
It is 8:30 p.m. and the natives are getting restless because Bruce still hasn’t taken the stage. Finally, he shows and kicks off with rousing renditions of two songs I don’t know. My mother tells me it was "The Ties That Bind" and "Radio Nowhere."
From these performances on, I have to give this band mega props for putting on a good show. They all had so much energy and were running around the stage singing songs off their new album "Magic" and even a few ones that I knew, like "Born to Run," "Glory Days" and "Because the Night."
I can understand now why my mom has had a crush on Bruce since he first came onto the music scene. During their 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. At this point, I was sitting on the top of the folded part of the seat and he stands right by me (of course, there was stage distance to behold) and motions me to stand up and starts smiling at me! This is The Boss, so I jump up and do what he says. He moves on to work the rest of the area, so I nudge my mother and we’re both smiling and giggling like love-struck schoolgirls.
Even though he came on late, and 80 percent of the songs on the 140 plus minute set he played I didn’t know, 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.