It was a series of firsts. I had just turned 21, moved to the city, bought my own apartment and I was going to the see the Boss. Alone. With 50,000 other fans. He was coming to town to play at one of the biggest football stadiums in the city. I had bought 2 tickets a while ago but at the last minute, my boyfriend had a long awaited medical appointment come up.
I spent the whole day at work imagining what I would be like. My heart was racing with excitement. What will the lights be like? Will they play Born to Run? Will it really be the much talked about 4 hour spectacle? Are the E Street band really the best backing band in the world?
I left the office early to get there in good time. Of course I had my outfit planned; the regulatory tight jeans, tour t-shirt, cowboy boots and short black leather biker jacket and my hair was naturally curly so I didn’t have to have the perm as was de rigueur for 1988. Just the red lipstick that no self-respecting women would be without and I was good to go. Nervous but excited.
I was at the stadium and hour and half before the band were due, soaking in the atmosphere but mostly checking out what the other girls were wearing and filling up on junk food. I was really hoping there would not be screaming girls; I certainly wouldn’t have to tolerate that if I was here for a football match!
Soon the sky was darkening as if forming a starlight ceiling over our rock heaven.
There was movement on the stage. The crowd started cheering. The band were striding out with the confidence that befits the best band in the world as the crowd started to roar. The lights were coming on. The Boss was centre stage. The crowd cheered like they had seen the messiah. The music started and the lights flirted with our desire to enjoy every tuneful fragment of this immense occasion.
My heart beat like it had just come alive and released immediately into this magnificent melodious world.
It beat faster with every thumping drum beat through “Hungry Heart”, “The River” and then I was blown away. “Tunnel of Love” started low and raced into a cascade of sounds with the guitar weeping, the sax billowing, Patti Scialfa’s soulful tones melting like honey over the Bosses raucous singing with the passion of an innocent man pleading not to have his heart broken.
This became an iconic song as years later it formed part of the soundtrack to my own divorce.
To this day, I cannot hear that track without being taken back to that summers evening that is still one of the best days of my life. March 3rd 2009