From the Boston fans who set the tone with swelling chants of “Chief” and “Youk” came “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce!” Then “184.108.40.206.” Springsteen’s signature get-ready count. Boom! The boss!
Oh what a night (oh, that’s another band)! Nearly 3 ½ hours of end to end musical-social passion to a chest pounding bass, non-stop unleashed guitars, and a nephew playing hot sax (there was a wonderful Clarence tribute to Bruce’s lifelong bigger-than-life man on the horn).
When a brand works, things rock.
Fenway rocked, big and Bruce style. 60’s style rock from a 62-year-old 60’s guy. Still loved by this hyper loyal, everyone-knows-all-the-words crowd of the faithful who might still be road groupies except for doctor appointments and grandchildren to visit. O.k., there were younger fans, too.
And, of course, brands thrive best in certain environments.
The night was warm and wet, with Bruce the wettest of anyone, drenched after just two numbers. And his songs still worked – hard- because we believe in Brand Springsteen. Just rock and don’t ask about how blue his collar really is.
Possibly the wealthiest rocker after Bono, Bruce’s trademark lyrics are power tributes and alliances with the struggling workingman that he once was. Actually, he works very hard; just gets paid better.
(I did have a moment when I wondered how Bruce gave back, beyond his music, to the workers of America. He was so dripping wet, I thought maybe, as a gesture, he should be airlifted to our Midwest’s drought-stricken farmers, and rung dry with his body shedding the much-needed water on their thirsty withering crops. Impractical, I guess.)
Finally, a great brand is built on believers.
There’s the religion in his lyrics, the religion of his faithful fans, hands outstretched to get closer to thee. Arms waving (but, happily, with a conspicuous absence of iPhone lighters.)
He poured out the religion of everything that matters to his creations, of morals, faith, ghosts, passion, the past, the moment, the hope, the rendezvous, sex. He didn’t just do a set; he did “The Boss,” non-stop, up another notch and another and another.
Possessed, he owned us all. You can’t light a fire without a spark. Well, from “Wrecking Ball” to “The Rising,” brand Bruce took care of his own, and it was enough to make you think that struggling brand Fenway finally found its calling this summer.
You should’ve been there. 220.127.116.11.
What examples do you have of great brands over the years?