Bruce Springsteen Rocks Kilkenny
LAST weekend saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band hit Kilkenny city for the final lap of their Wrecking Ball World Tour. Two amazing gigs were lined up for Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park on Saturday July 27 and Sunday 28. News that Bruce would be finishing up his world tour in Kilkenny city came last January when Aiken Promotions made the announcement with the help of 2fm’s Hector in the Set Theatre in Kilkenny. Since then there has been huge excitement and preparations around the county as everyone got ready for the biggest weekend ever to hit the Marble City.
The atmosphere around the city was absolutely electric since last Thursday when Bruce and crew arrived. Some lucky fans got to meet Bruce Thursday night outside of MacDonagh Junction’s K-Bowl in the city centre where he had a private bowling party. A privileged few gathered outside and waited for Bruce to make his exit where he chatted and signed autographs with adoring fans for almost ten minutes. The Boss stayed in the Mount Juliet Estate in Thomastown for the weekend, where he was reportedly very down-to-earth and friendly.
Some of Bruce’s die-hard fans travelled to all of his European gigs and some even queued for the pit in Nowlan Park since last Wednesday – now that’s dedication! Bruce kindly rewarded the rockers in the pit by interacting with them throughout the gig. Bruce and the E Street Band opened with This Little Light of Mine which certainly got the crowd going and set the mood for the evening ahead.
Kilkenny city transformed and people came from far and near to catch a glimpse of the Boss, even if they didn’t have a ticket. Locals who lived near Nowlan Park sat out on deck chairs and dined al-fresco as they listened to hits such as The River and Born in the USA. One true Bruce fan did his research and established that Bruce is in fact part Irish – an O’Hagan; and the people of Kilkenny certainly did make the Boss feel at home in Nowlan Park last weekend.
I attended the concert on the Saturday where Bruce Springsteen was supported by Josh Ritter, Damien Dempsey and Glen Hansard. Gates opened at 1pm and the crowds flooded into Nowlan Park from that time onwards. The weather also held out and the sun shone down on the crowds in Nowlan Park to make it an extra special weekend. Bruce and the E Street Band entered the stage at 7.30pm after a superb performance by Glen Hansard who later joined Bruce for a duet.
Bruce rocked from the word go and interacted with the audience, bringing people up onto stage and getting some kids to help him out with the lyrics. The 63-year-old did not disappoint and he sang his heart out for about three and a half hours, varying between his greats and new hits off his Wrecking Ball album. Bruce has also just been named as the Number 1 live act right now by Rolling Stone Magazine – what a man! The two days of gigs kept Kilkenny hopping and with Bruce being played in all of the pubs, he kept Kilkenny hopping into the early hours of the morning too. Sunday saw another thrilling gig by the Boss and although the Kilkenny Senior Hurling team lost out to Cork in the All-Ireland Quarter Final in Semple Stadium the players rocked alongside Bruce in Nowlan Park. It’s a weekend that will certainly be remembered!
Photo credited to brucespringsteen.net