Friday is Boss’s Day: Madison Square Garden, Oct. 17, 2007

 

Photo courtesy of Backstreets.com

My friend, Matt Stephens, called me out of the blue last September and said a mutual friend of ours, Robert Olive, had bought four tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden and “did I want to go?” My first instinct was “there is no way I can go.” Then I got to thinking about it, talked it over with my wife, and we decided it was the chance of a lifetime and that I should just do it.

 

Before the show, we went to go see Late Night with Conan O’Brien. I was hoping for a “Boss” sighting since Max Weinberg is on the show, but we found out soon after we got into the building that the band “Mute Math” was playing. Actually, they were pretty good. Anthony Hopkins was also on the show and played a clip from his strange new movie. All I could think of was “straight to DVD.”

 

 

So we headed over to the Garden. It takes forever to get in because thousands of people are trying to cram through one entrance. While I was waiting, I tried to get on MTV to talk about Bruce, but they apparently wanted no part of the fat guy with the dumb look on his face who was obviously “trying to get on TV.” We finally get in and I don’t know what it was, but there was something about the Garden that was magical. It felt different than any other concert arena. It was going to be a good night.

 

The lights go down, Bruce yells “Is there anybody alive out there?” and we were off to the races. “Radio Nowhere” hit you like a ton of bricks right out of the gate. “The Ties that Bind,” an excellent “Lonesome Day” followed, and the crowd was going nuts. The people in the pit were packed in like sardines, and everyone was on their feet from start to finish, screaming and yelling. I had never encountered such a crowd of fans in my life. It was awesome.

 

About midway through the set, Bruce and Patti strolled up to the microphone. At that moment I can hear the guy behind me saying “don’t do it, Bruce. Don’t do it.” He was talking about playing “A Town Called Heartbreak” from Patti’s recently released CD, Play It as It Lays. I heard a big sigh of relief when they kicked into “Brilliant Disguise.” One of the highlights of the evening was “Thundercrack.” A song I really like and had never heard live. It was really well done, although I’m not sure most of the people knew what it was.

 

This was clearly the best Bruce concert I have ever seen, and that includes the first one back in 1984. The band’s energy level was at an all time high, Danny Federici was there, they played some of my favorite songs (especially from Magic), and everyone looked like they were having the time of their lives. Seeing the Garden crowd when the lights went up for “Born to Run” was unbelievable.

 

Robert teaches sixth grade at Jewish school on the Upper West Side and one of his students was there with us. As soon as the band wrapped up “American Land,” I turned to him and said “you will never see anything better than this.” It was truly a night to remember…in more ways than one.

 

MP3: “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” (live)

YouTube: “Born To Run” (MSG – Oct. 17, 2007)

YouTube: “Badlands” (MSG – Oct. 17, 2007)

Backstreets Magazine

Bruce Springsteen Official Website

 

 

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