Tuesday 17 September 2019

Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney unplugged in full flow during UK gig

Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt of the E Street Band performing at Hyde Park on Saturday night
Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt of the E Street Band performing at Hyde Park on Saturday night
Carla Carbonell and Jordi Sole queue outside the RDS for tickets to the Boss's Dublin concerts
Heidi Peterson from New York and Anne Hahn of Germany also join the queue

Kevin Keane and John Bowd

BRUCE Springsteen's Irish fans will be crossing their fingers that the star's two Dublin concerts don't suffer the same fate as his gig in London at the weekend.

Westminster Council pulled the plug on the Boss's Hyde Park concert as he belted out Beatles' tunes with Paul McCartney, after the concert already ran past its 10.30pm curfew.

Fans from around the world are already queuing outside Dublin's RDS for his shows tomorrow and Wednesday night.

With a similar curfew in place, they will be hoping for a more measured approach from the authorities here.

An estimated €50,000 in fines were racked up by Springsteen and the E Street band the last time they played in the RDS in July 2009, when they breached the curfew by 15 minutes with their first concert and 19 minutes at their second gig.

On that occasion, the singer joked to the crowd that the band had to go as they "had a curfew" to which the band's guitarist Steve Van Zandt said: "We don't care about the curfew, this is the curfew-breaking Boss and E Street Band."

However, Van Zandt, who starred in the drama series 'The Sopranos', was taking matters more seriously over the weekend as he said: "English cops may be the only individuals left on Earth that wouldn't want to hear one more from Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney!

"On a Saturday night! Who were we disturbing?"

McCartney had joined Springsteen (62) and his band on stage at the Hard Rock Calling Festival following a performance by the American star that had lasted more than three hours. The New jersey-born singer greeted the former Beatle (70) by saying: "I've been waiting for this for 50 years." Westminster Council said turning off the sound was necessary to "comply with the licence" that permits the performing of live music at Hyde Park -- but many criticised the move as over the top.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: "It sounds to me like an excessively efficacious decision. If they'd have called me, my answer would have been for them to jam in the name of the Lord."

The plug was pulled after the E-Street Band was joined on stage by McCartney and they launched into a series of Beatles hits including 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Twist and Shout'. In a series of tweets, Van Zandt criticised the authorities and organisers, writing: "One of the great gigs ever, in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?

"We break curfews in every country but only English cops need to 'punish us' by not letting us leave until the entire crowd goes. I'm sorry but I have to be honest I'm p*****. Like I said, it didn't ruin the great night. But when I'm jamming with McCartney don't bug me!" Springsteen and McCartney's microphones were turned off before they could thank the crowd, forcing them to leave the stage in silence.

A statement from concert organiser Live Nation said it was unfortunate that the performance was stopped "right at the very end" but it said that the curfew had been laid down by the authorities "in the interest of the public's health and safety".

A similar curfew will be in place for Springsteen's two Dublin concerts this week.

Last night, an employee of concert organisers Aiken Promotions declined to comment on whether a similar move could be employed if this week's gigs go over their allotted time.

A large number of the 66 fans who had already begun queuing outside the RDS yesterday were present at the London concert, and agreed that the curfews in Dublin are likely to be broken.

"He breaks curfews all the time because he likes to play three-hour shows or more," said New Yorker Heidi Peterson, who was in Hyde Park and is a veteran of more than 100 Springsteen gigs.

At the head of the queue was Carla Carbonell and her friend Jordi Sole, who have travelled from Catalonia in Spain for the Dublin concerts.

As the first person in the queue, Ms Carbonell is in charge of administering the list of those present and their place in the line, she explained to the Irish Independent. She has tickets for both of this week's shows and has seen the Boss play a total of 22 times already. "Every concert is different, it's like seeing him for the first time you get to be part of the show." She missed the London gig on Saturday evening as at that stage she had already been queuing for a full day outside the RDS.

"I would be very, very angry if that happened here," she said.

Irish Independent

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