We arrived at the Victoria & Albert Museum at 9:45am, thinking we were late and had just missed our 10am ticket entry time–only for the guard to tell us the museum wasn’t opened yet, but that when it did open, we just had to walk straight ahead to the entry for the exhibit. And we stood there as the crowd grew and grew, and people walked up and said that they were there for the Special Exhibit but didn’t have tickets, and the guard told them that there were already 400 people waiting upstairs (we took the subway route from the South Kensington tube station, so were underground) and that they had to go up there. I clutched my tickets tighter.
This show was a bonus. We had already booked our trip to Spain and Paris, with some extra days after Stade de France to enjoy the city. Then HRC got added and there was no way we could be in Paris if Bruce was playing in London. Despite my advice to other people to consider carefully whether they want to stand in a field all day and despite my insisting I would never do this again (a big consideration as to why we skipped Nijmegen), we bought tickets and booked the first train on the Eurostar (which everyone started calling the ‘Bruce-star) Sunday morning.
There is not much I can actually say about this show. Tonight I wrote the News report for Backstreets, which is more detailed than the reports I usually file for Brucespringsteen.net and there isn’t much I left out of the Backstreets report.
It was a Saturday night in Paris on a BITUSA anniversary and what you got was what we got the third night in Stockholm, a show for the people in the back row and the people on the side and the people drinking beer.
Concert Review: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Estadio El Molinon, Gijon, Spain, 27 June 2013
Springsteen in Spain is hot and loud and smoky and bouncy and pretty much everything you know about from the Barcelona DVD. The fans started the queue on the Wednesday the week before the show, and by the time we arrived on Sunday night I was just happy to be under 200. (By comparison, I arrived at the Dublin queue at 4pm the day before the show and got number 163.)
It had been a few years, me and Charlie and Keef and Ronnie and Mick. Sure, I saw them at 12-12-12, but the last time before that was 2002. I wouldn’t have even been here were it not for those magical $85 tickets, the Stones hating the scalpers so much they were doing everything they could to keep them out and get us in. The $85 tickets entitle you to a random envelope with two tickets in it; we had horrible seats in very upper level and just when I was resigned that at least they were side stage, but worried I wouldn’t be able to stand and dance, at 8:50 a gentleman appeared at our section with a stack of tickets and we were magically upgraded downstairs to the first level. Where there was plenty of room to dance, and no one sat down for any reason except to catch their breath.
First, there were the signs. There were just signs, but there were signs, at least one or two at shows, I think I saw as many as four or six at the recent Scandinavian run.
This is not new, this is not unusual, it’s not like the fine Springsteen fans of Europe just discovered the song. But there is a certain sense of urgency to hear it, whether people want to say it out loud, there is a thought that this might be the last chance to hear it.
There were discussions while we were in the queue. My learned colleague Mr. Radecki would explain that “Serenade” is a song that Bruce just can’t play off of a sign, it requires rehearsal. Well, so does MF “Wages of Sin” and that was clearly rehearsed within an inch of its life with no problem.
Then, people started to get creativ
We literally spent weeks if not months researching airfare deals for this summer’s excursions. Scandinavia came together because of a new budget carrier called AirBerlin, which flies from JFK to an assortment of European destinations via–you guessed it–Berlin. This was all fine, except for the part where we left an hour late, so we landed an hour late. This was even fine, because we were automatically rebooked onto a SAS flight, and I was so placid about this issue that I walked to the connecting flight singing the opening riff to “Zoo Station” until my companion realized what I was doing and rolled his eyes so hard they almost fell out of his head.
It was, quite honestly, all fine until we landed in Stockholm… only to see the dreaded See baggage agent regarding delayed baggage sign on the baggage carousel. This left us standing in our first European queue of the trip along with a handful of other AirBerlin casualties, texting our friends in the GA line that we would probably not be queuing tonight, as well as frantically emailing our AirBnB host that we were running a little later than we expected.
I reviewed this show for brucespringsteen.net (link pending). If you loved tonight’s show you should go read that one.
I am not exactly sure when, exactly, I started to lose hope in tonight’s setlist. I was happy to see “The Promised Land” in a spot befitting it, opening the set. “Out In The Street” made sense as the second song on a Saturday night. I couldn’t bitch about Wrecking Ball songs being high in the set given how much I bitch about Wrecking Ball songs not being in the set.
The opening number can sometimes tell you a lot about what the show that follows is going to be like, and “I’ll Work For Your Love” as a show opener is a very definite statement of intent. The return of Magic material had me doing the Snoopy dance on the inside, mostly because I would have looked very stupid doing it during the song. Of course, I got to make up for it one song later when the band walked out and slammed into “Long Walk Home”. Magic! If it takes a bunch of Finnish fans to get him to remember this album and how the songs are worth playing – there were more than a few “Long Walk Home” signs – I’ll start importing them to the US personally. (Fan exchange program!)