Well this week was a Gaslight Anthem fest.
To fill lulls in between Bruce tours Mike and I tend to explore other Jersey Shore artists. We embraced Joe Grushecky and Southside Johnny early on then later Jesse Malin. More of this in another week.
We also try out any bands who cite Bruce as an influence, anyone who Bruce might mention he listens to and we often check out artists who have done a decent cover of any of Bruce’s songs. In this way we get to hear new music (well new to us) without straying too far from the Main Man. Some stuff we like - some we don’t.
Anyway because of this we were well into The Gaslight Anthem before Bruce turned up on stage with them during Glastonbury and started a bit of a furore in Springsteen circles.
We went to Hyde Park - the draw of The Gaslight Anthem and Bruce on the same bill was too much to resist. Our second sighting was in June this year - mentioned in a previous blog - but this week we have seen them twice. We just had to go and support the lads in our home town of Leeds and after booking this we were persuaded to join our friends in Dublin last weekend. To be fair we didn’t take much persuading.
As two people who always sit at Bruce concerts it’s ironic that for one reason or another we have ended up standing at all The Gaslight concerts except Dublin. Hyde park was a festival anyway. At Brixton we stood way at the back but in Leeds we were almost front and centre. Definitely the oldest in that part of the venue we did our best to look as if moshing came naturally to us!
The sound was amazingly clear if a bit loud and the atmosphere was fabulous. I really enjoyed it but not sure if I would want to be quite so near the mosh pit in the future. Being drenched in beer isn’t really my thing.
Three days later at 9.00am we were sat in Starbucks on Dawson Street in Dublin. It was an early start and the weather was a bit changeable. I had printed off a list of 20 things to do in Dublin which turned out to be mainly places to eat. Breakfast/brunch being a priority we picked a couple of these places and set off. Traditionally, whenever we do this sort of thing, it falls flat and today was no exception. The first place looked like it would be opening that day but not any time soon. The second place was boarded up!
Luckily on our way we had passed a likely looking cafe boasting the best breakfast in town so we headed there for a sit down, a full Irish and a pot of tea.
The afternoon was spent resting in the hotel - the last room at the end of a long corridor - also a tradition when we go away. We needed to be ready for an evening meeting up with friends to watch the rugby, have a drink or two and something to eat. A good night was had by all although Ireland lost the rugby. A couple of pints of Guinness were consumed followed later by a bit of the Irish stew and some Irish sausages.
Sunday we spent the day sightseeing and met up at The Thunder Road Café for a meal before the gig. We met more new friends - Hi Lorcan and Adrienne, Eamon and Declan. The place, the company and the food were fabulous - much talk of The Promise of course.
Then we headed off to The Olympia Theatre.
Mike and I were keen to see Chuck Ragan who supported The Gaslight Anthem in Leeds and was here again. We were sitting in the balcony this time. Another great gig but the sound wasn’t quite so good and I don’t believe how people can’t sit down for more than a couple of songs - up for a drink, up for the loo, up for another drink. Oh and the bloke two rows in front of me kept leaning in to his mate to chat meaning that I had to dodge from side to side to see. Worse I couldn’t get in a decent position to take any photos!!! and you had to be quick because there was a bit of a jobsworth about stopping us getting out the cameras.
|After the gig|
Saw the tour bus on the way back from the pub. Well it was a coach with Rockstar something or other on the side - possibly one of these - parked outside the venue. There were still people outside the stage door. Considered joining them but it was cold, wet, late and I am too old. There is only one person I would hang around for….
So on our last day, Monday, tipped off by Ceinwen, we went to Tower Records and bought ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’
Many years after Slane Castle the combination of Bruce and Ireland worked it’s magic on the two of us. Until our Dublin trip for the Working On A Dream tour we had been two people travelling around together to see Bruce. After Dublin we made new friends and became part of a much bigger Springsteen community which is growing by the day.
Don’t get me wrong we were happy being just the two of us but the friends we have made have encouraged us to do things we may not have done and see places we may not have seen without them. They will be friends for life and we look forward to meeting them all again soon.
So thank you Ireland, thank you to our Bruce buddies and of course thank you Bruce.