ROMAAAAAAA! ROMAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! You’ve just seen the heart-stoppin’…… Wait a minute! Maybe it’s better if I start from the beginning, isn’t it?
After what happened the 16th of July at Circus Maximus, Rome will no longer be an ancient city were romans used to live, Rome will be remembered as the city that hosted God and his fellas in a wonderful and epic summer night. Rome will no longer be known as the capital of Italy but the land of the origins of rock and roll. Rome will be recognized as the city that witnessed a 3 hours 52-minute show, remaining as the 3rd most large show in Bruce and ESB history. In conclusion, for me Rome is no longer a place, it’s forever home.
My journey to Rome started on Friday 15th. My E Street Family and I landed in the city in the afternoon and soon met with other two friends. We decided to go to the venue to pick up numbers but to our surprise 24 hours before the show more than 2000 numbers had already been given! Rome, you will be crazy for sure! Rome craziness got us so deeply that the morning after we woke up at 7 am and were cueing from 8 am till 3 pm. In the end we could not get into the PIT but it was fine too as Circus Maximus had some very cool spots from where to watch the show. The wait was long and tedious and it was very hot and sunny. However, we could wait in a fantastic shadowy area till the show time so we did not arrive exhausted to the main hours.
The sun was right behind the stage and we felt that it would be a blinded by the light kind of show. When it was almost 8 pm, the sun started to go down and a fantastic reddish light was left in the clear blue Rome sky. My friend told me: “Today is a perfect night for Sandy, don’t you think?”. He was so right. Circus Maximus was an open air arena, with people seated in the grassy floor waiting to a show to start while witnessing a beautiful and colorful sunset. I thought to myself that if Sandy was played this would be the best show ever.
We were at our place, waiting for the show to start as we chatted a little bit with the people around us. When, all of a sudden the first compasses of Ennio Morricone warned us that something big was about to happen. “Oh, wait! What? Is this a violin? How? Oh my God, these are a lot of extra violins! NYCS? No, it can’t be true, he played it last time! But then, what’s the reason of them? Sandy? This makes no sense! This is not possible! Bruce has with him THE guitar!” The confusion at the beginning was real! I think that we all knew what he has about to perform, we just could not really believe it!
So ladies and gentlemen, with a Circus Maximus showing the band a sea of red hearts and the audience shaking of shock he said the magic words: “Ti amo! Grazie! Per Roma!” and Roy did the rest. The first tears of the show started to fell of my cheeks and through all the song they did not stop. This was absolutely surreal! I still have to pinch myself so as to know that it was not a dream, that I heard “NEW YORK CITY SERENADE” live. Every single part of that song is simply perfect, I mean, the piano intro draws a dark scene where I imagine a dark and dingy narrow street of New York but then, simply but powerfully some guitar notes appear and completely change the scene. For me it was like that sensation when after a huge windy and thundering storm the sun starts to shine again, coming from some fluffy and shinny white clouds. Bruce’s voice throughout the song was on spot: you know, he did not have to shout, he just recited the lyrics of the song, letting us become a character of that epic tale. I don’t really know how to describe the greatness of that first performance but I just want to point out that: If that was the first song, what would it be awaiting us?
What we witnessed in that dusty venue was completely out of this world. We talked about dreams and we made them real. We also could enjoy fantastic soul and blues covers and we enjoyed our trip down to the river. There we had to face some raw truths but also some promising and encouraging life lessons. We dived through the friendship of The Ties That Bind and the rage of Jackson Cage, from the freedom of Out In The Street to the desperate escape in Independence Day (one of the highlight of the night. The whole crowd singing along with Bruce was pure magic) and of course we met with Sherry, Two Hearts and a Hungry one, with You Can Look (Hey you! Get out of that car!) and we Ramroaded all night long. The show was brought to another level in songs such as The River, Point Blank and Drive All Night. Bruce looked deeply touched by those songs and he made us feel so too. He whispered part of the lyrics just to let us know that sometimes the best things are the ones that do not stand out and that can pass unnoticed. And the more he said “don’t cry now”, the more we cried as in that song Clarence presence was particularly strong. “Clarence is here” we yelled.
