3 Dec


Its midday, bright sunshine streaming through the blinds, I need my sunglasses. And I’m scared, or at least I was. (It was Halloween not so long ago, ok?) And way back then I didn’t know what the hell I’d do if A Night with the Jersey Devil suddenly became a reality…

And now I can celebrate Thanksgiving and not be scared of the boogie man anymore, because, wait for it, wait for it, he’s coming and it’s about fucking time!

It’s just over a month since the glorious announcement was made that the greatest live act in the world today, that is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, is finally going to shake their salivating and long waiting South African audience to the very core of their beings. Clearly that mantle that Rolling Stone draped across those well chiselled Dutch-Irish-Italian shoulders belongs nowhere else but right there.

Needless to say, the weeks leading up to those dates in January (26, 28 and 29) and February (1) next year in Cape Town and Johannesburg, it’s going to be all about The Boss. Can there be any sin in this? No thought needed here, no reason or explanation, after all “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive”.

Springsteen himself said “The first day I can remember lookin’ in the mirror and standin’ what I was seein’ was the day I had a guitar in my hand.”

Next year it will be 50 years since the first cords were struck on that black and gold electric Kent. And in the time that has passed, Springsteen has grabbed me and legions of others by the soul, stuck his hand deep inside into the core and tickled and teased and touched places we didn’t even know existed. Sometimes with and sometimes without the E Street Band, but always through his albums, live performances and tours across the globe, he has managed to do something that few can lay claim to – he has stayed true, to himself, and therefore by default, to “The Boss followin’, legendary E STREET FANS!”

There’s that undeniable unifying factor, moulding thousands of souls into one big family with The Boss as the head. They come in all shapes and sizes, young and old, alone and together, with and without names, but all with a story to tell.

The man himself has a whole bag of tales he sometimes hauls out and which usually start with the customary Springsteen chuckle and “This is a true story” wisecrack. Point in case and observed during a 1992 MTV Unplugged recording – “This is the hard, cold truth here…” and then he launched into a tale about how, as a child, they lived on the third floor of a building and he had to walk through an abandoned hair salon at night and it freaked him out completely, all those hair dryers in the dark. And then he stopped himself, said “That whole thing, there’s not a word of truth in it, hie hie, all right, where were we…” and launched into Growin’ Up.

At his legendary concerts, Springsteen and his band of merry music makers romp through set lists of 30+ songs in a way that can only be described as ass-kicking. Sometimes the deliverance is in the hard, hard way of rock and roll, sometimes with the virtue of a hymn, and sometimes with the delicacy of a love song.

And always, always there’s a receptive audience prepared to feel every single syllable, every single note and believing the man is speaking to just them. Such as at his last concert in Europe earlier this year in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Like Amy from the USA and Richard from the UK (she with a Vivienne Westwood dress in tow, don’t ask…); like the Irish family of five plus uncle that proudly sung along to each song like they were the E Street Band; like the suit-and-funny-tie-wearing youngster who promised to keep a space right next to the stage (he didn’t…); like Sherry and Jason from Georgia that went to the very first Wrecking Ball show way back in March 2012 in Atlanta and closed it out in Kilkenny; like the bandana-strapped Irish lad at his 34th Springsteen show (by the looks of it surely more than what he was old in years); like the countless others on any given night.

When ordinary fans, people like Amy and Richard, and Sherry and Jason, and truth be told, me, are searching for those elusive and intangible words to describe just what that thing is that we want to vocalize, he says “Yeah, I got you man, I know exactly what you wanna say, I don’t know you, but I know you, know what I mean? I got you man, I got you.”

Springsteen speaks in just one language, the only way he knows how – the truth and with a soul laid bare. He delivers nothing but the real thing, there is no trickery involved, nothing foolish or fake. What you see is what you get.

That is magic. Even for the man himself, still, to this day.

“Music is magical. Music stops the clock. That’s why people come. For three hours, time seizes. It is the one place where for a brief moment you are the master of space and time, for real, you know. And I’m experiencing it myself. I don’t know how old I am when I’m on stage, you know, I am as old as I am and I’m 16 and I’m 6, you know. I don’t know anybody that can really explain music, what it does to the brain and what it does to the heart, but it does something that we need, that everybody needs.”





One Response to “BRUUUCE IS COMING!”

  1. s0und0fmusic December 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Reblogged this on s0und0fmusic.

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