Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Are You Ready To Be Delivered?"

Bruce's invitation to Hershey concert goers echoed as he began yet another amazing Dream Show as thunder rolled down the tracks... With a roller coaster of a set list we didn't know where we were going but knowing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band we knew we wouldn't be back!! No more sadness... no more fear... no more sexual frustration... as the band, led by it's fearless boss promised to rock the house down while building a house all in the same night... using both the good wood and the bad wood!! But they'd need us to make the noise... and make it we did!! This was one of my favorite parts of the show... when Bruce promises to bring the joy back! I thought to myself, "How did I get here?" and gave praise... "Bruuuuuuce!!" I laughed... as joy rose up inside... remembering when the American Leg was first announced... Pittsburgh would be the only "for sure" show I'd be catching here in the States... being only 2 hours drive... every other show would require a road trip... and I just wasn't sure where I'd be going... though I knew I was up for a few!! But I definately wanted to go to Europe again! Then when Rachel called from Holland... having her schedule open up for a visit in April she insisted that we catch a show... she didn't have to twist my arm... but it would mean flying to LA. It had been since 1990's Christic Benefit since I'd seen an LA show... and the last time I had been to The Sports Arena was 1984... when my sister and I spent a glorious week during the Born in the USA Tour in LA... I was a black jack dealer in Las Vegas at the time and we had traveled to catch a show... and wound up staying for 5! Lisa and I got to town the day of the show, ticket-less and had bought seats for two of the nights from scalpers... paying 5x's face for each seat! But it was Bruce and his band... they'd be worth it. We hung out at the stage entrance after the show... hoping to get a quick peek... I would never ask for an autograph... or attempt an approach... I just couldn't... but it didn't matter how chicken I would have been cause he didn't come through the doors... so we got in our car and got out the map and decided to go toward the beach to find a hotel/motel. That's when I looked up and saw the little handicapped guy whom we'd been chatting with at the stage door... swinging his hips as he walked across the lot... I turned my head to check out the size of the parking lot and then back at him... I couldn't believe my eyes. I imagined him getting clear to the other side of the lot just to begin his walk home... my heart went out to him and so I offered him a ride home... he protested... saying it was "very far away" and I insisted. As we drove and drove and drove he suddenly ask me if I would mind driving him to a friend's job so he could ask him something... lol... adding that it was "very far away." We had nothing to do and hadn't even chosen a hotel yet so what the heck... we started driving... and we drove and drove and drove... finally parking outside a very very nice hotel... he said that we needed to come inside... and that we should wait in the lobby... we ordered drinks and I sat on the couch... Lisa on the chair opposite... and we waited for our little friend. It wasn't long and we heard laughter... the door swung open and in walked Patti, Danny, Garry, Nils, Roy and Clarence! Patti came over and plopped down on the sofa next to me... we instantly hit it off and started chatting... we had quite the conversation before the guys got curious as to what we women were giggling about. Of course we couldn't tell them! ;) We had a wonderful time that week... I was looking forward to seeing Patti in LA... 25 years later... but due to a fall she had taken from her horse over the Easter weekend... I wouldn't get that chance. Hopefully she would make it back to the tour but... "darlin we can't stop this train..." and the Dream Train would just keep on rolling as Patti took off to heal from her injuries. But I had my ticket and my suitcase!! All aboard!! Badlands... Oops... we went further than 25 years... this was exactly how my first show in 1978 began! "You gotta live em everyday" 31 years ago... "I want to find one face that ain't looking through me... I wanna find one place, I wanna spit in the face of these Badlands!"

Bruce and his band were back and ready to rebel against these hard times... they plunged into Darkness on the Edge of Town... Bruce looked strong and the band eager to inspire their followers to dance... and shake off the bad news and the debts that are weighing us down... urging us... and reminding us not to give in to the temptations that Johnny 99 and Tom Joad surrender to... those forces that would have us destroy our own lives as well as try to stop us from dreaming... those forces that want to keep us sinking down in Youngstown. I stood in awe as Bruce let Tom Morello take the solo on The Ghost of Tom Joad... this song alone was worth the price of admission.

Equally as incredible, was Nils' solo the following night during Youngstown...

