Bruce Springsteen came to Ireland and rocked the country. He came Leeside to Co Cork and so did the thunderstorm. We love a Springsteen concert. When tickets were announced for the 2024 gigs, we were determined to make it. It’s more fun with friends. I bought tickets for the pitch as I love to be rocking when the Boss takes to the stage. Tim was a little more cautious and opted for the seats. It was going to be whichever of us got them first. We literally struck gold at the same time.

Culinary choice

So we planned to send Philip and Aileen along with Colm and Elaine to the pitch. Tim’s back is a little problematic these days with a touch of sciatica going on so we were happy to be seated. Michael and Evelyn Kearney were coming with us. Our ‘home town’ is easy to navigate for a concert.

In recent years, Cork’s Marina Market has grown, expanded and taken shape, becoming a much loved quarter of the city. There are 35 eateries to choose from with ample seating in an elongated covered central area. We went in early with Philip and Aileen and planned to meet Evelyn and Michael inside. We had a walk around the market deciding what to have. Eco restaurant in Douglas is very popular. and they have a stall there. Prátaí, Irish potato chips with gourmet dips, is another scrumptious one – you get the most beautiful potato chips in a big, strong paper cone. They are chipped with their skins on, making them utterly crispy. Your choice of sauce is loaded on top.

We seated ourselves at a big table. Within minutes our friend Pat Lehane walked in and joined us, followed by my sister Bernadine and her husband James. It’s that kind of place, really easy to meet people and the stands are super-efficient at handling a crowd on the way to a match or a concert. Pat went off to queue at Ecos; Aileen and Tim went to Prátaí; and Philip went to Kura Suichi for his favourite nibble.

Irish Farmers Journal ponchos make an appearance at the Bruce Springsteen concert.

Meanwhile, Bernadine and James opted for Griolladh for mouth-watering pulled pork toasties. They are a Dublin restaurant that have added their magic to the vibrant Cork scene. That’s what’s lovely; there’s something for everyone. It offers loads of choice and removes the need for argument, fostering agreement. I was really impressed. There’s outdoor seating, ample bins, good toilet facilities and the crowd was managed superbly. Suitably sated, we ambled off to the concert.

The Boss

The rain did pour down. We were under cover but still ready with our ponchos. Apparently, transport providers did not manage the crowd as well as the Marina Market folk and the start of the concert was delayed by 20 minutes to allow people to get in. It’s not like the Boss to be late. He gives three hours of himself always. He began with a cover version of ‘Who’ll stop the rain?’ Apt indeed. He told us that he and the E Street Band were there to bring the joyous power of rock and roll into our lives and we’d go home with our voices hurting, our hands hurting and other things. He did 35 songs interspersed with his lovely insights. Before ‘My City of Ruins’, he talked about the highs and lows of life, of losing people and loved ones. He said if we were here, then they were here with us too and he continued the lyric, “Now, there’s tears on my pillow darlin’, where we slept. And you took my heart when you left… Tell me, how do I begin again?”

Music helps us to navigate our way through life. A concert of beautiful songs delivered by an artist as talented as Bruce connects to our inner selves and helps us to be grateful for the blessings we have. It has the power to root you in the moment with the people around you, both strangers and friends.

He finished in Cork with the tribute to the late Shane McGowan with Rainy Night in Soho. It is fair to say that Bruce Springsteen got the moment. We left the concert and walked off into the night. Don’t you just love the people in the Irish Farmers Journal ponchos. Salt of the earth indeed.

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