The Cork show couldn’t possibly be as good as Limerick, could it? Surely he can’t be that good twice in the one week, their whiskers whispered, their chunky sideburns tensed at the thought of the night ahead.
Then silence. They stared down at their crotch-challenging denims on the last leg of their pilgrimage.
Reverence comes effortlessly to these loyal Bruce Springsteen fans. And the men were just as tense. They need not have worried.
The Boss opened by promising this crowd of more than 40,000 people: “Tonight, we’re going to shine a light on your soul with the power of rock n roll.” He was not overselling this magical night.
They ripped through ‘This Little Light of Mine’, ‘When I’m Out On The Street’, ‘Sherry Darling’, ‘We Take Care Of Our Own’ and ‘Wrecking Ball’ in a blistering first hour before the sun dipped.
Visiting Israeli fan Chedra Yastrou asked what the 96FM flying banner “Bualadh Boss!” meant. Pan-linguistic love for Bruce. Chedra said: “This is my dream come true. Bruce isn’t coming to Israel.”
Rumours of big VIP guests ran like wildfire through the city. Bono. Daniel Day Lewis. I didn’t see them, but I did see Munster rugby coach Rob Penney.
And of course, the E Street Band has its own few stars: Legendary guitarist Nils Lofgren, Stevie Van Zandt (of Sopranos fame), and Bruce’s wife and violinist Patti Scialfa.
Bruce himself has an incredible control over his audience, whose humour got hotter and hotter as the night air cooled.
This venue has hosted endless lists of stars. The likes of U2, Prince, and Michael Jackson may have warmed up the acoustics, but it took Bruce Springsteen to really set it alight. The gimmick of picking songs based on the audience’s cardboard posters is a real gem.
It took a few minutes to find a key for ‘Wild Thing’ by The Troggs (they settled on C), so the party mood was really brewing long before it exploded with the Seegers Sessions songs, which kicked off with ‘Pay Me My Money Down’.
And from there, the party having started, it just never stopped.
Bruce said: “Let the Irish air tell your Irish head to have some fun.”
When the E Street Band is done here, it will have wowed over 140,000 fans. If they came again next week, we’d all go again.