After dinner and a little wine and/or beer... we went back to the hotel for a cat nap before roll call. When we returned we found that the list had grown immensely... and I saw more familiar faces. It was especially good to see Anna and Renzo... the woman and her husband who were so kind to me in Milan last year! They had come planning to camp out but decided to take a room at the same hotel as us. Martino led roll call and then announced the time for the next one... 10am? Wow... a whole nights sleep? Sweet dreams!! And sweet they were... ;) The next morning we made it back to the garden with a little time to spare and Michaela (Miki) treated us to croissants and Italian coffee... it came in a little bottle and was hot and we poured it into little bitty cups... 2 sips of coffee that equaled in strength that of 2 cups of American coffee. It was delicious... and the croissants were wonderful... yum! Thanks again, Mik & Sara! We didn't need to be back for the next roll call until 7 or 8 pm... I can't remember now. So off to the Vatican again... or nearby, where Rachel had spotted a Footlocker... she wanted to buy a new pair of shoes... and so did I! Running shoes! lol The Pope still no where in sight... so we blessed our own shoes and headed to the Spanish Steps where "Roman Holiday" was filmed. How perfect!! Then it was time to grab a nice hot meal so we found another "Restorante" and again found only bread products... bread with pizza sauce and cheese... some with salami and cheese... everything was bread based... same as the last 2 "Restorantes." So we ordered... you guessed it... bread!! We laughed as we feasted on our bread... and I quoted scripture, "Man does not live by bread alone," I said... adding, "so the Italians added a slice of salami and cheese!" It really wasn't funny... but we laughed anyway. At the next roll call we found that at midnight we would be moved to the "gate" at the venue! By 1am we were in our places. Sara suggest that we go get some sleep... she would hold our places so she called us a cab and we were fast asleep just in time for the alarm to wake me at 4am... we had to be back by 6. Now came the hard part... holding our spots the last day... while many showed up to try to sneak in... everyone knew who had been queued with them and respected and protect each other's place... at one point someone came and asked me how long we had been queued... it seemed I had been queued for a couple weeks now for one show or another... so I couldn't think and answered Saturday the 16th. (The 16th was a Thursday.) It was so hot in the sun that most everyone climbed over the barrier to seek refuge from the sun under the trees... which made it look like there wasn't many waiting in the queue... but by 3 pm there were a few thousand waiting to get into the pit. Bruce had sound checked around 1 but it hadn't lasted long... I think it was due to the heat so we were a little surprised when he sound-checked Atlantic City just before 4pm. Finally Graham came to escort Liz to safety and that was the sign that we were about to be let in. They were going to let 10 in from each stall at the gate and then hold back for a few minutes then let in another 10 from each stall... but because of the lateness of our entry they let down the order and let everyone in at once. There was a mad dash into the venue... First there was steps going up... then going down... and they were not even... so they were easy to miss your stepping... I get so flustered when we have to run... I never know which way to go... my panic makes it so hard for me to think... then finally I see a spot at the rail right in front of Clarence... it's filling up quickly as I make my way to it... people flying past me... and then... I get there and look over at Sabine who moves over and invites me next to her! I look to my left and a really handsome young man smiles and nods to let me know that there is plenty room there for me, too!! How sweet!! We sit and stand... and sit and stand... as we wait for Bruce and his E Streeters to hit the stage... and I search for a comfortable place to sit half on the hard metal and half off... and chatted with Chiara and Melody while waiting... There was a young man with a American Skin (41 shots) sign behind me... but most of us had the same sign... an Italian with a print shop had a couple thousand of them printed... and everyone had one... how could Bruce refuse us? Time ticks away... and soon the excitement mounts as the crew readys the stage... I glance to the left just in time to catch a quick glimpse of Jay chatting with fans before heading backstage... I look over to the right and see Corrado and Martino and the group of dedicated fans that had put so much time into their quest to be in front... I was so glad to see that they had made it, too!
We waved to each other with anticipation of a great show! I looked around for Maaike and Rachel but couldn't see them... but their plan had been to head to the little catwalk at the very end... it was an easy rail to get to... and they had gotten some of Bruce's attention there in Glasgow and Dublin. I'd catch up with them after the show. Around 9:30 there is a sudden press toward the stage in anticipation... all the gaps are filled in as the crowd becomes one... finally the light men come out and taunt us... and we cheer at their every move.
At 10:30pm (22.30) it begins!!
What an amazing beginning... unlike any other... and so perfect! Once Upon A Time In The West by Ennio Morricone gave me chills before the band broke into Badland, Out In The Street, a dramatic Outlaw Pete, No Surrender... and with She's The One in the 5th spot... satisfaction was close at hand... It was going to be a very special night... Maybe it was the late night start... perhaps it was the Italian air... but tonight seemed magical... a sea of arms waved to Working On A Dream... it was so cool... and you could see that the band was very pleased with the crowd! So, would we get Youngstown or Ghost of Tom Joad tonight, after Seeds and Johnny 99? What a beautiful suprise... Atlantic City... (surprised, even though it was sound checked) I was purring like a kitten... and then it was time for Bruce to collect signs... lol We all held up our signs high: Drive All Night... most of them read!! We begged him!! He stopped and put his hands on his hips and looked at all the signs... and he shook his head, "NO!" Bummer!! Instead he chose signs for Hungry Heart... which the crowd loved and then picked a beautiful sign with glitter all over it for Pink Cadillac... and another sign that said something about getting married and I'm On Fire... but that wasn't the end of the requests... one more for the birthday girl... Surprise Surprise... followed by a 5th request granted... a sizzling Prove It All Night!!
There were two adorable brothers... hoping to get to sing with Bruce but when Bruce offered the one little guy the mic... he stumbled over the "English" but Bruce swept him up in his arms and assured him that he did a great job... rewarding him with a guitar pick! Then Bruce granted another request! He did 41 Shots for the guy behind me! It was amazing! What a highlight... A very intense song... so scary and true... followed perfectly by Lonesome Day... a song which I really really like. After Born To Run the band stayed on stage... which brings up Clarence! He looked great! He was so cool and having a great time... his smile was vibrant... and he played wonderfully! I'm not sure if I should call it the encore, but it started with a heartfelt My City In Ruins... which I learned after the show was also a request given to Bruce earlier that night... and if that wasn't enough of requests granted... after Thunder Road Bruce took one more request from his "friend" (in the pit) for a rockin' You Can't Sit Down. It was request city in Roma!!
I had so much fun in Roma... and so did Bruce's mom and aunt... they joined the band on stage and danced a jig behind Bruce during American Land... they were having so much fun that Bruce had to shoo them off the stage after the song had ended! lol Bobby Jean led the final 3... slowing things down just a little before it got wild with Dancing In The Dark... bringing back great memories of my first experience of Dancing with the Italians in Milan! When in Roma you do as the Romans and JUMP!! Keeping it going... we Twist & Shout!! What a great time!! Nearly 3 hours later the show ends... and once again, Bruce and his band has proven why they are the best rock-n-roll band around!
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