Fight was also present in the show in songs like Death to My Hometown and a flawless acoustic version of the relevant the Ghost of Tom Joad. One thing is for sure, the highway was alive and it will always be.
There was also a reserved seat for love and Tougher Than the Rest offered to fill it. In that song, along with our beloved gone friend Bobby, we learnt that love and friendship is something you must work everyday on it in order to be forever surrounded by it.
If you could pick one only song of the show, which one would it be? Doubtlessly I choose JUNGLELAND. The song where our own dreams gun us down but two hearts keep beating beneath the city. This was one song I was really hoping to hear once live and it was beyond amazing, it was performed above all previous prospects. Here I can only say one thing: thank you Jake Clemons. Thank you for keeping your uncle spirit alive. Jungleland is something that means a lot to us and we could have never asked for someone better to keep filling our hearts with it after 2011. From the first notes of the piano and the violin, the tears covered my face as this song…. What can I say of Jungleland?….this song perfectly captures the essence of the E Street Band and their dedication and passion. Everything is tied up right in that song. God bless you Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band, that’s all I can say.
ROMAAAAAAA! ROMAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! ROMAAAAAA! Now we are right back at this point! In conclusion, you’ve just seen the legendary E Street Band. I really love shows that end with an acoustic song, and if it is Thunder Road, then it is even more spectacular. Why? Well, I just love the feeling of singing along only with Bruce, a guitar and a harmonica (and about 60.000 people more I believe) and then end the show with the promise that we will go somewhere else, a place that we can choose, our own Land of Hope and Dreams.
Thanks for the treat Rome! Thank you E Street Band for making us feel the happiest people in this whole wide word! I am forever grateful for this weekend! Rome was surreal, Rome was insane, Rome was beyond amazing, Rome was the best show I have seen in my entire life & I won’t ever find the way to say it. So all I can say is: DAJEEEEEE ROMEEEE! You have been amazing, you’ll always be special!
Before I have mentioned that for me NYCS was like that sensation when after a huge windy and thundering storm the sun starts to shine again, coming from some fluffy and shinny white clouds. I would like to say that the relieve you feel after a Bruce and ESB show is the same one you feel after a storm, for me. Let me explain it better, personally I believe that all of us have a dark side, a part of ourselves that we want to forget or maybe just don’t want to think about it. That’s our own storm, something that cause us darkness and leaves us defenseless as it does not matter how far we run, the water will continue pouring down and leaving us wet. But then, luckily, the rain stops and rays of sun appear again to remind us that every dark moment can be overcomed and that now, after the storm, the atmosphere is more beautiful, fresh and clear than before. And that’s for me a Bruce show, that is what means the intro and the rest of the song of NYCS to me.
Then, if a Bruce show makes us feel that, why was Rome the best one I have seen in my entire life? Well, in Rome Bruce gave me a lesson, a very valuable one. That night I learned that I should not run and try to scape from my own storm, as running away will only leave me exhausted and wet. Bruce taught me that our storm is something we can end up enjoying too. Because, without the storm how will we be able to appreciate the sun? All in all, I learnt that in life everything is a matter of balance. To enjoy the joyful moments in life it is important to endure some blue ones, the same way as to enjoy New York City Serenade you have to be aware that during that intro someone got hurt. And again, the same happened during Jungleland, the whole action of the song happened in the saxo solo. Someone got hurt and others lost their dreams and maybe the chance to achieve them someday. But they won’t leave the Jungleland. Why? Because the Magic Rat was in Rome to, and he learned that we must walk tall or don’t walk at all. And even more important, we learnt that music is the only one that can take us and carry us Rome.