woensdag 18 juli 2012

July 14th/15th: Last Minute To London, # 2

We already had the strongest suspicion that Bruce would join John for a song or two ;-) and the Italians next to us told us that Bruces roadies were onstage setting things up, so that spoiled the surprise for the rest of the crowd too. But I think nobody was really surprised.
Bruce Springsteen got onstage, everyone “Bruuuuuuuuuce!” and he introduced John saying something about dressing up in flannel for the occasion and that John is the Hank Williams of his generation. For me, it was not just fun to see Bruce Springsteen, but also there was a time when I could dream his introduction of John at the Hall of Fame, always loved that speech (the father of the flannel shirt!) and this felt a bit like it. I was there, this time.
And I have to add, he is one of those men thats aging VERY well. Actually he is sexy as hell :-D Bruuuuuce!

We all screamed our lungs out to support our John! The Bruce fans were polite, they loudly cheered and clapped for him and everything, but they didn’t really wake up until the last few songs. I could see a few people in front of me going bazurk everytime John started a new song, but mostly it felt like was just Bruces fans being nice to Bruces friend John. But that’s my view on it. And at least they were being nice!
This is the setlist:
- Hey Tonight
- Looking out my backdoor
- Born on the bayou
- Lodi
- Who’ll stop the rain
- Midnight Special
- Have you ever seen the rain
- Keep on chooglin
(the sun started shining and all of a sudden it became HOT)
- Down on the corner
- Old Man down the road
- Bad Moon Rising
- Fortunate Son
- and somewhere pretty woman!!
Encore 1: Proud Mary
Encore 2: Rocking all over the world.

John was still suffering from a cold, and what must have been his worst nighmare was coming true; his voice was far from good! It didn’t take long before we started looking at eachother going “ohno” POOR MAN!! We felt so horrible for him. Can only imagine how he must have felt, but being the professional as he is, he kept on going and made a few jokes about it, like “you never know whats coming out of there” and “I left my voice in my other suitcase!”
Kudo’s for him for not giving up!!! You’re a diehard too, John!!
It seemed to get better maybe halfway the show, but still not like it should be when you’re playing in front of a 80,000 people crowd opening for Bruce Springsteen.
We kept screaming things like “you can do it John!” and “you’re the man!” and even “we’re here!” (I think he knew we were there, as we were on his guestlist :-)
Ofcourse he couldn’t hear us, but what if he just could…

the fuzzy pics like the one above are made from the big screen!

We felt sorry for not bringing a big banner with us, but we didn’t have any time at all to think about that, let alone make one.
During Midnight Special we held our Moose banner high and kept on holding it because whatever, why not, and all of a sudden…
SHANE SEES US!!! This was not a case of “it looked like he was looking at us” no, it was clear that he saw us. Out in the crowd, row 15, our silly Moose banner. He started smiling and we started waving and jumping like our lives depended on it, and he waved back! We completely lost it, and it felt like the firs time someone in the band waved at us.
Though they were pretty far, I think I even never saw him from that far, it was not too far away to take pictures, and I took a whole lot of them cos it was such an unique view from here! Also a fantastic contribution were the two big screens. They provided unique views on the band and we really enjoyed it! Loved how they filmed Kenny during Pretty Woman! Or John seen from his back, with the endless crowd in front of him!
Alessio started holding our moose banner everytime John seemed to look in our way, and after a while Dave saw our banner too. I didn’t see it, but Robert did.
It was difficult to dance because we were stuck in such a small place and I feared falling over the bags on my right.
During the whole show, Bruce was sitting next to Julie watching the show. Every now and then they put him on the screen causing new “Bruuuuuuuce!” from the crowd.
Everybody in the crowd sang along during HYESTR! That’s pretty impressive from 80,000!
It was Bad Moon Rising that triggered the audience, everyone was cheering and singing along now.
All this time there was this extra microphone standing next to John that wasn’t used yet. Robert thought Bruce would join him for RAOTW, and when the band left the stage, and came back for Proud Mary, we were confused! Still no Bruce, maybe something went wrong?
But no, there he was. John introduced him and he walked on the stage, and they kicked in with Rocking All Over the World.
I just stood there cheering and laughing, it wasn’t flabbergasting (we already assumed this for a loooong time) but just EXTREME FUNNY.
Maybe it was my numb brain that couldn’t deal with the historical event happening in front of my own eyes, but I just stood there having a great time, and not going bazurk.
(also, maybe it would have been different from the front row) Tried to take some pictures and enjoyed seeing John and Bruce on one stage, I was happy from head to toes, every exhaustment was gone, this was IT!
Bruce only used his own microphone for a bit, then he sang face to face with John in his microphone. Ofcourse the first thing we said to eachother was “and tomorrow Bruce wonders where he got that nasty cold!”

They were having the best time ever, and it showed. Good friends on stage together! John even put his hand on Bruces shoulder.

When they walked off the stage at the end of the song, they had their arms around eachother and it was just so FANTASTIC to see, there was no politeness there, but two very very good friends, really touching.

