Friday, 27 May 2016

So Much To Answer For #2

The weather was miserable, the M1-M6-M60 drive interminable (Google Maps predicted 4½ hours, it actually took closer to 7) and the traffic in the Manchester area virtually gridlocked, but finally, finally, we drew into out long pre-booked hotel with barely an hour to spare until Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band were due on stage. Throwing our overnight bags to the floor at check-in, we were informed that due to unforeseen circumstances, there were no rooms for us at the inn. At this point there could well have been tears, tantrums or both, so knackered and stressed were we from the journey. Fortunately, customer service is still a valued commodity at this particular branch of Travelodge and, seeing our distress, the guy behind the counter went far above and beyond the call of duty to find us rooms elsewhere in the city, with free post-concert beers, taxi across Manchester and breakfasts the following morning, thrown in for good measure. The drive back on Thursday was an absolute joy by comparison, East on the A628 out of Manchester through the beautiful and dramatic High Peaks, before swooping down across the flatlands of The Fens towards home, all in less than 4½ hours. And Springsteen? Worth every stress-filled second.

1. Atlantic City 
2. Murder Incorporated 
3. Badlands 
4. The Ties That Bind 
5. Sherry Darling 
6. Two Hearts 
7. No Surrender 
8. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Audience Request)
9. Hungry Heart
10. Out in the Street 
11. Darkness on the Edge of Town (Audience Request)
12. Crush on You 
13. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch) 
14. I Wanna Marry You 
15. The River 
16. Point Blank 
17. Johnny 99 
18. Darlington County 
19. Working on the Highway 
20. The Promised Land 
21. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day 
22. Because the Night 
23. The Rising 
24. Thunder Road 
25. Backstreets (Audience Request)
26. Born to Run 
27. Glory Days 
28. Dancing in the Dark 
29. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out 
30. Shout 
31. Bobby Jean 
32. This Hard Land (solo)


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. S,
You must have nerves of STEEL! It reminds me of when we arrived in England a couple of years ago only to find that our hotel didn't have a record of our reservation. (We were clueless in forgetting to bring our email confirmation.) Fortunately, they were able to "find" us another room, but at a higher rate than what we'd been quoted when booking it in the first place . . . and no free breakfast - scammers! Then on the day of departure from Manchester, we arrived early at 9:00 a.m. for our flight only to discover that it had been "delayed" and we would have to return at 9:30 P.M. (We did eventually take off at Midnight! - Don't fly Air Canada, folks!) Anyway, I digress. It sounds like there was a great reward at the end for all of your trouble - and good on Travelodge!

Brian said...

Rough, Swede, rough. I hope it was all worth it. Maybe you should take a few days before pondering that. Quite a set list, anyway.

Apothecary said...

Sympathise with your bad experience. Nothing worse at the start of a visit.

On to Springsteen though, I must say I've never really understood the resolute dedication and love some fans show toward him. Sure, he's written some storming songs (and yes I stand alongside him politically) but, ....I'm still counting spaces. One of my heroes is Nils Lofgren and I've always joked/contended that Bruce wasn't fit to lace his strings, ha ha hyperbole of course and cue derision from my mates but....I'm still to be convinced. Rather than making a case for Springsteen what's your view on Nils Lofgren? Musically of course.

John Medd said...

I'm not the best person to comment here; I wouldn't go and see Springsteen if he was playing in my back garden - though I did like his cameo in High Fidelity when he played on the end of yer man's bed.
A nice touch by your hotel provider - it reaffirms your faith in humanity doesn't it?

The Swede said...

Marie. It sounds as if your trip was a bit of a 'mare. As indeed ours could've turned out to be, were it not for that one guy behind reception. We joked among ourselves that we would've been happy to sleep in the car for Springsteen, but I'm actually very glad that we didn't have to test that particular theory!

Brian. All worth it mate, absolutely.

Apothecary & John Medd. I completely understand why some people aren't into Springsteen, he's way out on a limb when it comes to my own music tastes. I generally don't go for that big rock thing and there's certainly no-one else around who could persuade me to enter a football stadium - least of all any footballers. Yet he remains the one artist that I would unreservedly recommend that everyone should go and experience in concert. If, for example, you don't like Bob Dylan's records, nothing in his show is going to persuade you otherwise and the same can probably be said for many artists in my collection. Springsteen transcends that divide somehow, I've seen it happen several times. I've dragged people along who really aren't keen (what a pal I am!), yet they've then 'got it' in a live context.
I'd already seen Nils Lofgren in concert a couple of times in the mid-1970's before I first saw Springsteen in 1981. I love Grin and all those early solo albums, though I lost touch a little bit after 'Silver Lining'. If it turns up on YouTube you should check out 'Because the Night' from Manchester. It features a stunning Nils solo.

Rol said...

I would have been there with you, but I had to work Wednesday.

Instead, I'll be going to Coventry on Friday... a MUCH longer journey (I hope my Travelodge reservation is valid!) but worth it, I'm sure.

Old Pa's Corner said...

Well done TS all in the name of could always have looked for a friendly stable and borrowed some donkeys to take you to the event. And in the northern sky a bright star shone......

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