Often when I go overseas I like to discover what bands are playing. It is my passion and as it’s a long flight to Australia we often miss some of the big bands or at least they don’t come as regularly. So of course when I arrived in Paris I started trawling the net looking for tickets for when I would be staying. When I first came across the Bruce Springsteen concert option I was a little inquisitive but he had never been someone who was on my music bucket list (yes that’s right have a music bucket list and nearly all the bands I have wanted to see in my lifetime have been crossed off). I did like a few of his songs and the location wasn’t too far from my apartment. So I bought 2 tickets for me and my partner and voile.
I had to double-check the Internet when the show said it stars at 7; 30pm and there was no lead in band. The arena was packed hard to believe that this was his 2nd show in Paris that week and there did not seem to be many seats left in the whole arena which holds over sixteen thousand people.
At 7:40pm I hear a huge roar from the Paris crowd and out came the E street band and of course the Boss himself. I was struck at his sheer muscle build; he looked so fit and sorry to say ‘hot’ in his tights jeans and t-shirt, muscles bulging. He looked amazing, and I think it was from then I got a little crush.
As soon as he started singing his voice was so strong and so in tune that he didn’t sound like a 66years old as mush as he didn’t look like one. Interestingly from our balcony seats we could see several people at leats a decade younger than Bruce being carried out with what appeared like exhaustion. Meanwhile the 66yr old rock god was dancing on stage and belting out lyrics as loud as ever. This guy had me thinking “what is his secret?”
Through the show I could start to see what I think was at least part of the secret to his vitality. Firstly, anyone who has seen Bruce live even if only for a few seconds can see and hear his passion, it is in his face, his gestures, his emotional tone and the poetry of his songs. He is clearly doing something that he loves and still loves even after a career spanning 50 years. His level of energy was inspiring; he played without much of a breather for 3.5 hours and even at the end he did not look tired. He looked like he was in state of flow an experience where the person becomes one with the activity which they are performing completely immersed in the experience.
2. The Joy of Play
Secondly, he has not lost his sense of play, throughout the set he made silly funny movements, invited people on stage to dance, copied the moves of a 10 year old girl, took part in an E street band butt wiggle. He just had a sense of freedom and openness in how he interacted with each person, free to go with the flow. He never once seemed self conscious or rigid about what was ok for the fans to do and what was not. This leads me to point 3.
3. Vulnerability and Trust the keys to Connection
Thirdly he had an amazing sense of connection with the crowd, wanting to engage with them. This required him to hold sense of trust in others – e.g. allowing people to carry you whilst crowd surfing to the front of the stage takes trust and courage. He also showed a great deal of vulnerability in the emotions he showed throughout his songs. These key ingredients of vulnerability and trust enabled others to connect with him too. Before going to the show like I said I liked a few of his songs, by the end of the set he has literally become a role model, an icon for a fulfilled and full life.
So the take away points
- Work towards engaging in activities that bring you passion, mean and a sense of purpose . This is a scientific fact that if you engage in things you find meaningful you are more likely o experience longevity and vitality
- Regain a sense of play, look for opportunities where you can let of your constraints and allow yourself some moments of freedom, this may be at a music concert, whilst engaging in a sport, playing with a child or a pet, where ever you can find it, take the opportunity. Sometime looking back to what you used to like when you were a kid can help you get a glimpse of what could spark you now.
- Connect with those around you – friends, loved ones but do so with an open heart and a sense of trust in others as well as a sense of vulnerability. Often we are scared to open up to others from fear of judgement or rejection however if we can remind ourselves that even if this worse feared experience did happen we would be able to cope and be ok. That we trust ourselves enough to trust others