Our “plan” for New Year’s Eve was to go to our favorite neighborhood pub… but had we truly “planned” our evening, we would have known in advance that it closed at 4 pm. After waiting 15 minutes for service at another favorite neighborhood restaurant, we raised our white flag and headed home to order pizza.
We threw a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live album onto the turntable, popped the bubbly, and waited for Papa John’s. And somewhere along the way we decided to watch Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live in Barcelona.
If you have ever watched “Live in Barcelona,” you’re thinking “why would you drag your soul through the wringer like that on such a festive evening?” And if you have never watched it, you don’t know what it means to be a human being.
The DVD was recorded on his tour for The Rising. The Rising was written shortly after September 11, 2001, and tells the stories of people whose lives were directly affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center. According to this article, The Boss called widows whose lost loved ones were identified as his fans in their obituaries to be able to tell their stories. So you might imagine how moving and sad songs like Empty Sky (I woke up this morning to an empty sky) and Lonesome Day (Baby once I thought I knew / Everything I needed to know about you) could be. But you can’t imagine how watching Bruce Springsteen sing them can make you realize how trivial and unimportant so much of what we consume our lives with truly is.
Mercifully, there are some optimistic and hopeful songs on the album to bring you back to a place of joy. And that joy feels so good after a bone-rattling, half-dozen-tissue sob. Mix in some other great Springsteen tunes, and you have a recipe for How to Fall In Love with Bruce Springsteen.
The whole experience is spiritually cleansing, and is a perfect start to a new year. My headache is too cumbersome to formalize my “resolutions” (which I started thinking about around Yom Kippur and should probably nail down by now), but what I know is that they have to be less about me than about how I appreciate the people around me. I’ll get back to you on how all do that after a good nap, but for now know that I don’t take you for granted!