Bruce and me, Leeds, 24th July 2013

On Monday I went to see the film “Springsteen and I” at the National Media Museum in Bradford. The cinema has had a refurb and it’s an even better venue now. The film was ok but I would much rather see Bruce live, so on Wednesday I did just that.

This was the first time I’ve been to a big gig on my own and given that my relationship with him is one to one this was fine!

I got to Leeds mid afternoon and parked the car easily at the top of the Merrion Centre which is bang next to Leeds Arena. It was 28 degrees and I thought that if I was going to stand in the queue for any length of time I would be roasted alive so I popped straight into Boots for some factor 50 and then into Sports Direct for a bargain cap.

I’d booked a ticket for the Badlands fan club pre-show party at Tiger Tiger. It was lovely and air conditioned. Mark Wright played some Springsteen songs, he’s a good performer but he just isn’t Bruce.

I drank a bottle of Peroni in the afternoon which was something I haven’t done for a very long time indeed. Then I was a bit chilled by the air con so I left to get in the queue for the Arena.

It was weirdly now quite cool outside and I had to worry if I would be warm enough! I got into the queue and had a chat with a nice couple from Boston Spa. They turned out to be friends with Nils!

Bruce was rehearsing so there was a bit of a wait, you would think they knew the songs by now, as it turned out he played some rare songs so these would have needed rehearsing. At last I got into the Arena and went straight up to the top. It’s very well designed so that there’s a good view from all seats, mine was right at the front of the top tier so not bad but I would have loved to be closer (some of my work colleagues managed to get much nearer, grr).

I got myself a pint of Heineken and a small veggie pizza, well designed, more like an actual pie in shape so it held the contents in. It wasn’t bad at all. As well as getting good marks for having a veggie option they also sold salad in a pot which is a first for this type of venue.

The only thing the Arena needs to sort out is that the loos didn’t have catches on them which meant that all the women coming out were having a good moan. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “there’s no catch on the door!!”

In my seat and Bruce was half an hour late getting on stage. On my left I had a man who just absorbed intensely and on my right was a couple who moved not a muscle and clapped politely. Really I don’t know why they bothered to come. Everybody around them was on their feet and joining in as per usual.

The show was one of the best I’ve seen and my highlight was If I Should Fall Behind as acoustic solo prior to Thunder Road at the end.

But still no Frankie for me so looks like I’ll just have to go again, I need to be closer to him. I have been once, at Milton Keynes on the Human Touch tour but perhaps if Bruce could just pop in for a cold beer and some home cooking then that’ll be just fine…

Max Weinberg, Soozie Tyrell, Nils Lofgren and Bruce

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