Boss Brings City to its Knees

The Boss and the BandBruce Springsteen was supposed to be playing to 60,000 people at the Etihad Stadium last night. I say ‘supposed to’ because quite a few missed the show because the city was in a lock down of total traffic chaos.

It was caused by a combination of bad timing – the show started at 6:30pm, coinciding neatly with rush hour – and five idiot drivers who either managed to drive into one of the city’s trams or get their cars stuck on the tracks. I’m guessing people who were unfamiliar with the city.

But the sheer size of the audience has to have had an effect. Having 60,000 paying punters at £90 a head is a tad greedy in my book, especially since for most, the only glimpse they would get of the Boss would be on the giant screens.

You can tell that I’m not a fan of today’s giant venues. I’ve only been at one when a few of us went to watch the Rolling Stones play at Roundhay Park in Leeds in 1982. It was like watching puppets prancing about as the tiny figures danced on stage in the distance, plus it was daylight which is hardly the right atmosphere for an act like the Stones.

I swore I wouldn’t bother with such a venue again, which more or less ruled me out of going to concerts ever since because big venues are where the big money is to be made. I made an exception at New Year though, but then I was more interested in Hogmanay as an event rather than in who was playing.

But back to Springsteen, I saw him play on 13th May 1981, the first of his two nights at the Manchester Apollo for the 1981 River Tour. There would have been a few thousand people in the old theatre, the lights were low and the acoustics perfect for rock and roll, so you can imagine that I had a thoroughly good time and my only regret then was that I hadn’t bought tickets for the second night.

I wonder if the smaller venues will ever make a comeback. Somehow I doubt it. Hey ho, I should finish with a video of the Boss in action, but I decided to go with the camp Big Daddy version of Dancing in the Dark instead.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

9 comments… Add yours
  • Roger O Green 26th May 2016

    “I saw him play on 13th May 1891” Boy, you BOTH must be WAY older than I thought.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 27th May 2016

      Ooops! That’s what comes of posting in a hurry. But you may be right – I recall part of his act then was to say that he was too old for rock and roll “I’m over thirty years old!”

      Reply
  • Mosh 27th May 2016

    Beat me to it 😉

    Reply
  • Mosh 27th May 2016

    Small venues don’t need to make a comeback – they’re doing very well indeed. With the way music is changing, these huge stadium-filling acts are dying off and not being replaced. Music itself is low on the list of things that make bands money now – it’s all about merchandise and the best way to shift that is touring.

    I’ve been in Glasgow for about five or six years now. Half my life is devoted to covering live music (the other half to my real job) and I’m *still* encountering new, small venues popping up to help host the ridiculous amount of live music we have here.

    Glasgow has everything from the likes of Shadow Sound (holds 60 – SIXTY) to Hampden, which is nearer your 60,000 and tends to host the likes of AC/DC, Foo Fighters and so on. In between we have the SECC, Hydro, Academy, ABC (and ABC2), Garage (itself with three distinct venues – main, G2 and Attic), Nice n’ Sleezy’s, Broadcast, Stereo, Audio, Cathouse, Classic Grand…

    On any given week I could realistically go to any one of fifteen gigs. And that’s bands playing music that *I* like, never mind all the other genres.

    Honestly, live music has never been so prevalent for the punter. It’s just a matter now of making it more profitable for the musicians.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 27th May 2016

      I’m sure you’re right Mosh – I’m more out of touch than I care to admit. I read at the weekend that ABC were making a comeback and I’d quite like to see them live as I missed them first time round. The Theme from Mantrap is still a favourite track of mine.

      Reply
      • Trevor Rowley 27th May 2016

        Here’s me sticking my neck out, Mr P. If memory serves me well, I think ABC were promoted as a Sheffield-based outfit although, by some quirk, their front man came from Stockport. No doubt, this would give you and Mr Pudding something to mull over.

        Reply
        • Mr Parrot 28th May 2016

          You’re absolutely correct Trevor – Martin Fry is from Bramhall. That’s thing with these Yorkists, always claiming folk from Lancashire and Cheshire as their own. Michael Vaughan for instance.

          Reply
  • Yorkshire Pudding 27th May 2016

    I am very surprised by your musical tastes. Until this moment I had you down as an Osmonds/Take That/Boyzone kind of guy. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

    Reply
    • Mr Parrot 27th May 2016

      Catholic in my tastes, but with a small ‘c’.

      Reply

(will not be published)

Scroll Up

Thanks for taking time to send this report

The following text will be sent to me: