I spend the whole day time in the apartment today. As I mentioned, I’ve had a bit of a head cold and knowing that the evening was going to be a long one, I thought it best to save my energy. We headed out to the Bellville Velodrome mid-afternoon. Doors were to open about 6:00pm and we had tickets for the main floor which was standing. People stood in line early to get wristbands to be the first 300 or so allowed in the very front section. It’s quite special to be in that section because it is limited to a small number of people and there is room to move around. This time we didn’t go super early to get in that front space lottery because we were just happy to be there. It’s also a pretty small stadium that holds about 10,000 people so compared to stadiums like the Oakland Coliseum, how bad could it be. However, because the concert gods were looking over us and because T knows really cool people, someone she knew on the crew came out to say hi to us and handed us the coveted yellow front section wristband. We-were-golden.
As always, it was a fantastic show. No need for opening acts or comedians to light up the crowd. He came out singing “Free Nelson Mandela” and that is all it took for audience to be caught in the trace of 3 straight hours of Springsteen. I will say, on this occasion, for me what was truly endearing was watching the fans. Some came from other parts of the African continent, Germany, Ireland, England and of course South Africa. I was in awe watching dozens of older men whose youthful energy percolated out of their weathered skin as they all danced and thrust their arms in the air as they sang the lyrics of each song word for word and the freckled young man who belted out each tune with just as much enthusiasm and spirit. I wanted so badly to know what their stories were, what brought them to this Basilica of Bruce. I can imagine that for many, this was the first time they have seen their hero in the flesh and they could not contain their tears. Wishy washy as you may find story, it is a true account of what I saw and it WAS a celebration.
I am truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be apart of his first tour in South Africa. I’ve said this many times before. Life is good. Be well-behaved, make good choices and then go enjoy the fruits of life.
Click to Day 5