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Bruce.

November 20, 2009

I just want to bite that lower lip

I finally saw Bruce Springsteen on November 10, 2009. I’ve been trying to figure out since then why I felt disappointed. It was just me that was disappointed. The reviews were great, the person I went with was in awe. Once I got home I DM’d Matt Wardlaw on Twitter to get his thoughts. Yup. It’s just me. But why?

I’m a good bit late. Like 30 years. Growing up in Cleveland in the late 70s/early 80s meant knowing Bruce from the legendary ’78 Agora concert. That concert was personal. I was 13 years old. And he was speaking to me. I was introduced to Bruce on WMMS (and by a boy I had a crush on in Junior High, but that’s another story). But I became a fan because of that concert. YouTube – Bruce Springsteen – GROWIN UP 1978. (not the Agora show but close)

So was that what I was expecting? The 1978 show? I expected everything and there’s no way a 3 hour concert can do that. There’s no way he could give me the songs I wanted to hear, my choices, directed at ME. And Cleveland. It looked like he was enjoying himself. For god’s sake he crowd surfed the floor with no worries; singing the whole way. Bruce sounded great. the band was right on it. Why am I disappointed?

I wasn’t disappointed in Paul McCartney in 1990. Was it just because it was Paul McCartney? My second cousin introduced me to the Beatles. She lived through Beatlemania. When I found out Paul was coming to Municipal Stadium, I called her to see if I got her a ticket, would she come to Cleveland and go to the show with me? She hesitated and then said she would. I was 25, she was 40. We had a gang of six going. We jumped on the rapid and took it downtown, everyone on the train was going to the show, and we were all singing together, and shrieking at our good luck. Like Beatlemania. It was the best show I’ve ever seen.

The next day she explained why she hesitated. She grew up (and still lives) in New York. About an hour from the city. In 1966, she had a chance to see the Beatles at Shea Stadium. Her best friend had the ticket for her. Her parents said she could go.  She declined. Because it would have meant too much. I didn’t get it.

I do now.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2009 3:50 pm

    This is a great post. It’s incredibly refreshing to not read another OMG I SAW THE BEST CONCERT IN MY ENTIRE LIFE post about a Springsteen show.

    And “just you” is unbelievably, incredibly valid. You know this, right? You don’t need me to tell you this. I don’t understand why people who walked out of a show thinking it was fantastic get so upset if they read an opposing viewpoint. It’s just opinion. Yours matters.

    • jukebox1965 permalink*
      November 20, 2009 4:12 pm

      Wow. Thank you. It was hard for me to write. But it’s exactly how I feel. Thanks again.

  2. December 8, 2009 6:03 pm

    I agree with Caryn.

    Sometimes it just doesn’t hit a nerve…sometimes it isn’t all its cracked up to be…sometimes that is ok.

    This is the rock and roll dilemma we share: we love the stories and the myths so much, we want them to be TRUE. Sometimes…they aren’t…they were, but just not at this time & space juncture.

    I was disappointed at my first Clapton show. I left feeling “so what”. Sucked, but I dealt with it by going back to the catalogue and finding out why I liked him.

    I eventually went again and enjoyed it…because I listened to the music instead of looked for the legendary stuff.

    • jukebox1965 permalink*
      December 8, 2009 6:48 pm

      Thanks for reading Judd. I still have mixed emotions about it. I think I was just too late and should have tried harder to see him a long time ago. I’ve downloaded the other “album” concerts around it (which were also favorite albums) but I haven’t listened yet. Bruce is a large and looming legend in these parts. Which may be why it just meant too much.

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