There haven’t been many times in my life when I was truly speechless. I’ve said it before, but I never really meant it until this past weekend.
For those who don’t know, I’m what some may call a die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan. I’ve listened to him my entire life. I own every album of his as well as obscure records making my Springsteen collection alone reach just short of 500 songs.
On Sept. 7, I experienced what other Springsteen fans may call shocking considering my age, my first Bruce concert.
On Friday morning I traveled from Murray to my hometown of Chicago to see Springsteen and the E Street Band perform at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.
I’ve always heard Springsteen puts on a great show and, of course, I’ve seen any live footage I can get my hands on, but it was nothing close to experiencing his show in person.
After arriving at Wrigley, they soon started letting the general admission tickets enter the field. I was about the 200th person to walk onto center field, which secured me a spot with only one person standing in front of me.
As I waited for the Boss to grace the stage I met some really interesting people. It’s amazing how, in a stadium filled with approximately 35,000 people and an additional 1,000 sitting on the rooftop bleachers that encase Wrigley Field, I could feel like I was surrounded by family.
While standing in line, there was a couple standing behind me who were friendly enough to talk to me while we waited. I learned they traveled from New Jersey just to see Bruce both nights he was in town. When I asked them, they told me that this would be their 48th time seeing the Boss. When they noticed the shocked look on my face they told me that was nothing. They had friends that had seen him at least 300 times.
When I finally made my way onto the field and settled into my spot I met another great group of people; Dana and her friend who came all the way from Toronto to see him. She’s seen him somewhere around 53 times. She told me she tries to catch about three or so shows a tour and each time she tries to go to places she’s never been before.
Even though Springsteen was fashionably late coming on stage, he made up for it with a nearly four-hour set, playing 28 songs and lasting until midnight, nearly one hour after curfew.
Springsteen was full of audience interaction. He took signs from the audience which had songs written on them for him to play (a Springsteen tradition he does at all of his shows), he pulled a woman onstage for Dancing in the Dark (another ritual), just like he pulled Courtney Cox onstage in the video for that song.
Several highlights from the show came along when two Chicago natives graced the stage. Tom Morello, who accompanied Springsteen on his latest album, “Wrecking Ball,” took the stage for about half of the show. Another Chicago album, Eddie Vedder came on stage to join Springsteen on “Atlantic City” and for a cover of “Twist and Shout.”
I thought that if I saw him once I would be satisfied but that, I learned, is far from the truth. This was my first Springsteen show but it certainly is not my last. I want to be Dana or the couple from New Jersey.
Column by Savannah Sawyer, Assistant Features Editor.