Nils was smoking as he burned the steel mills down!! Each night was graced with the splendor of the classics Racing In The Street (the first night) and Backstreets (the second) both following The Wrestler with perfection. Other Darkness treasures we got were Adam Raised A Cain... and Candy's Room!! Candy and She's The One are 2 of my favorites live... as they are sure to make any show hot!! SEEDS is simply amazing and quickly became a new favorite... It was a high all 9 of my shows! Bruce invited his friend Mike Ness out onto the stage the second night in LA and together they tried to jinx us with Bad Luck!! :o

Bruce is enjoying a segment he calls "Stump The Band" taking 3 requests each night... In LA he chose I'm Going Down, Raise Your Hand, and Spirit In The Night... and liking Raise Your Hand so much that it became the "song collection theme song!" And as you can guess... the crowd went wild when Rosie came out!!

The next night we got Proud Mary, Growin' Up, and Hungry Heart. Hungry Heart? Gag me! Redemption came again with Backstreets, Thunder Road and 10th Ave Freeze Out. ;)

The show was amazing... I met and made new Bruce-friends... Zach and his mother, Meg... Carin, treplow, Perl... chase'smom... Jeremy... I met up with Dana (#1 caller) and Sheila... bosstime (Lori & Rick)... saw ExJerseyGuy (for a second)... spent a great week with Rachel... and got to spend time with Greg & Nancy who kept me company while I waited for a flight out of LA... :o

How do you top 2 fantastic shows in LA??

Go to Philly? At least that's what I'd been told... many times by my good friend (Johnny)StreetScene... but I didn't believe it... that is till I saw it with my own eyes! What a crazy fun time... Bruce was in a great mood the first night... the show intensified with She's The One... but it really got hot when Bruce spotted a great sign for FIRE and ordered a spotlight to stay on it as he granted the request!

Then he teased that he was gonna give us "a taste of Philly" and pointed out a sign that brought a roar... and almost brought me to my knees! I never thought that I'd get THE FEVER again! It was amazing!! Then our 3rd request: Mountain of Love! We got our cake in Philly... and it was topped with icing when Rosie came out again!! It was hard to imagine a better show... so I couldn't wait for the second round!

Though I had a really bad call in the lottery and wound up in the back of GA just in front of the soundboard behind a tall bunch... I refused to let my heart sink as I fought to have a good time... then I stopped trying to see and just...listened... and since Patti had shown up, that gave Bruce the perfect opportunity to grant a request for Red Headed Woman (one of my least favorite songs) but the crowd seemed pleased... Our other requests were London Calling and Thundercrack... which simply rocked!! (I love Thundercrack!!) I also enjoyed getting the chance to see Patti and Bruce sing Kingdom of Days together... though I couldn't "see" anything... not even the screens... (I'm sort of short.).. but the show ended on a high when Kitty came Back!!

In Philly I got to hang out with Zach again! He's the coolest kid!! I also met the famous Dr Zoom (Mike) and got to spend time with Katherine and Natalie! Chatted with JoyinJungleland, sointobruce... saw and chatted with Roy and Hammerd... Saw Mike and Bob, Rich and Kathy, Jeremy, Cicile and all the folks at the tailgates! Thanks for the directions, Johnny!! lol

To be continued...

"Are You Ready To Be Delivered?" Part 2

(click on Part 2!!)


"Are You Ready To Be Delivered?" ~ Part 2

I'm so glad that I followed my heart to Penn State... out of nowhere I decided to go... I saw a drop and scored behind the stage... but then Bob offered me his extra GA... so I took it... Perfect... I'd have my back up seat in case I missed the pit... so as I headed out for my 5th Dream Show I decided to leave my request sign at home... Dana commented that I wouldn't get it anyway... "he's not gonna play it" so I left it behind. Which is why I think I got such a good spot in the pit!! My strategy worked. ;) At LA and Philly the crowd seemed frantic to get close to Bruce... the energy was high but it was a little intimidating in the pit... and I found myself letting others go ahead of me rather than being climbed over... but it wasn't that way at Penn State... though the excitement was high... there was a calmer energy... that is till the lights went out... Badlands... and we're off... Out In The Street... Outlaw Pete... such an amazing performance... Bruce pours himself into this one... She's The One... the show is an instant success with She's The One!! And though all the songs are repeats... each is intensely drawing us in...

