Bruuuuuuuuuce!!!!!!

Top three on my bucket list as of April 25th, 2012:

1. Attend Bruce Springsteen and the E street Band concert.
2. Discover lost city of the ancient world and take many pictures but tell no one.
3. Watch Chicago Cubs win the world series.

I came to Springsteen late, missing out on his most popular years save for a cassette version of Born in the U.S.A.   Sure it was good, but how much credibility could you really give Dancing in the Dark?  Well, as it turns out, a lot.

The concerts have long been legendary, from his ten consecutive sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden to the New Years Eve performance at Nassau Coliseum during The River tour.  For reasons that had to do with poor timing and poverty, I never made it out to see a show, and considering how many times I’d listened to the records, belted out the songs in the car while stuck on the 110 and learned to play my favorites on the guitar and piano, well, this was just ridiculous.

On the USC campus, on a Thursday night, I was set to cross off number one on the bucket list.  It was not, I should mention, how I imagined it.  First off, I was sitting down, which seemed somehow wrong during a Springsteen show.  Second, my seat was facing the back of the stage, in the last row at the top of the arena.  I was also drinking a lemonade, which had never figured into my Springsteen concert fantasies, but was the cheapest and most convenient beverage option available, and while I won’t go so far as to say it was good, it was at least cold.

“Are you ready to be transformed?!” Bruce playfully asks the audience before counting off into Badlands, and from the very first note it was a great concert, from start to finish, new songs and old. Relentless energy throughout, which would be impressive even without considering Springsteen’s 62 years of wear and tear. How much longer can he do this? How much longer will he want to?

There has always been this sharp divide in his career, this blend of elegiac, poignant lyrics and shamelessly joyful rock shows that border on the religious for audience and band alike. We settle for catchy tunes on the radio, but no different from every art form, we crave meaning from music. No wonder his concerts are as popular now as they were in 1975, for who doesn’t want to go have a great time at a rock show that entertains wildly while at the same time inspiring a communal sense of purpose and, differing interpretations aside, are undeniably and pointedly about something.

Anyway, some great music to enjoy, in no particular order, save for the last, which is my favorite, and will always be my favorite, undiminished by time, age or memory.

Nebraska

Darkness on the Edge of Town

No Surrender

Shut Out the Light

Thunder Road

Revised top three on the bucket list as of April 27th, 2012:

1. Watch Chicago Cubs win the world series.
2. Discover lost city of the ancient world and take many pictures and tell everyone.
3. Attend many, many Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concerts.

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