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I'm a music photographer living in Los Angeles. Here is where you can read about my experiences as a concert photographer, songs and albums I especailly like, my thoughts about the latest music news, and other things that relate to music and/or photography. Enjoy!

By Sarah McLean, Mar 17 2016 07:00AM

The Rising, Bruce Springsteen (c) 2002
The Rising, Bruce Springsteen (c) 2002

Last night, or, more accurately earlier this morning, I saw Bruce Springsteen close down the LA Sports Arena with an epic concert where he and the E Street Band played double album The River in its entirety.

This is, surprisingly, only the second time I’ve seen him live. If only because his shows last 13 years, not the 3 plus hours you’ve been lead to believe.

Instead of talking about how great he is live, and how energetic his shows are and how when he asks for the fifth time “Are you still with me?!” and you respond, “No, I’m tired and want to go to bed!” and blah blah blah, I want to recount the first time I saw him.

Picture it. Summer 2003. The Rising had just been released the previous summer. I traveled from Portland, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts with a group of friends. We had 4 tickets for front row seats.

Putting it less dramatically and more realistically:

What should have been a 2 hour drive took over 3 hours due to heavy traffic, we arrived shortly before show time only to find that the ticket I was lucky enough to be holding (not any of the tickets my friends were currently in possession of, all of which I had purchased) was for a seat in the upper level that seemingly did not exist in the worst New England fog I’d experienced in a long time.

(editor’s note: we did know beforehand our seats were upper level and not “front row”, but, ya know, front row in the upper level)

So for 30 minutes I sat on a cold, slightly damp step, barely able to see the stage, while the group next us to refused to slide down the one empty seat so I could sit in an actual chair.

To clarify. They refused to even consider that, maybe, just MAYBE, the seat numbers on the tickets MIGHT be one number off, on a account of human error, and that this EMPTY seat to their right MIGHT actually be a seat for an ACTUAL ticket holder, and that this person who just so happens to be sitting on a concrete stadium step, MIGHT rightfully belong in that empty seat.

Withstanding traffic, nosebleed seats, incorrectly numbered seats, dense fog. Ah, the things we endure for The Boss.

And with all due respect to The Boss, this memory is the one that stands out the most. The fact that someone could not have cared less, been less concerned about other people, or even acknowledge a clearly evident mishap to move down one seat. Especially when every other seat in the surrounding area was occupied.

On second thought, I misspoke. My second prominent memory from that evening is, from my stadium seating of course, constantly thinking that the drunk cougar dancing on the other side of the aisle was going to fall over the rather low-for-an-upper-level railing and plummet to her death.

I feel like Bruce put on a good show. That’s at least what I tend to hear about his shows anyway.

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