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29 March 2003 – Bruce Springsteen concert

My apologies for getting this to you later than I said I would. I didn’t get home from the concert until after 1am this morning, and I was just too knackered to write about anything, so I just crashed and fell fast asleep. Today I was relaxing around Auckland – I took a few photos from the Sky Tower and other locations around the city. (I’ll put them onto the photo page later. They include photos from yesterday and today.) Right now I’m at the airport waiting to catch a flight back to Wellington, so I’m taking the opportunity to write about the concert.

On 3 occasions last night, I was 10 feet from ‘the Boss’. How do I describe the feeling? For 18 years, I’ve been listening to his music, reading articles about his life, his feelings, and the reasons for his music. I’ve been watching video clips, and wondering what it would be like to see him live. The wondering is over, and the reality is that it’s soooo much better than seeing video clips! (Duh!)

It was pouring down with rain all day yesterday, and most of last night. It started to dry up around 9pm, an hour after the concert started. I was exceptionally happy that I brought my super-duper ‘dryzabone’ raincoat that farmers wear a lot over here. I got to the concert at around 5pm, and was standing there in the VERY heavy and unremitting rain until it stopped at 9pm. While many others (who had come unprepared) were literally soaked through and shivering, I was dry and comfortable and very happy for it!

His very first song was an acoustic version of Born In The USA – because of Gulf War II, I’d imagine – and he followed that with a cover of a Credence Clearwater Revival song, “Who’ll Stop The Rain”, a song especially for the rain in Auckland – naturally the crowd went wild. He followed that with “No Retreat, No Surrender”, one of my favourites.

I was surprised that “The Rising” was the 4th song they did, because it’s The Rising Tour, and every other concert has opened with that song, I believe. Auckland was different, I think in part because of the war, and also because of the rain.

I can’t remember the order he played the songs (update: song list is below), but it was a mixed set, with songs going back to Born To Run (1976), through to the latest The Rising album. It was just under 3 hours, and was literally non-stop.

The only times there were pauses were when he finished, but then came back for an encore of more songs (encores below are after the ———). Then they finished again, but did another final encore which ended with Glory Days and Dancing In The Dark – both fantastic songs to end the concert.

During that time, there were 3 occasions when he came down onto the lower platform of the stage, which ran along the entire front row. I was leaning on the rail surrounding the ‘mosh pit’, and I was right up the front about 3 people away from the stage. So on those occasions when he ‘played to the front row’, I was only 10 feet away from him.

At the time I was just enjoying the music and his performance, but thinking back on it now, it’s like… I was THIS close to the greatest rock musician in the world, who’s 53 now, been playing for over 30 years, and is STILL going amazingly strong. I was watching a legend, and now my life is complete. *grin*

5pm update…

Well, it looks like Wellington airport is closed due to bad weather, and my 5:30pm flight is now tentatively rescheduled to 8 or 9pm, when they’re hoping the weather will begin to clear. However, they warn that the possibility exists that there might not be any flights tonight. Great… just great…

10:30pm update…

They tried a flight at 7pm, to see if it would make it to a landing in Wellington, and thankfully, it did, arriving safely and even without any turbulence. For the first time ever, there was no turbulence as we came into Wellington. No wind, and it was warm. The fog had lifted somewhat when we arrived, which is why they were able to successfully land. The airport had been closed for about 4 hours.

I’ve been spending the past couple of hours chatting with some friends online, relating my excitement about last night, and finding what people talked about on various discussion groups. It’s been fun, almost like a ‘debriefing’, or a ‘coming back to earth’.

List of songs played last night:

Born In The USA
Who’ll Stop The Rain
No Retreat, No Surrender
The Rising
Lonesome Day
Darlington County
Empty Sky
You’re Missing
Waiting On A Sunny day
Promised Land
Worlds Apart
Out In The Streets
Mary’s Place
My Hometown
Into the Fire
Thunder Road
Bobby Jean
Born to Run
My City of Ruins
Land of Hope and Dreams
Glory Days
Dancing in the Dark

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