MANNO: A night with The Boss

Some life goals I’ve set up for myself: win a competitive eating contest, remake “Jaws,” do a triple backflip and see Bruce Springsteen live. Knocked out one of these on Friday. Drum roll …

Springsteen’s an especially big milestone for me. I grew up with my mother (and, furthermore, that entire side of the family) shoving nothing but Bruce straight into my ears, day in and day out, occasionally to where I’d try my luck barrel rolling out of the car to make it stop. But in my college years, I’ve grown closer to the Boss. Before I knew it, I was in Wrigleyville shoving a slice of pizza in my mouth and waiting in the field with a bunch of aging E Street fanatics (some of the sweetest concertgoers I’ve come across, by the way).

And as much as my mother will be proud to see her son graduate, maybe start a career and make millions of dollars, I think this was more important to her. So here’s a few song highlights from the night at Wrigley:

Spirit in the Night: Bruce gave a signature monologue about ‘spirits’ before this one, which was pretty swell. But the kicker was a 62-year-old Springsteen running through the aisles on the field, one of which I happened to be leaning on (coincidence? Nah). My mother would later tell me that I am the first Manno to touch Bruce, confirming that I am indeed her son. So much energy and a great tune.

Atlantic City / The Ghost of Tom Joad: Good songs, made even greater with an appearance from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (woot!) and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello (holy!). Both left some older fans wondering “who?” and us younger folks wondering “how?!” Fantastic.

Land of Hope and Dreams: My favorite take from the Boss’s new album, “Wrecking Ball,” although I’d heard another version for years at home from a 2001 live New York track.

Jungleland: A beautiful nine-minute storybook that once relied so heavily on the extended solo from E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who passed away last year. Luckily, nephew Jake Clemons has taken the role for the E Street Band’s first tour without the Big Man. A next-generation solo for a next generation fan – and a superb one at that. Works for me!

Born to Run: “Chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected and steppin’ out over the line…”

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