Queuing for five hours to see Bruce Springsteen in Manchester, UK. Standing for another four in the stadium. The wettest June day for 10 years. Connecting with a family from St Helen’s behind us. We exchanged a shared experience, but not names.
The ‘system’ breaks down and suddenly we have wristbands. Admittance to The Promised Land, the ‘pit’, the separate section in front of the stage cordoned off for two or three thousand people. Unexpectedly luck happens, the star dust falls our way. pace the die-hard fans on backstreets.com; you will have other chances, because perhaps you have the money and time to go to every gig in Western Europe and line up before dawn. For us this is once in a lifetime.
Springsteen has been the soundtrack to my life since 1977 and now I stand a few rows back (maybe ten – these things matter) and watch, marvel, dance, reach up into the darkening blue sky beyond the lights, sing, feel the rain on my face in Thunder Road. ‘…and you’re thinking that maybe we ain’t that young anymore…’ You and me both sir, but you and your music dissolve away the years in the chilly northern drizzle.