Last night, I attended the Bruce Springsteen show at the Greensboro Coliseum. Marcia Gan had an extra ticket and asked me if I wanted to go.
I went. I had never seen The Boss with or without the East Street Band before so, I couldn’t say no. I had to go. He’s one of those performers where you can say, “Yeah, I’ve seen them in concert.”
I should tell you upfront, I’m not a big Springsteen fan. I’ve got the essential LP’s and CD’s to make it through life. That’s all I’ve ever needed. Just a few to enjoy and to round out my record collection.
Bruce opened up the show with a song that I didn’t know. Then he followed that with another song that I didn’t know. And on that second song, I knew that I was trouble. The Boss was playing a harmonica and singing into a microphone with some distortion and heavy delay. And during this song, he was stomping his boot clad foot on a board to keep the beat. On the video monitors, the camera went in for close-ups of not only Bruce’s face, but also his beat-keeping foot. I personally found it a little too artsy for my tastes. I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, “What in the hell?”
The pre-concert beers were knocking on the exit door and I had to get up and let those rascals out. I tried not to disturb the other attendees as I moved along the aisle. I wanted to be respectful to the real Bruce fans. After all, most of them would gladly die defending the artistic integrity of the ‘Nebraska’ album.
I started to walk out and noticed that the usher had the exit/entrance roped off. She opened it for me but she couldn’t let anyone inside until Bruce finished the song. Okay, I don’t have a problem with that. I totally understand the NHL no seating until stoppage of play. Something that the people of Greensboro could never understand while professional hockey was in this town.
After using the bathroom, I went to find another beer that I had made room for. I looked around and noticed that the beer stands had no lines and no bartenders. I stopped to rub my eyes and when I opened them again, nothing had changed.
I asked the usher what the deal was and she handed me a list of “rules” for this particular concert.
*There will be no intermission.
I thought that sucked. The Coliseum seats are rather uncomfortable because they face forward and The Boss was to our left. I had to change up my seating arrangement from time to time. There were also times when my neck was starting to act up with stiffness.
*All guests must be seated by the start of the first song.
How in the hell is everyone, EVERYONE, going to be seated by the start of the first song? I asked the usher if they were equipped with cattle prods to get folks from the lobby and concession stands to their seats.
*All concession stands will close 10 minutes prior to the start of the show and will remain closed for the duration of the show.
The usher told me that because of the heat wave, they were going to sell food, soft drinks, and water. But, they weren’t allowed to sell beer.
What kind of egomaniac is Bruce Springsteen? How does he expect the Coliseum to make money? How does he expect people to enjoy his lesser-known songs without the help of mind-numbing alcohol?
I don’t know what the cost of parking was but I’m sure they jacked it up to Rockefeller levels to make up for the lost beer sales.
For the record, I only knew three songs that he performed and for the most part of the show I was slightly bored. I noticed no KISS shirts in the mostly male crowd. I also noticed the lack of breasts being exposed. There were no couples making out and feeling each other up during the performance.
That was most definitely a concert experience that I have never witnessed and I did feel a little like Gary Coleman at a white power, skinhead concert. I’m the kind of guy that feels at home with explosions going off, performers smashing guitars, and naked breasts being shown for public appreciation.
All in all, I never have to see The Boss again. I can now say that I’ve seen Bruce Springsteen in concert and I can get on with my life.
But The Boss ain’t no Cheap Trick.