So Bruce Springsteen then…
Rumour has it that he starts his shows on time without exception. He was due on stage at 7pm. At 6,55 about 20,000 fans – including my brother and I – were wedged into a non-moving queue in a housing estate close to Croke Park. I was cursing the day I ever moved back to Ireland – this is silly response I know but I was feeling slightly irrational and enraged at the prospect of missing the start of the show.
And then – like the biblical sea of Galilee – the crowds parted and we floated to our seats – I think the police opened all entrances – although why they hadn’t done that earlier was what confused me.
The concert itself was good. It was not at good as the previous ime I saw him for a number of reasons.
For starters with a few notable exceptions – step on down Ms Kylie Minogue – he first time you see an artist is always the best. There is an irreplaceable air of anticipation and excitement that is hard to replicate – again with the notable exception of the Minogue.
However as I have previously described the concert in Limerick was on a hot summer evening, up the road from the Mammy’s house, and it was just magical. So it was a special event.
Croke Park is a far more vast stadium than Thomond Park – where we were sitting Bruce was only visible on the screens. In Limerick we were closer seeing as the stadium was so much smaller. The weather this time was a bit more wintery – being in May rather than July.
The last tour was based on the hit-heavy Born to Run and Born in the USA albums. The River Tour was based on the possibly more critically acclaimed ‘River’ album. I’m into the hits though.
These are minor quibbles however – he rocked the free world (and the Free Stare in our 1916 Centenary Year – he even sang ‘The Rising’ although I don’t think it was Easter related)
Afterwards we made our way into town where to our horror, hard rock bar Fibber Magees was charging a tenner as an entrance fee
We didn’t think that was necessary so made our way round rhe corner to Murrays and straight out back to the beer garden they share with Fibbers. Over the fence and into Fibbers we went where a big-haired heavy metal band was playing. They were pretty good. We stayed for 30 minutes to the end of their set and left.
Today we arose early feeling a bit ropey – we think it was the noodles we had after the concert. It clearly had nothing to do with yesterday’s concert pintage.
Lebanese breakfast (made by Irish people) and then for a quick visit to have a look at the Qu’ran in the Chester Beatty Library.
Said farewell to my brother and then went to Kilmainham Gaol for a guided tour.
Now I don’t know why I was expecting it to be different but it was grim. Interestng but grim. On what planet of delusion had I been living on to expect an 18th century jail to be cosy and cuddly.
I feel suitably chastened.