Whether you are a close friend, casual acquaintance or semi-regular radio listener, chances are you understand one basic tenet of my life:
I go to sporting events for work and concerts for fun.
I'm a music geek. I'd rather see a well-rehearsed cover band than many first-place teams. My favorite live performer of all-time is (are you sitting down?) Bruce Springsteen. Yep. I'm one of those sportswriter dorks who has attended dozens of Springsteen concerts across the country and I'll watch DVDs and crappy iPhone videos until the wee hours.
Folks ask me "Isn't the show the same every night?"
I answer, "No, it's not."
There are plenty of books, magazine articles, scholarly think-pieces and videos - both professional and amateur - that I could cite to prove my point. I'll simply offer the case of Australian teen Nathan Testa, who was a star at the recent E Street Band show in Brisbane. Nathan was in the pit in front of the stage with a sign: “Missed school. In the sh*t now. Can I play ‘Growin’ Up’ with you?”
Springsteen, who has been known to indulge similar requests, asked him two key questions: Do you know the song? Do you know it on guitar. Within a minute, Nathan was on stage creating a lifetime memory for himself and thousands of fans in attendance.
OK, that was a magical moment.
But, it gets better.
Four years earlier, Nathan Testa joined Springsteen on stage.
It's moments like these that keep geeks like me coming back for more. The last time the E Street Band visited Milwaukee, I took my 15-year-old to the show and was prepared to let her miss first period at school the next morning (she didn't).
If/when the band rolls through town again, I'll probably drag someone else to a show, too, so they can see that it's definitely not the same show every night!