No Surrender!

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (1.54mm, f/2.4, 1/180 sec, ISO25)

What a night! I’m a Bruce Springsteen fan since I’m a teenager but this was the first time I saw him live.

A hot and humid summer day in Vienna, a big stadium, a crowd of 60.000 and a true rock star. No opening act, no announcements. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band enter the stage, Bruce just says: “Hello Vienna, one, two, three, four!” and than it starts with “No Surrender”. Within the first minute you are soaked into the song. It’s just amazing.

The sound was horrible and the video wall was out of sync but you don’t care. On the first two songs you could see that the band was also fighting with sound issues but they just plowed on. The sound improved and the band played like they are on fire.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (7.5mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO50)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (7.5mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO100)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (1.54mm, f/2.4, 1/100 sec, ISO50)

It was all about the songs. There was not much in between. Bruce did not talk in between the songs and most of the time one song blended into the next. It was great, like the perfect flow. The only song from the latest album was Nightshift from the Commodores  and it was absolutely fantastic too. You could feel how they enjoyed to play this song.

As already mentioned that the sound wasn’t great and maybe it was a tad too loud but it transported the sheer force of the band. “Last Man Standing” played in the middle of the concert was a perfect break and short recovery for my ears. Bruce Springsteen just accompanied by Barry Danielian on trumpet. It was very emotional as Bruce explained before the song that he is the last man alive from his very first band. You could not feel the age of Bruce or the band during the concert but of course if you are 70+ you have lost a lot of friends already and he acknowledged that.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (5.1mm, f/1.6, 1/25 sec, ISO640)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (1.54mm, f/2.4, 1/50 sec, ISO500)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (5.1mm, f/1.6, 1/50 sec, ISO400)

I already talked about the perfect flow but it got even better at the end of the show. It started with Badlands followed by Thunder Road, the last song of the show. But of course that’s where things only started. There wasn’t a real break before the encores, they just moved on and raced through Born To Run, Bobby Jean, Glory Days, Dancing in The Dark and Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.

Then the light went out and the band left. On stage remained Bruce Springsteen and performed “I’ll See You in My Dreams”. All alone in front of 60.000 people. What a perfect end of a perfect night!

When friends told us about the concert I was reluctant to buy the tickets because I’m not a big fan of stadium rock. I much prefer the smaller concerts. I love to see the band without the need of a video wall. But I’m glad that I bought the tickets. It was just amazing. I got all his records but I particular remember when I got the Live LP box for Christmas in 1985. Five records full of amazing music and songs. I was only 16 years old and my English and most of all my experience in life wasn’t sufficient to fully understand the lyrics. But what I understood perfectly well was the passion: This is true rock!

Almost 40 years later my English is much better but most of all I gained life experience. I now get the lyrics and I deeply understand the meaning of the songs. Nobody managed to describe life like Bruce Springsteen.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (1.54mm, f/2.4, 1/35 sec, ISO1250)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (1.54mm, f/2.4, 1/50 sec, ISO400)
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (5.1mm, f/1.6, 1/9 sec, ISO1600)

I’m so glad that I was in the stadium that night. That I saw a man and his band to perform like they were in their 20s. So full of passion even at the end of a long tour. It just amazes me how energetic they play after all those years, after performing those songs thousands of times.They do what they love and it keeps them young. I hope they will go on for a couple of more years.

Before the concert I got this T-shirt but I left with so much more: with a memory for life and an important message. No matter what life throws at you: “No retreat baby, no surrender!”

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (5.1mm, f/1.6, 1/250 sec, ISO32)