I already knew this, but now that I’ve been to a concert, I feel the need to say it again: Bruce Springsteen is not for me. John and I went to the Springsteen concert in DC on Friday night. Wait – I need to back up. A few years back, John went to his first Bruce concert with a few friends of ours who are rabid fans. I mean, these guys know every song he’s ever recorded, have all the albums, always go to concerts when Springsteen is on tour. That stuff doesn’t make them rabid fans. No, they go to as many concerts on each tour that they can manage, sometimes traveling miles and miles to go to back to back shows in three different cities. Friday’s concert was the sixth show our buddy Joe has gone to on this tour alone. On top of that, they know the set lists of practically every concert he’s ever played ever. It’s not unusual to have a conversation with one of them that goes like this:
Hey, I kinda like song X from that one album.
Yeah, that’s a great song, but you won’t hear that when we go to this concert. He hasn’t played that one live since the Evanston show of 1993. Now THAT was a great show.
Anyway, John was just a casual fan before he went to that show (he’s more than that now, but hasn’t reach rabid levels of fandom yet) . These guys (and every Springsteen fan I’ve talked to since) told him he HAS to go to a live show, it’s AWESOME, it’s an experience you’ll never get anywhere else – it’s just amazing. So John went, and it was great. He had a really good time, it was a really great show, and he started paying more attention to the Boss. That’s fine – doesn’t bother me one bit. He went to a couple more shows over the next couple of years, and I had to suffer through a little more Springsteen in the house, but that’s not that big a deal. Then this tour started, and the guys got together and decided to all go. John really wanted me to get in on this, and I’d been hearing how great these shows are, so I agreed and we bought two tickets.
I have to admit to not being all that excited as the date approached. I love live music, and I knew I’d have a good time, but I didn’t prep for it. I know a handful of songs (“Glory Days”, “Born in the USA”, “Dancing in the Dark”), and I recognize a few more but don’t know more than a couple lines from them (“Born to Run”, “Thunder Road”), but that’s it. Frankly, I don’t really like his stuff, so prepping didn’t sound appealing at all. Why listen to more of what I don’t like? I was counting on the LIVE aspect of the show to be more entertaining than his depressing and repetitive songs.
Ultimately? It was fun, but I’m in no hurry to go again. It was loud and crowded (both in a good way) and energetic and everything, and all of that is cool and fun to watch, but it was still Bruce Springsteen, and you know what? I still don’t like Bruce Springsteen. Well, personally, I’m sure he’s a fun guy. I don’t like his songs. When the band did some covers (“Devil in a Blue Dress”, “Twist and Shout”) at the end of the almost four-hour concert, I thought it was great. Did it change concert-going for me forever? No. No, it did not.