We took a deep breath and tried to leave the crowd, to watch Bruce from somewhere in the back a bit more relaxed. We put Arnold in front, as he is the tallest and he could see just over the heads where we had to go. It turned out to be extremely difficult and annoying. People were packed so tight now, it was impossible to pass them, and staying together with 5 looked like it wasn’t going to work. In the end I just grabbed Alessio, and Anne held my hand, and now at least we would stuck together. We were cursing at Arnold “where the F are you going to man, we wanna leave, not go to the front!!” and he kept defending that he was going to the side (what he was). I think it took at least 15 minutes to reach “delay 5” and it was still way to crowded there. Arnold went to get some food, and I went to the toilets, but got confronted with The Biggest Line Ever In Human History And Beyond, and went back. Not desperate yet! We left Robert there and went back to the guestlounge; toilets without lines, and got some food. They had a lot of food to choose from, not really cheap, but at least it was way better then the obvious hotdogs, hamburger, and pizza you see at festivals.
We teamed up with Arnold again, and when Bruce started, we went to the side to watch. It started raining again and we were cold and tired, and couldn’t really enjoy the show. But as someone had told us that john was going to joing Bruce, we wanted to wait. Well, I think, the only thing we really wanted, was to sit down. The only seats were at the guestlounge, but we would never be back in time if John came, and there was no space to sit on the floor here, and it was really muddy too.
I cant speak for Arnold, but we were so exhausted, mood went down fast again. We were just standing there in front of the Mexican Food Airstream trailer. Robert was the only one really familiar with his music, and we didn’t know any of the songs.

Thoughts about leaving came, but I said it would be really silly if we left and would miss John. But did we really have to wait 3 hrs to see john? What if he didn’t come back again? Slowly those thoughts changed for “are we really stuck in a rainy, cold town with no hotelroom and our flight will only be in SEVENTEEN HOURS????”
Well, yeah, we were.
All of a sudden, Tom Morello came back on stage to join bruce, so we were slightly positive that we wouldn’t have to wait till the end to see John. I already investigated the Mexican food trailer with their cool looking staff and ordered nachos with guacamole, sour cream, cheese and salsa, and it tasted a whole lot better then the fish and chips. One of the guys asked me “what about that John Fogerty?” I said “he just played!” he said “I missed him! What are his songs? I don’t know him” me “oh you do, CCR, Bad Moon Rising, Who’ll stop the rain,…” he, towards coworker “CCR!!! I told you so!”
We didn’t pay attention to Bruce all the time, and all of a sudden, I saw a very familiar flannel shirt on the screen from the corner of my eye: JOHN IS BACK!

They did Promised Land together, what they have done before, but I think Rocking All Over The World was way, way, way cooler. Still we screamed and yelled for him there in the back and supported him like no other!
And, another new record, never saw John as matchstick man before. Geez he was so far away and tiny! 
Look onstage directly under the C in "ROCK" thats John! (Bruce is under the O)

Taking pictures from the screen totally failed, but hey, it was fun and we were there.
Time to go! Mostly because we wanted to sit down. First we checked the guestlounge once again, but it was so muddy and it was raining, so we didn’t feel like sitting there listening to Bruce. A chaotic running around on the field started involving not working ATM machines, merchandise stands, toilets and getting annoyed about running around, and Arnold went back to his hotel.
In the meantime we looked at Bruce on the screen, didn’t know ANY of the songs, and for me they weren’t really danceable either. I saw him live back in 2003 and had a superb time then, but I was on the front row, the sun was shining, and I had enough sleep.
Still, he is Bruce Springsteen, so I’m not going to say he was boring, but I slightly wondered what was going on.
On the other hand, between the songs all kinds of stuff was going on. No wonder his shows take 3 hrs! He took the banner from a Spanish fan at the front (when he mentioned he was from Spain, the guys next to us in the back went “SPAIN?!! HOLY SHT!!!!”) the banner was a request for a rare song, and Bruce kept on talking and talking and talking and giving all that attention to the poor guy, who looked like he had the best moment of his life, and his friends kept hitting him on the shoulder, as we could see on the screen.
Walking through the rain towards the merch/exit once again, a new song started that I recognized from the start: waiting on a sunny day, one of my favourites!
Nobody wanted to wait to look (cant blame them, it was raining) so I had no choice then to follow them dancing. For a moment I thought I was maybe acting weird, until I noticed that everybody around me was dancing silly dances and jumping up and down and having a blast. Way in the back!! Real great moment.
I wanted to buy the festival shirt (thank you for having girlies!) but the staff of the Hard Rock merch stand stood there all arm in arm waving and screaming along with the music, I had to wait :-D  Finally a girl let the others go and helped me, she was still singing, and I was still singing. It was one of the highlights of the day! When I got my shirt, I held the paper (…) bag under my jacket and told the others “and now I’m going to dance, dammit!” and it was ok, but Anne was already dancing, and I danced, in the rain, at least a kilometre away from the stage, having the best time. This is what music does to people!!
When the song finished, we walked towards the door, and just when we were outside the new song started… THE RIVER!!!
I completely lost it, there was no way of getting back in, and I begged the others to stay to listen, (in the rain) but the sound was horrible there, and it even made me feel depressed. Still a bit of the magic of the song was able to float over the gates towards me, but it wasn’t like it should be. I decided to get over it quick and we walked to the underground station, and into the long, dark, night.

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