I had waited half a year for this – but on some other mysteriously spiritual level it felt as though I had waited a lifetime. Friday night was the day Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band came to town. Did I ever sing along, did I ever!
Before I tell you more, this is what I proclaimed afterwards: “My life is thus complete.”
It’s one of those lines you use when you’re drunk on endorphin, feeling feverish from rock and buzzing from the happening, reeling from the dealing, hovering and heaving, dreaming, dreaming, of. Of.
So it was pretty good, in other words. In fact, the event was too precious to experience alone, which is why I dragged along my reference, Madli.
The Boss gave it his ALL for more than three hours straight, and had us eating out of his hand the whole time. I have never seen a longer concert. Other bands can be loud for no more than two hours. But then again the Boss is called the Boss for a reason. We got our money’s worth, and a mountain of gold to boot, at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki. Even the post-concert parking ticket waiting neatly stashed beneath the windscreen wiper of my car seemed like a damn good deal to me.
All praise and utter adoration, eh? Yes, mostly. But when you have waited a lifetime for something, you sort of build up no mean expectations, the worst kind of greed; it knows no bounds. And when all was said and done, I wanted God but got angels.
I wanted, I wanted. When the E Street Band cranked out No Surrender, and Bruce bellowed out that line, that big line, “well, we busted out of class, had to get away from those fools“, I wanted to feel the feel to end all feel. I wanted every strand of hair on my body to take off from their follicles, I wanted my heart on gasoline fire, I wanted inside vision and outside body.
I did not happen. It was just really really great. But when you for nearly ever have imagined that No Surrender was code for your own life, that it was written for you and no one else, then you suddenly feel a little empty, was that it? Well, it was.
So be it. And let it be. Because Friday night still went down into my bank of memory as the highest of carat. At times I could barely believe it was the Boss down there, the real Boss, not some sort of clever 3-D illusion of song and dance. I had to bite my knuckles in between throwing them up in the air.
Union cards, sawmills, refineries. Thunder roads, dirty streets, sad hometowns. And a big ol’ Buick. Broken down and beat, but still breathing hard through all that dust. It is ugly, yet beautiful, but why? Precisely, I think, because of the painful poignancy of reality; that’s what makes tramps like me hop into the suicide machine and drive all night towards the dream, always the dream, always away… and always to.