Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bruce and Other Stuff

Concert Notes


The Boss, Bruce Springsteen himself came to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Tuesday. Getting old, I opted for a seat rather than to stand for what everyone knew would be a marathon session. 

True to form, Bruce came on stage at 7:40 and hauled himself off, completely drained, at 11:15. During that time he did not stop being the ringmaster to a wonderful show featuring the E Street Band and a host of supporting musicians (I counted 17 in all). Not bad for a 63-year-old.

He collected requests from the audience, including one, TV Movie, which he claimed he had never played live before. He got some people out of the audience to dance on stage. He mugged with the crowd at the front. And he got a 7-year-old on stage to help him sing Waitin' on a Sunny Day.

I still find it strange to see Steve van Zandt in person. I still see him as Tony’s sidekick in The Sopranos. And he plays the same role here – as the foil for all of Bruce’s antics and jokes.

That’s my third time seeing Bruce. The first was at Wembley way back in 19xx and the other was Bruce’s only other visit to Cardiff in 2008. One of the best concerts you could ever wish to see, and comfortably in my Top 3 of all time. 

1. This Little Light of Mine
2. Long Walk Home
3. Adam Raised a Cain
4. Prove It All Night
5. TV Movie
6. Cynthia
7. Roulette
8. Death to My Hometown
9. We Take Care of Our Own
10. Wrecking Ball
11. Spirit in the Night
12. Hungry Heart
13. My City of Ruins
14. We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place (with Eric Burdon)
15. Boom Boom
16. Cadillac Ranch
17. Summertime Blues
18. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
19. Pay Me My Money Down
20. Shackled and Drawn
21. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
22. The Rising
23. Badlands

Encore 1
24. Tougher than the Rest
25. Born to Run
26. Ramrod
27. I’m a Rocker
28. Dancing in the Dark
29. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
30. Shout
31. This Little Light of Mine

Encore 2
32. Janey don’t you Lose Heart (Solo Acoustic)
33. Thunder Road (Solo Acoustic)

Ava’s Diary
It’s been an exciting week. Finished reception class last Friday and went home with three certificates for good behaviour, lovely work and for being a great member of the class.
Then on Saturday I lost my first tooth. The tooth fairy duly arrived on Saturday night and left me with one pound. Going to use that and my piggy-bank money to buy a Disney princess book on the weekend.
As school is closed, this week I’ve been to gymnastics (RSD gymnastics in Treforest) and playgroup (Rhydyfelin) where I used to go before big school. Today its Nanna’s turn. It’s a busy life for me.
Radio Notes
One of the few time I listen to the radio nowadays is for BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Wonderfully funny, and a throwback to the days when you could be funny without saying f*** all the time. Any smut is entirely in the mind of the audience. For example “The lovely Samantha went to the church where the vicar is fond of brass etchings. She helped him rub one out in the vestry.”
It’s only a six-week run, so catch it while you can.

Music Notes
I am getting old. Or at least I am a worried parent. Why is it that on any given search through the “music channels” on Sky (their word, not mine) you are bound to stumble upon Rhianna, Beyonce or some wannabe warbling away with next to no kit on. What sort of role model does this set to Ava? A world where Liam Gallagher keeps his parka on but Rhianna is stripped down to her pants?
Oh, and don’t get me started on “lyrics”. It’s all bitches and hoes (garden hoes? letter Os?) But I’ll leave that particular rant to The Kraken, who does it far better than me. Exhibit A – this wonderful dissection of Robin Thicke’s current ditty Blurred Lines:

Travel Notes
I had the pleasure of a mobile sauna last week. It was cunningly disguised as the 14:00 Bangor to Shrewsbury “service”. “Oh, it’s the 175 model has air-cooling” the guard helpfully pointed out, as though I had somehow deliberately chosen to ride a sweltering train. 
Beer Notes
Spending a quiet lunchtime in the City Arms on a day off is one of the joys of life. A proper pub, with proper beer. 
In honour of Bruce later that evening I went for Ed’s American Red from Downton Brewery. A great 4.8% tipple.
Things I’ve Seen This Week
Saw a Peter’s Pies van on the A470 on Monday. Amongst the advertising for their savoury products was a warning, Securicor-style that “No sausage rolls are left in this vehicle overnight.” 
Tweets of the Week
“Apparently in Australia they don’t drink tea when it’s hot. Amateurs.”
-       @YorkshireTea (sponsors of The Ashes on Channel 5)
“The kid next door just challenged me to a water fight. I thought I’d tweet this while I wait for the water to boil.”
-       @itsWilly Ferrell (Not Will Ferrell)

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