A cool breeze blew and in the distance the roller coaster streamed through a spiraling loop as the man known as THE BOSS opened his exhilarating concert with his hit single “BADLANDS” in front of thousands of screaming fans at the Hershey Park outdoor concert. Bruce Springsteen opened the flood gates to memories of my teenage years when he sang his early hits from the late 70s and early 80s. During the concert everyone’s heart was pumping, hips swaying, and mouths moving, age was not a factor. This became apparent when he reached his microphone out to the audience and a boy of 9 or 10 readily sang out the words. Bruce’s music spans the generations and his loyal fans are growing in leaps and bounds.
I’d been looking forward to the concert since my friend called to tell me she had a spare ticket back in February. It was snowing outside but the thought of going to a Bruce Springsteen concert in mid-May under the stars put a smile on my face as I cleared my car of fallen snow. The day had finally arrived. My neighbor friends picked me up and during the drive we sang along to the eclectic Bruce mix on her ipod. Most of the tunes I knew the words too were his very popular ones, but it was fun to hear the others sing word for word the less known songs too. All of Bruce’s songs are written with heart and soul. His meaningful words carry his message.
We arrived at the concert just in time to find our seats before he came out on the stage. My friend told me he turns 60 on the May 23rd. Halfway through the concert she said “I’m getting tired just watching him.” He is a non-stop burst of energy, running from one end of the stage to another, reaching out to the audience, letting the crowd know he’s performing in “PA, HERSHEY, PA, near NEW JERSEY” he tells us. Dressed in blue jeans and a black short sleeved shirt with a black vest he appears very fit and attractive, smiling, laughing and obviously doing what he loves to do. As he shares with the audience that his 17 year old daughter is attending her prom, “Security” he shouts with a smile, we are all reminded he is a father, too.
As I recalled the last time I attended a concert at this venue with my daughter for Britney Spears he pulls a sign from the audience that says, “I’ll burn my Hannah Montana CDs if you’ll sing Twist and Shout.” In an instant we are all dancing and singing to this classic song Bruce delivers with such fortitude the concert of thousands feels like it has been transported to our back yard. He is engaging, exciting and enigmatic during his performance as he continues to grab signs from the audience with song requests. There is no guessing what song might come next, because one gets the feeling he often mixes it up right then and there as a crowd pleaser. I had heard that Bruce puts on a fabulous, long and energized show. But, I didn’t think any one person could put out so much energy, rock the house with such intensity and leave one feeling they’d been at a concert that had no ending. His performance is etched in my memory.
I can’t let this opportunity pass without saying that not only do I have great admiration for Bruce Springsteen’s superb talent. I also have respect for Bruce Springsteen, the activist in the way he brings about social awareness. During the concert he took a moment to acknowledge the state of the economy and the need to give, especially now to the Central Pennsylvania food bank.
And, so when I wore the “Working On a Dream” concert t-shirt the next morning and my youngest daughter said, “Mom, he’s your new David Cassidy.” I smiled and replied, “Yes, he is.”