Back in June, Coventry was my third gig in only twice as many days, having travelled in a week from Oxford to London to Glasgow and back, with Shropshire several times in between. Add in the emotional exhaustion of having a friend’s funeral in Birmingham on the same day, my decision to drink substantially before arriving at the stadium and the fact I couldn’t arrive early enough to make the pit, and this one was always going to be about the moment and remain only a blur in the mind.
But I can recall this one moment in the concert as vividly as any Springsteen memory I have. From one New Jersey God to another, Bruce announced that they would perform the whole Born to Run record in tribute to the late, legendary James Gandolfini of Sopranos fame, who had tragically passed away two days earlier. The symbolism of everything that was about to begin overpowered me. Coventry, of all places, was about to become the epic centre of the artistic universe. I remember my heart dropping with the sound of the opening harmonica, and I belted out the lyrics as if hearing them live for the first time.
There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away.
It’s a town full of losers. We’re pulling out of here to win.
This was the best Thunder Road I’d ever fucking experienced.