It’s only his third concert tour to Australia, and I missed the first two. So we went on 20 March. Summary: the most accomplished stage performer I have ever seen, but the music was too loud, too brassy and hard to understand.
I guess most of us knew the music anyway. I sure did.
A three and a half hour concert without a break, with enough energy to power a small city for a year. How does he do it? What was more amazing was his audience interaction: Springsteen almost never lost eye contact with his audience, and we loved him for it. Highlights:
When he strolled through the crowd while singing (I can’t remember the song, but the event was riveting), and then perched himself on a ledge in the middle of the audience, while audience members held him up. He then crowd-surfed over the mosh pit back to the stage, held aloft of hundreds of fans. I was rapt, and just about everyone else was too.
When he brought the little kid on stage with him to sing.
When he chose audience members’ signs identifying songs to sing.
When – near the end – he danced with a female fan whose flip chart he had read out during the concert.
We sat near the back (see photo) but relatively close and he did not ignore us. He came to the edge of the stage and pointed: each of us thought/knew he was pointing at us individually, and we waved back.
What a shame: Springsteen is the champion of the American working class, a supporter of Barack Obama and New Jersey, where he grew up and still lives. Almost none of this found its way into the Homebush Bay arena. He was awfully far from home, but it would have been nice to feel that connection.
Most ironic moment: Near the end, during what surely were the encores (although it was a bit hard to tell), when he asked, “Are you tired yet?”
Freakiest moment: When the lights came up and I realised that there were about six men and women perched in the rigging about 20 meters above the stage, pointing spot lights and strapped into little seats. When did they get there? How would they get down? Were they ever scared?
The most memorable concert I have been at, and I am a 30 year fan.