Wednesday 21 February 2018

Glory days for fans as Boss hits all the right notes

Bruce Springsteen performs in Thomond Park, Limerick, last night
Bruce Springsteen performs in Thomond Park, Limerick, last night
Fans Gearoid Gillett and his girlfriend Laura Murray

Mark O'Regan and David Raleigh

THE Boss and the E-Street Band thumped out an exhilarating mid-summer vibe as 40,000-plus fans savoured rock music at its very best.

It was classed as the biggest gig ever to take place in Limerick, and locals mingled with enthusiasts from various parts of the globe.

On an evening when his set included iconic album 'Born to Run' in its entirety, Springteen hit all the right notes with the local fans.

A rendition of 'Glory Days' was dedicated to Limerick hurling fans, following the county's triumph in the Munster final at the weekend, sending the crowd into raptures.

And 'My Hometown' was dedicated to local jockey JT McNamara, who was seriously injured in a fall earlier this year.

Trainer Enda Bolger, a big fan of Springsteen, once named a horse after his song 'Fiftysevenchannels', which McNamara rode.

The omens for an unforgettable evening were there from early on. Nearly two hours before he was officially due to appear on stage, the Great One emerged from backstage to treat a small crowd of about 400 to a 20-minute impromptu gig.

Many fans had defied the sizzling summer temperatures from early on to make sure they landed a choice place in a queue which gradually began to snake round the concert arena. They joined the more unrestrained enthusiasts who had camped locally the previous few nights, determined that, come what may, they would get prime position to see their hero up close and personal.

Springsteen set the assembled throng into a frenzy once he hit the main stage.

"Good evening Limerick," he cried. "We're so glad to be here tonight and we are here to fill you up with the everlasting power of rock n roll."

One couple, from London, had between them seen Springsteen 19 times.

"We engineered our honeymoon around Bruce," explained Jonny and Katie Cantloy.

Having got married in Rome last week, they were serenaded by Bruce in the Italian capital after requesting the title of Katie's favourite song.

"He played 'My Love Will Not Let You Down'. It's one of my favourite songs. It was the second song in Rome. It made my honeymoon," Katie said.

The gig was the first of five sold-out shows, with further dates coming in Cork, Belfast and two concerts in Kilkenny.

Irish Independent

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