Sunday, September 23, 2012

Communing with New Jersey

My husband and I saw Bruce Springsteen on Friday night at New Jersey's MetLife stadium (formerly the Meadowlands). Hate those corporate names. Anyway, it was the eve of Bruce's 63rd birthday. There was much preconcert tailgating...
And 40- and 50-something moderately soused fans, big hair, distended bellies, high heels and all. On the bus over from Port Authority, I sat next to a woman from Western Australia or W.A. as she called it. The Australian dollar is now so favorable to the U.S. that she told me she was finding NYC incredibly cheap. In any case, she had come from Australia to follow part of Bruce's tour through the U.S. She had been to 17 of his concerts in her life (all with her sister) and, on this round of Bruce mania, had flown from Chicago to Philly to D.C. to NJ to see all seven of his state side shows. That is devotion. And Bruce, on the eve of his 63rd birthday, is as soulful, heartfelt and energetic as ever. But I have to admit, I was very aware of time passing, of Bruce getting older (though he still looked AWESOME in his tight denims, especially from behind), of my own impending 50th, of the fact that I remember so clearly what it was like to see Bruce for the first time, in my late teens. (The girl behind me threw up on my head, but I still really enjoyed the concert, which tells you something.) How can I remember my late teens so clearly, remember what Bruce looked like so clearly, line-free....yet be almost 50?

I realize that when it comes to rock icons, they are embedded in your brain the way you remember them as a teen. Peter Frampton. Mick Jagger. Roger Daltry. The Boss. And it's kind of painful to see them in their 60s and 70s--painful and joyful at the same time. They are still making music. I am still enjoying it, but with a keen sense of time feeling tilted in a single direction--forward, relentless.

1 comment:

  1. Memory Boss leapad between stage levels. Now Boss steps up with a bit of effort. Now Boss moves like I feel sometimes: a bit slower, achier than before. Memory Boss exuded testosterone-drenched vitality. Young girls swooned before the stage. Now Boss radiates an energetic happiness that heats the crowd with nostalgia and a musical intensity that keeps most everyone in the huge stadium on their feet for the duration of his 3 hour performance marathon. Memory Boss's playlist was like a jukebox in my head. Now Boss's playlist was largely unfamiliar. But his soulfulness is undiminished, and he leaves no doubt that he is the original, the one and only, BOSS -- Hubbie