It was about halfway through the opening song when I got a tap on my elbow: "Dad, you're the only one singing - except Bruce." This wasn't entirely true. I was fairly certain that I could hear the majority of the rest of the crowd howling out their own private versions of "Badlands," but my perception was no doubt clouded by my enthusiasm.
My son was, in his own quiet and reserved way, just as excited to be there on the opening night of the "Working On A Dream" tour. He was bringing his eleven-year-old sensibility to the proceedings complete with the feeling of mortification at seeing his father singing along at the top of his lungs with one of his favorite Springsteen songs. To be fair, the show didn't start until right around his regular bedtime, so rather than having a quiet hour to read under the covers, he was treated to two hours and forty minutes of thunderous rock and roll.
Many good sport points were awarded to my son and wife, though my wife has long since passed the "casual fan" status. She swooned mightily as the Boss came up on the catwalk behind the stage to give all of us in the back a little attention: "We made eye contact!" she beamed. By this time, my son had started a little air guitar and even sang along on a few of the obvious "sing-along opportunities."
"When is he going to play 'Born To Run?'" This was a tired boy. I had no way to explain to him that each song that was stuck between the first song and the last was a bonus, and the fact that we heard "Seeds" live for the first time since 1996 was a milestone of sorts. By the time we were treated to "Thunder Road," my son was getting a little blurry around the edges. When the lights finally came up, I could sense his relief. He made it through, and left the arena with a bunch of songs in his head. He sacked out for a part of the ride home, but like his parents, the excitement of the night kept bringing him back to our conversation.
The conversation about the show we saw, and the show we hoped to see the next time.