Imagine that you are cold. Imagine that you have been cold for years,Â that the marrow in your bones has chilled and the very core of your body has almost come to a standstill. Â Then imagine that, surrounded by snow and ice, you climb a hilltop and, after years, the sun rises. A flare of light on the horizon, then a haze of retreating shadows before it hits you and you begin to warm. Your blood flows faster, your skin flushes with the heat, and you begin to move, slowly at first, then faster and faster. Â The barriers between feeling and thought disappear as you become lost in the balm that the distant sun brings to you on that hillside, as winter falls away and spring begins.
That’s what a Springsteen show is like, what a truly great rock show is like. Somewhere between “Is there anybody alive out there?” and “The E Street Band loves you” comes a point where, if you are open to it, you become lost in the music, thought almost disappears and feeling dominates. You move your body because you couldn’t do anything else. You sing along with the anthems because they are your anthems, their stories are your stories. And with the people around you, you rise and transcend the moment of sitting in a concert hall surrounded by strangers on a warm February evening and become one with them and one with the music. And you heal and can face tomorrow with renewed spirit, with renewed energy, with the belief that it will be better because today was better.
Somewhere between “Badlands” and “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” that is the gift of theÂ heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, earth-quaking, booty-shaking, Viagra-taking, love-making â€“ Le-gen-dary E â€“ Street â€“ Band!” Â I’m grateful for it.