I think it was back in April that we were driving up to Ottawa and heard on the radio that Bruce Springsteen tickets were going on sale for the Toronto stop of his Wrecking Ball tour. Jen practically squealed in her seat. I took that to mean she was a fan. Not having figured out a birthday present yet, I tucked that information away, and when we got to Ottawa I jumped on the internet to buy some tickets!
Crap. Well there went that idea. Jen would have to settle for a big box of charm for her birthday. But maybe, just maybe, the internet would provide some way for me to get my hands on a pair of those tickets.
With great unease, I went to e-bay looking for tickets. Finding tickets was easy but it was weeks before I finally took the leap and purchased two tickets that weren't stupidly over-priced and weren't up in the nosebleeds. I bought the tickets and within a week I had them in my hand. They definitely looked legit but I was still paranoid about getting ripped off. Jen even took them in to a ticket master outlet to see if they could verify their authenticity. They couldn't so we had to wait until August 24 and a ride out to Toronto to see if they were honest to god legit tickets.
Now I'm not a big Springsteen fan. I know some songs and I'll tap a foot along but that's where it ends. My original thought was that Jen would take one of her friends to the concert. Afterall, the concept of me going into the heart of Toronto and voluntarily surrounding myself with thousands of people was inconceivable. But Jen insisted I was the friend she wanted to go with. Awwww. Couldn't say no.
So, last Friday we got out of town by 3:30 and crawled along rush hour traffic to end up in downtown Toronto two hours later. On the way we heard that parking was going to be at a premium because of the busker festival and CNE that were going on. Great. The Force was in full effect as I turned around block after block of cramped Toronto streets until finally ducking into the underground parking of the RBC center. Have to make a note of that here, ALWAYS park here when going to Toronto. $10 flat rate and easy access in and out of the city. Take the York St. exit.
I hadn't realized until that day that the concert was actually at the Sky Dome and not the ACC. We walked on over and it was with great relief that our tickets were scanned successfully at the entrance. Phew! Took us quite a bit of wandering around the Sky Dome before we found our way down to the field. The seats were pretty decent. We could see the stage but the big screens were going to provide most of the detail. I couldn't imagine going to a concert there and sitting in the stands.
The show started shortly after 8:00 pm. And it was all Springsteen. For 3 1/2 hours he gave it his all. It was an impressive display of musical energy. I was skeptical of Springsteen after his geriatric display at the 2009 super bowl. But the old man is still kicking with all he has. The only reason the show ended at 3 1/2 hours was because of Toronto noise bylaws. I'm sure he would have kept going for another hour if he could have.
The Sky Dome itself is an intersting venue for a concert. With the roof open, the sound was still good and there's definitely an energy being surrounded by 40,000 die hard fans. And oh there were fans. Two 20 somethings beside me were going balls out, hooting at the first chords of every song, and fist pumping, and singing ALL the words, and doing some curious dance moves reminiscent of one Cliff Huxtable with fists at nipple level and grooving upper torsos. Weird. And there's something unsettling about being at a rock concert where the majority of the attendees are my parents' age and they are rocking harder than I ever have.
I wasn't a fan going in and I'm still not. It was an impressive show but the music itself doesn't do much for me. I felt bad that I was such a stiff while Jen was so obviously enjoying the show. But she said she had fun in spite of me. I'm going to call that a successful birthday present.