Springsteen creates special bond with nephews

It is the hackiest way to begin a story (“It was a dark and stormy night”), but in this case, the night truly was dark and stormy, so I guess it’s fair to say a cliché led us to this moment. So, if you’ll indulge me, I want to share my own version of that time-honored story, the one of how a truck ride in Haiti led to a musical night in Nashville.

It will, of course, involve Bruce Springsteen.
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Nephew perfectly sums up magic of a Bruce Springsteen concert

Tomorrow night, I’ll be attending yet another Bruce Springsteen concert, this time in Louisville, as The Boss makes his first Kentucky stop in a decade. I’ll be somewhere on the floor, hopefully toward the front, and, at least on occasion, my thoughts will be with some of my family in the upper section. My mom will be attending her first-ever Springsteen show, accompanied by my sister and two youngest nephews.

Three years ago, my sister and brother-in-law took all three of their sons to a Springsteen show in Nashville, and while I’ve tried for years to explain to people how indescribable an experience a Bruce concert can be, I think my then-8-year-old nephew summed it up perfectly: Continue reading

Lollapalooza 2010: Sorry bands, but it’s about the food

I made a recent discovery about Lollapalooza that changes pretty much everything about my approach to the concert festival heading into the 2010 version.

It’s no longer about the music. Sure, seeing Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga and others will be fun, but really, it’s about Chicago. Lollapalooza gives me one chance each year to spend some time in my favorite city, all while having some cool music as a backdrop.
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Great Expectations: Gaslight Anthem, Hold Steady to turn Detroit into Rock City

Two important things will happen Thursday.

First, I’ll be passing through Wapakoneta, Ohio, a town I first discovered in 2004 while driving to a concert in Detroit. There’s nothing particularly special about the town, but the name became a living punchline, and every time I think of Ohio, I think of Wapakoneta. It will always make me laugh.

The other important thing comes after passing through Wapakoneta on my way to Detroit, where I’ll be seeing what could very well be one of the best concerts of my life: The Gaslight Anthem and The Hold Steady. Both bands are Springsteen disciples and are renowned for their live acts, so seeing them share a stage for a one-time-only concert could be more rock and/or roll than I can possibly handle.
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Some days, it’s just about Springsteen

I first wrote this a few years ago in preparation for a blog project I never got around to finishing. I hope to get back around to finishing the project one day, but until then, I wanted to share this story I wrote as an introduction for it. Tomorrow, I head to Nashville to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for my 10th, and quite possibly my final, time. As the band dusts off old gems each night, many fans have the feeling this might be the group’s last tour, as many of them have crossed the 60-year mark and might have retirement in mind.

Making this concert even more meaningful is the fact my sister, brother-in-law and three nephews are also going (albeit separately from me, through a fluke in schedules), meaning another generation gets to be introduced to this world-class band. Beyond that, it’s another shared moment, another shared love between my nephews and me.

Nashville, here we come.

Why Bruce Springsteen?

In the late 1980s, my sister dated Scott Rose, easily one of the coolest kids at Powell County High School. He worked as a lifeguard. He had a moustache. He drove a Jeep.
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This land is your land, this land is Cleveland

Kevin, River and The Drake brave the elements the day before the concert.

I don’t think anyone in our group cried.

To be fair, though, I think that has less to do with the emotional impact of Bruce Springsteen’s music and more to do with the absolutely miserable weather in Cleveland. Shedding a tear meant you risked having it freeze to your skin, and with the complete lack of sun in the city, the frozen teardrop could have remained there for far too long. I’m sure that would be bad for your skin.
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Tonight, about 20 hours from the time I post this (or 8 p.m. for those of you not inclined to do the math), I’ll be having as much fun as I’ve had so far this year.

I’ll be watching Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing live in Cleveland.

That in and of itself would be enough to have me ecstatic, but making it even better is that I’ll be watching it with a friend, The Drake. Making that even better is that The Drake, despite being a huge Springsteen fan, has never seen him live.

His life is about to change.
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