We sat at the top of the stadium, with a clear view of the stage and the thousands of fans surrounding it. A grandfather, walking up the stairs with his two grand-kids, who couldn’t be more than four years old.
The family sitting two rows in front, who dance to every song and know every word, to all the songs, by heart.
They are all here to see the legend, Bruce Springsteen.
The fans with backstage passes eventually come out of the wings, and the lights dim. All that’s left is the twinkling of cell phone lights and the roar of the crowd, erupting with anticipation.
And then Bruce Springsteen walks out, and if at all possible, the crowd gets even louder. I can feel the chants and applause in the pit of my stomach.
Springsteen walks up onto the stage, and grabs the mike, saying something about how happy he is to be at the Mile High City. With emphasis on the “high.”
He opens with a cover on Get Out of Denver by Bob Seger. By the end of the song he was already drenched in sweat, and a fan had thrown a raccoon hat up onto the stage.
The hat made a reappearance later in the night, accompanied by comical sound effects from saxophonist Jake Clemons.
By the time the fourth song had finished, Springsteen had fallen backwards off a makeshift stage and allowed the crowd to carry him about 50 feet, to set him back on his feet on the stage.
He did all this while singing.
Springsteen, along with crowd surfing, took the signs held up high by his fans and played the song requests, beginning with Bishop Danced. “If a 12-year-old girl wants a 40-year-old song, we’re going to do it for her,” he said. “We can do it. We’re the E Street Band. And if not, you can go home and say we f***** one up.”
He invited another little girl up onto the stage to finish off a song for him, and then picked her up and swung her around in a circle, setting her back down into the arms of her parents.
At one point, he made a crowd of at least 2,000 people completely silent, in recognition of those they had lost. This was one of many tributes made throughout the night to late band-member Clarence Clemons, who passed away June 18th, 2011.
His nephew, Jake Clemons, has replaced him on tour as the saxophonist.
Mention was also made of the recent Hurricane Sandy, and the damage which it left in it’s wake in Springsteen’s adopted hometown in New Jersey.
Bruce Springsteen filled the Pepsi Center the night of November 19th with applause, laughter, dancing, and above all, a good time. He played for almost four hours, rocking out to twenty songs, and then returning for an encore of six.
To my friend who asked me a couple weeks ago what the best concert I’d been to was, I finally have an answer for you: Bruce Springsteen.