The Legendary Opry

The Grand Ole Opry truly a legend in the Music City. It started as a 1 hour long radio show on WSM on November 25, 1925. Back in 1925, it ran as a weekly show, Today, it runs several times a week, either from the Rynam Auditorium in downtown Nashville or from the Grand Ole Opry House on the banks of the Cumberland River.

Artists become member of the Orpy by invitation. Over the years, artists like Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and The Gatlin Brothers have been invited to the Opry. And more recently, amazing young country artists like Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town had the honor of joining. Membership in the Opry remains one of country music’s crowning achievements.

You can listen to the shows at the Opry live online via 650 AM WSM.

The Ryman Auditorium is a 2300 seat theater in the heart of Nashville. It is considered the birthplace of Bluegrass music. Over the years it hosted many famous country artists and even Bruce Springsteen has played there on his Devils & Dust solo acoustic tour.

The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville

The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville

The Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium

The Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974. The grand Ole Opry House has 4400 seats and a circle at center stage is actually a part of the original Ryman Auditorium stage.

Seeing a show at the Opry was a dream come true and their backstage tour after the show was the icing on the cake.

Selfie in Front of the Grand Ole Opry House

Artists Taking the Stage at the Grand Ole Opry House

Behind the Scenes at the Grand Ole Opry House

Behind the Scenes at the Grand Ole Opry House

A Springsteen Fan in Numbers

I became a Springsteen fan at the age of 14 with the release of the Born in the U.S.A. album back in 1984. So I’ve been a fan for 32 years now.

I attended my 1st Springsteen concert on April 23, 1993. I was too young to go to one of the Born in the U.S.A. shows. And I have always regretted not seeing any of the Tunnel of Love concerts in 1988.

Since that 1st concert in 1993, I’ve attended 41 more concerts in 22 cities and 10 countries including the US. I’ve heard Bruce perform 211 different songs. And since Springsteen almost always plays Born To Run, that is the song I’ve heard the most; 31 times in total. I have heard 49 of his 50 most played songs all-time.

I’ve seen Bruce perform with many guest artists, including Elliott Murphy, Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem, R.E.M., John Fogerty and Paul McCartney at the infamous Hard Rock Calling 2012 show.

I have heard all songs on the albums Born In The U.S.A., Born To Run, In Concert MTV Plugged and Devils & Dust. But I still have not heard all songs on Tunnel Of Love and The Rising–my 2 favorite albums–live so I have to go to a few more shows I guess.

Bruce Springsteen The River Tour 2016

On the 2016 The River Tour, I saw 4 concerts and 61 different songs: Madrid, The Hague, Copenhagen and Rome. And much to my surprise on those 4 shows I heard 8 songs for the 1st time ever: Jersey Girl in The Hague and New York City Serenade in Rome are my most memorable moments on this tour.

(statistics courtesy of bosstime.nl)

Copenhagen Cityscapes

I always use a Bruce Springsteen concert as a good excuse to travel. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate holiday. And I don’t follow him around on his tour. Just a couple of days off to go see a Springsteen concert and explore the city he’s playing, is all it takes to get me excited.

Nyhaven

Last week, Springsteen rocked the roof of of the Telia Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. So me and a couple of friends bunched up in the car, drove to Denmark, saw Springsteen and wondered around the city with our camera. And I came home with good memories and these cityscape photos.

Copenhagen Opera House

Gefion Fountain in Copenhagen, Denmark

Frederiks Kirke & Amalienborg in Copenhagen, Denmark

Light of Day Belgium

Light of Day Foundation is an organization founded in 1998 in Red Bank, NJ to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease and fund research for a cure. Many artists and bands, including Bruce Springsteen, have played concert to raise money for Light of Day. At 1st, these Light of Day concerts were staged in New Jersey, but for a few years now, they tour Europe too.

My buddy Jeffrey De Roeck brought the Light of Day concert to Trix in Antwerp for the 5th year. And I always have the privilege to shoot pictures from the 1st row at the shows.

