Hanging with 20,000 of my Closest Friends

Adam Bruderly
June 19, 2023

We recently attended our fourth Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band concert, each of which has been an unforgettable experience. Every time I leave the venue, I find myself questioning how he consistently delivers such powerful performances. His illustrious career, which commenced with his first concert in 1972 at the tender age of 23 and has spanned five decades, has blessed us with generation-defining music that has become the soundtrack of our lives.

I not only wonder about his methods but also his motives. And for the first time, as the lights brightened at the end of the show, I think I grasped why he continues to create and perform. As much as we, the audience, gain from his music and the communal experience of sharing it with an arena full of Springsteen fans, I believe he and the E Street Band receive an equal, if not greater, emotional return. He can sense the bonds his music has fostered, the memorable moments underscored by his songs, and the tough times his music has helped people endure. I vividly recall the emotions I felt when I first listened to 'The Rising' in 2002 about a year after 9/11.  I comprehend the unity of 20,000 voices harmonizing to 'Born to Run,' but I imagine the experience of standing onstage, hearing the lyrics you penned being sung back to you, is on an entirely different level.  As much as we say thanks Bruce, he is saying that right back to us.

“Tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.”

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