Paul Goodwin

Who's The Boss?

Published on Fri 1 Jul 2016

I crossed another one off The List! Outrageous! This time Bruce Springsteen. I toyed with the idea of getting a ticket to Wembley when I first heard about it, but standing had sold out within about 2 hours so I didn't bother. Then with about 2 weeks to go I thought "you know, I'm probably not going to get many more chances to do this" so got one off Stubhub. Third time lucky with these secondary ticket sites; it was completely smooth. Unlike my journey there. I narrowly missed the train I was aiming for so had to wait an hour for the next one, which was then delayed for about 20 minutes while they tried to couple two lots of 4 carriages together. It got to the point where they were taking a run up and smashing them into each other.


Andy, who you may remember from the End of the Road Festival/ Las Vegas many years ago and his partner Bea were going too, so I met up with them at the end of Wembley Way (an hour and a half later than I promised), only to find out that they had to go in a door on the opposite site of the stadium to me anyway, so I went off and queued for about 45 minutes on my own with the official radio station of the show blasting out Paul Weller. Dicks. Still, Wembley is very well labelled so it wasn't too hard to find them again. It's a pretty impressive place.


We waited by the sound booth as the pitch filled up, only for two incredibly smelly herion addicts (complete with weeping sores/falling teeth etc. - they were really happy to be there though, which I guess is nice) to come and stand directly in front of us as soon as it started. I still got a big chill down my spine when they started, but only stuck it out for a few songs before moving back. The sound at pitch level was pretty wishy washy and there was only 1 song out of the first 17 that I knew, so it didn't seem worth putting up with. I guess I should've done my research a bit better - I knew it was going to largely be The River at the start. 41 Shots and The River itself were absolutely spectacular, as was Badlands when it eventually came (every song started with 1-2-3-4 and every time I thought it was that). Tougher Than The Rest was a predicatble tribute to Mohammed Ali (Andy and I had been trying to guess what it would be - my favourite was either "Rumble In The Jungleland", "Pummel of Love" or "Secret (Madison Square) Garden".


The encore had Dancing in the Dark and a solo acoustic version of Thunder Road, which were both great, though I'd have preferred a full band Thunder Road. People seemed to be enjoying themselves.



The band were all outrageously good at playing and were dressed like musicians used to dress (almost ot the point of looking as if they'd been dressed as musicians). It made me miss being in bands. I've been to two shows at Wembley Stadium, 20 years apart, with the stadium having been rebuilt in between them, but Little Steven appeared at both of them (guesting with Crown of Thorns, Bon Jovi's support act) in 1996. He's a lot less little this time, and reminded me of a cargo ship slowly moving around the stage. 

I had a really good day, though the gig itself wasn't really all I'd hoped, despite having its moments it's been a long time since I've stood in the sun in a big crowd having a beer and watching music. I miss it. Also there's now a 5 Guys at Kings Cross.