Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band - July 18, 2003

Show 3 of 6

The third night of Bruce’s historic ten night run at Giants Stadium found me once again sitting in the audience, this time with my girlfriend (who became my wife), Cathy. It was her first ever Springsteen concert. She couldn’t have picked a better one. And on a rainy Friday night in Jersey, Cathy and I truly fell in love, Bruce and the band performed one of their most amazing concerts ever, and I made some new friends (even if it was just for one night).

Excellent seats. That’s the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of the third night that I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band on their 2003 Giants Stadium summer run. The seats that we had that night were simply amazing. No, they weren’t on the field, but they were 3rd row, dead center in the lower bowl. End Zone seats, if you will. And for the Bruce concert they were simply outstanding.

The second thing that comes to mind when reminiscing about that night is the weather. We got rained on pretty much all night long, and we really didn’t care. Once a certain level of wetness is achieved, all you can say is “bring it on!” The weather obliged, but Cathy and I survived.

The third thing that comes to mind regarding that night (and the first thing Cathy always mentions) is the gentleman who fell in love with me. A happy drunk concert attendee who sat next to Cathy and I professed his love for me on more than one occasion. At one point, we were even singing with our arms around each other like we’d been friends for years. It was one of the most surreal moments in my concert history, but pretty awesome none the less.

When we arrived at the stadium, the clouds were filling in and it was only a matter of time before the rain would start. To me, that was good and bad. Rain meant that The E-Street Band was most likely going to perform a cover of Who’ll Stop The Rain. That was terrific, because it was a song that I had never seen the band perform in concert. The downside of the rain was that, well, we were going to get seriously wet. Neither Cathy nor I had brought a raincoat or a poncho, and it was inevitable that we would just have to soak it up.

We settled into our seats and waited for the band to make their grand entrance. Cathy and I had only been dating for three months, so our relationship was still exciting and new. We could sit there and stare at each other, not having to say anything and the moment was perfect. We talked a little, but mostly we just enjoyed one another’s company.

The sounds of Frank Sinatra’s Summer Wind filled the stadium and we all knew what that meant. It was time for some Springsteen. The band casually strolled to the stage to the Summer Wind and took their positions. Bruce and Clarence came out together (last) and a colossal roar broke out from the crowd. Once Bruce and the Big Man were in position, the opening notes of none other than Who’ll Stop The Rain filled the air, and I knew that this was going to be a magical night.

Who’ll Stop The Rain led into The Rising and was followed by Lonesome Day; The Ties That Bind; and My Love Will Not Let You Down. During those songs, the seats filled to capacity and the man who would become my best buddy for the night took his seat next to us. We sang along to the first 5 songs overjoyed. A Springsteen concert has the tendency to do that to people.

Bruce addressed the crowd for the first time after My Love Will Not Let You Down and joked about the rain. The band then broke into Something In The Night and I screamed my head off. Anytime that any song from Darkness On The Edge Of Town or Born To Run is performed, it’s just fantastic. To me, those have always been the two greatest Springsteen albums ever produced. Hearing Something In The Night live was a rare treat for me and I sang every word of the song.

Later in the concert, the band would perform Racing In The Street, to which I would once again go nuts and sing every lyric of the song. It was at that point that my new found friend, who had been casually talking to Cathy and I between songs, professed his love. “I ;ove this guy!” he exclaimed, putting his arm around me. “He knows every word to ever song! Now that’s a true fan!”

Cathy was laughing and found it quite amusing that this guy was almost hitting on me. I smiled and laughed too. It felt nice to be recognized for being the die-hard fan that I was (and still am). It made an impression on my new buddy, and that made an impression on my new girlfriend (Cathy and I had only been dating for a little over 3 months at that point). It was a fun way to spend a Friday night.

Special songs from that night were plenty. In addition to the two aforementioned Darkness songs, Cadillac Ranch showed up as the first song of the first encore. My new buddy was to my right and my girlfriend was to my left and I had my arms around both of them. We sang and danced to Cadillac Ranch as the rain continued to fall on us. We lifted our heads to the sky and let it rain right on our faces. We didn’t have a care in the world.

As usual, Bruce and the band continued to play, looking like they were never going to stop. Cathy could not believe how long the concert went on for and I enjoyed every second of it, hoping that the night would never end. But, like all grand concerts, this one too came to a close. Dancing In The Dark finished the night off and as the rain finally started to taper off, Cathy and I sat, waiting for the crowd to push out of the way before we made our exit. We sat in our seats holding each other and basked in the glory of what we had just witnessed and participated in. It was a magical night that we would remember forever.

For Cathy, it was her first Bruce concert and it made her a true, die-hard fan. From that moment on, she was a Springsteen fanatic and would attend every concert of his that I would go to in the future. For me, I fell in love with Cathy. She was so happy, so genuine, and so radiant with joy, that there was no way you couldn’t fall in love with her. The two of us strongly bonded that night, and it’s a memory that we will share forever.

Who’ll Stop The Rain
The Rising
Lonesome Day
The Ties That Bind
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Something In The Night
Empty Sky
Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
You Can Look (But You’d Better Not Touch)
Worlds Apart
She’s The One
Mary’s Place
Racing In The Street
Into The Fire
No Surrender
First Encore
Cadillac Ranch
96 Tears
Bobby Jean
Glory Days
Devil With The Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly
Born To Run
Second Encore
My City Of Ruins
Land Of Hopes And Dreams
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
Dancing In The Dark

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just picked up Springsteen's 'The Promise' box set companion book The Light in Darkness, amazing original photos and stories frm the Darkness tour. Limited Edition