Bruce collects the signs... I was so close but didn't have mine with me... oh well... what would the requests be tonight? We waited but surely didn't expect Bruce to chose Ramrod, My Generation or Spirit In The Night... The crowd was going crazy... then after the 3 pack of Waiting On A Sunny Day, The Promised Land and The Wrestler I heard one note and knew what was coming... I started yelling "YES!" "YES!" "THANK YOU, BRUCE!" "YES!!" and my request was granted (though I have no clue if he had seen my sign at the 4 shows before this one) it was my request!! and just like the little lamb on my sign, I/we sang, "Baa, ba ba ba ba ba ba ba" over and over. What a great time!! I simply love This Life and if I had to choose... I'd rather This Life than Kingdom of Days (but both are lovely!)... and in my dream world followed of course by Life Itself/What Love Can Do or My Lucky Day in place of Lonesome Day and The Rising... though I do love both of these... I'd love to see Bruce showcase his new songs... they are so beautiful... and I feel this would be a great place to do it, too... (unless he would want to replace the "stump the band" with "play the new!" lol... Anyhow... if This Life wasn't enough of a surprise we also got Jungleland followed by the nightly Land of Hope & Dreams (I also love this song in the encore!) but tonight Bruce wasn't ready to stop after American Land... so he gave us another with Bobby Jean and then another with Detroit Medley... there was dancing and singing and we were having so much fun... and it continued with "one more" and then Wooly Bully closed the show on a total high! The Penn State Dream show was so worth the drive... as well as the traffic ticket! :o

I had 2 more shows planned...

DC (hopefully) and Pittsburgh (for sure)... but when I got word that DC had oversold and were canceling tickets... I was afraid that I wouldn't get in... so I made the choice to trade my DC trip for Hershey. :o It was easy to get a GA for Hershey but I had forgotten how terrible the GA line had been the year before... that is until I arrived. There were nearly 3 thousand trying for the pit when we were told all 3,000 would be let in... but the order was yet to be determined... and it was of course randomly chosen by the lottery. The crowd did not respect the order that they were put in and it soon became a free for all. Little children being stepped on and over... Once everyone got into the pit it seemed to calm down some... but I was in a funk... so when Bruce hit the stage with the words, "Are you ready to be delivered?" he was just in time!! I needed to be delivered! I needed to hear the into... "Can you feel the spirit?" and so Spirit in the Night followed Badlands but it was Outlaw Pete that finally got me out of my funk and into the show... on a huge screen there was a video of gorgeous southwestern landscape scenes playing. A very nice added touch. By now the set list is pretty... set... but Bruce went a little out of order when he spotted a request that he wanted to grant... Bruce wasted no time and launched into the request as the sign promised to "burn all my Hanna Montana CD's if you play Twist & Shout!!" It was far too over crowded where I stood so there was no twisting... but plenty of shouting! Our other 2 requests were Give The Girl A Kiss and Trapped. We also got Backstreets, Thunder Road, 10th Ave and after American Land, Rosie and Bobbie Jean! But the time the show ended I had nearly forgotten the stress of the "line up." (nearly but not completely!) The BTX tailgate was an utter success!! It was so much fun hangin out with Killmo (joan) Kimberly (2Hearts), chitownjaney and her daughter... phillyfan51, shoregal, finally met ptart and Easyjoe and his angels (and their virgins!) Very good to see roidrage, Sharon and Rich, rumbledoll (J), and Paul! Oh yes... I also saw borntorun1962, howtch, Val, Barbara and betho! (and more!)

My last show of the first leg... Pittsburgh!

Finally I got lucky and wound up with my elbows on the catwalk... along the right hand side! One row back from the front. I was so close that my nerves were jumping! The lights went down and I nearly fainted!! Badlands!! The house lights were up and so were we!! The energy was amazing!! Then Candy's Room... Outlaw Pete... Jackson Cage and She's The One!! Wow... what a start!! This was sure to be the best of all the shows!! Our requests in Pittsburgh: Good Lovin', Like A Rolling Stone and Darkness On The Edge Of Town... an intimate I'm On Fire led us into the final 4 of the main set...