Light of Day Concert in Trix, Antwerp, Belgium

This year’s line up for the show included Joe D’Urso, Eric Bazilian (from the band The Hooters), Rob Dye, Vini Lopez (fromer E Street Band drummer), Erwin Nyhoff, Eddie Manion (who toured with Bruce Springsteen last year and plays with The Asbury Jukes) and our own Jesse Ashfield.

Rob Dye and Vinnie Lopez

Here’s a couple of shots of last night. A full album with photos from the show is available on Frontview Magazine.

Drummer Vinnie Lopez played with Bruce Springsteen

Eddie Manion played with Springsteen in 2014

Joe D'Urso for Light of Day

Eric Bazilian of The Hooters

London Calling DVD

Hot of the press: Bruce Springsteen is to release London Calling: Live in Hyde Park DVD on june 22. A 163 minutes, 26 tracks of the best rock music I can imagine. This is how Springsteen’s website describes the release: “London Calling: Live In Hyde Park conveys both the experience of being on-stage and the vast crowd experience of the festival environment. Viewers are able to see Springsteen spontaneously directing the E Street Band and shaping the show as it evolves.”

It was a nice day, great food, sweeeeet cocktails and great music in Hyde Park last year, as I recall it. I’m really lookin’ forward to this release. This is gonna end up on my iPhone for sure. Whiiii… I’m gonna be on TV!

A little sneak peak… Springsteen opened the show with London Calling and that looked like this:

(video courtesy of brucespringsteen.net)

Hard Rock Calling

Our main attraction: Hard Rock Calling! We headed down to Hyde Park this afternoon for a fun filled day of food, drinks and Rock music… Gaslight Anthem, Dave Matthews Band and BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE were today’s headliners.

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All you need on a nice sunny day for a concert in the park: a food menu, cocktails and an iPhone to keep the folks at home up to date of what you’re doin’.

Quite an experience actually: we enjoyed Dave Matthews Band from the terrace of the Hard Rock Cafe. We had a couple of drinks and a bite to eat. DMB’s show was superb. Quite possibly the best intro for what was coming.

‘Cause in the end, it’s all about Bruce! Bruce and the Band opened with London Calling. Almost as expected, but certainly something I had hoped for. And after a little disappointment from the show at Pink Pop, I knew this show was gonna be good.

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There was a whole bunch of highlights: finally got Youngstown! But also had Trapped, Radio Nowhere and Rosalita. Would have been great if Bruce would have played my double request, but my 2 songs didn’t make it.

Bruce left us with this sign from the audience…

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Springsteen at Pinkpop

Got to see Springsteen last night; for the 2nd time this week.

Bruce was headliner at the 40th edition of Pinkpop last night. He has never played festivals before. Everyone I know and is somewhat of a Springsteen fan said it wasn’t the best of ideas for him to play at a festival. And well… they’re right.

Pinkpop has a very good reputation. They’ve had many well-known international headliners over the years. Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of festivals. And the organisation blew it when they said they don’t allow us to bring in any drinks or food. Not even tap water in a Camelbag. The only objective was to sell more of the overpriced food and beer.

OOH… AND I HATE BEER RUNS!!!

That sorta spoiled the fun for me. And Bruce surely didn’t play the best show in my opinion. The crowd wasn’t the best crowd I’ve had. But it was great to see Jay Weinberg play drums and it was fun to see Bruce wrestle a big teddy bear on stage. That teddy bear carried a sign with a very nice request song: From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come). A treat for every Springsteen fan and certainly the highlight of the night for me.

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Next time Bruce play your own show and don’t make me go to a festival!

But still… It turned out to be a great weekend: I got treated to dinner in a top restaurant by my little sister. Thank you Baby girl! I loved it.

Springsteen Ticket Controversy

As Springsteen plays his 1st of 2 concerts at the IZOD Center tonight, he makes the local TV headlines. Not with his music though, but with the controversy surrounding tickets sales for today’s and Saturday’s concert. Apparently, many thousand tickets where held back. A part of them by Springsteen’s management and Sony Music according to my9 news.

It seems a lot of people didn’t get in when tickets went on sale back in February. I guess I must have been very lucky… I hope it’s gonna be all worth it than.