Then right as the main set was ending with Born To Run... Bruce was letting the group right in the front of the catwalk strum his guitar when he suddenly turned to me and Laia and offered us to touch his strings!! I laid my fingertips across his strings... marvelling at how soft and smooth they felt... It lasted only a moment... but that's all I needed... don't tell anyone... but it was one of my secret desires!! I left on cloud nine... purring like a kitten.

In Pittsburgh not only had I gotten to spend a little time with great friends: Cindy and Jeff, Kimberly, Laura, and Barbara, Pat... We also were honored to have Laia join us from Spain!

Enough was not Enough!

I had a wonderful time! Satisfied with the shows I caught in the first leg of the tour... but still wanting and hoping for Incident... Lost In The Flood... (both sound checked at Hershey) and though it had been played in Boston and Nassau... I still wanted For You. I started looking for a caller for Izod... hoping to hear them over the phone... But then on Wednesday night, May 20 at 8:45 I got a text from Zach, "Izod GA dropping!" What should I do? I had never seen a show in Jersey. I waited then finally texted him back, "Which night?" I already had a lead on a ticket for the second night... so when the answer came back, "Night 1" I decided to peek... and I pulled a GA. What else could I do but go?? So I packed up my car and hit the road!! Meg and Zach invited me to join them... and we had an awesome time... as well as my second encounter with Mr. State Trooper... I didn't know that you couldn't use your cell phone while driving!! Thankfully he understood that I was lost and gave me directions to the Izod... with NO ticket!! I did tease him a little that he was a New Jersey cop and didn't know that Bruce was playing. :)

While the set list the first night was rather tame the energy was intense! Jay played drums the full show... bringing such a fresh energy!! He really bangs those drums wildly!! Our requests included Growin' Up... I'm Going Down... and Prove It All Night... and prove it he did!! I'm really looking forward to seeing more of Jay in Europe! I can see why Bruce loves him!! Jay reminds me so much of Bruce when Bruce was 18... shy... quiet... but he becomes an animal onstage... down in Jungleland!

Which brings me to Saturday!! As Zach and I were hanging out in the parking lot before the show... looking for trouble we spotted Jay a couple feet away... so we went over to say, "Hi" and maybe get a picture... hehehe... he was so sweet... I asked him to sign my boot of the night before and he asked me if I could get him a copy! Zach and I both got a pic with Jay... and off we went... then I was able to get him a boot (from live poet) and so we took it over to him... then he took another pic with me!! He's so cool. :)

It's hard to deny... the second night had a much more interesting set list... with Spirit In The Night and a powerful Something In The Night our requests were Good Lovin', Cover Me, The E Street Shuffle, but Bruce gave us an extra song... Thunder Road led us into the Waiting On A Sunny Day/The Promised Land pair which was followed by an absolutely beautiful Incident on 57th Street!! It was an amazing night... simply amazing. After Hard Times, Kitty's Back led off the finale which tore us up before ending with Glory Days & Mony Mony!!

What an ending to the first leg!! I was not let down in the slightest... but there are a few songs I still want to hear... Anyhow, if you didn't get a chance to see the American Leg of The Dream Tour... then if at all possible pack your bags... and head to Europe!! I'm chasing 3 songs: What Love Can Do... Life Itself... and For You solo piano!! Do you think I'll get them?!

If you can't make it to Europe you could plan to see the show in the fall... at Giant Stadium!! Tickets go on sale this Monday! :o

I had an amazing time hanging out with a few friends from Backstreets!!

Then after the show we went back to the hotel where Zach and Johnny(StreetScene) gave another mini concert of all Bruce covers... mostly from WIESS and BTR... it was lovely... Zach played the piano wonderfully... not missing a note... and Johnny has such a sweet voice... and he knew all the words! They did Incident, Racing In The Streets, Backstreets, For You :) and many more! It was the coolest ending to a wonderful day! Thanks, guys!!

Thank you Meg for EVERYTHING! It was so much fun!!

Thank you to my Fairy who got me a GA and to my Angel for watching over me!!

Thank you, Bruce & The E Street Band!!