Celebrities flock to Bruce Springsteen’s Croke Park gig

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Thousands of Bruce Springsteen fans have flocked to sun-drenched Croke Park, eager to witness the legendary performance of the man who has provided the “soundtrack to our lives,” Bruce Springsteen

Fans came from as near as Co Mayo and as far as the US, hoping to see their hero accompanied by his E Street Band. For many, there was a lingering fear that this could be their final opportunity to see Springsteen live.

Bruce Springsteen rocks Dublin’s Croke Park

Sporting their Bruce Springsteen t-shirts, fans embarked on their rock pilgrimage to north Dublin’s iconic Croke Park, a venue with the capacity to host 80,000.

Catherine Gannon from Castlebar, Co Mayo, attended the eagerly anticipated Croke Park concert with her sister, Mary Payton, from Moycullen, Co Galway. It was a special occasion as Mary was celebrating her 60th birthday. Catherine shared their excitement, mentioning how they have followed Bruce Springsteen for years, having even seen him perform in Kilkenny.

The sisters’ sons had gifted them the tickets, and they were overjoyed to be part of such a memorable event. Catherine praised Bruce, expressing that he performs better than ever and has an unparalleled connection with the crowd.

In the crowd at Croke Park was Luis Guzmán, famous for playing Gomez Addams in the Netflix series Wednesday. Guzmán, currently filming the show in Co Wicklow, enjoyed the concert. American singer Nick Jonas was also there, soaking up Springsteen’s legendary hits at Croke Park.

Bruce Springsteen started his Dublin concert with Lonesome Day right before his 75th birthday. The crowd at Croke Park cheered as the New Jersey star performed for over three hours. This was his 35th concert in Ireland in almost 40 years.

Over the past two weeks, Bruce Springsteen has played sell-out concerts in Belfast, Kilkenny, and Cork. Fans have called these some of his best shows in Ireland. He has told his Irish friends that his Dublin concert won’t be his last.

Springsteen’s deep connection with Ireland

Throughout his visit, Springsteen quipped that Ireland felt like a second home. Over the past two weeks, he explored Dublin, reconnecting with old friends and savouring fish and chips from Leo Burdock’s—a gem he discovered in 1989 during his Tunnel of Love tour. He also made time to drop by his favourite pubs, soaking in the local culture.

Springsteen, known as The Boss, visited local favourites like Sheehan’s Pub on Chatham Street and McGrattan’s Bar on Fitzwilliam Lane, where he enjoyed time with friends. He brought family and friends to Ireland this year, making the trip more personal. He started his 2023 European tour in Barcelona with special guests like President Obama and Steven Spielberg.

Springsteen’s son, his sister Pam, and friends from New Jersey joined him. Many members of the E Street Band also brought along their own family and friends to share the experience.

The tour photographer Pam Springsteen captured energetic moments of fans in the mosh pit, encouraging them to cheer louder. The evening was magical as the Springsteen family enjoyed a night at Stella Cinema in Rathmines. Bruce shared stories about his Irish roots with his family from New Jersey.

While in Ireland, Bruce Springsteen visited a graveyard in Kildare to honour his ancestors. His connection to Ireland is vital due to his ancestry and love of music. At concerts in Cork and Kilkenny, he played “A Rainy Night in Soho” to honour Shane MacGowan. After the show, he met with MacGowan’s widow, Victoria Mary Clarke.

In the past year, Bruce Springsteen has thrilled Irish fans with seven sold-out concerts, including the recent one at Croke Park. Many feared this might be his last show in Ireland.

Springsteen excitedly said, “I’ll see you down the road,” suggesting he would come back. He also told friends he was eager to return, and the E Street Band was planning exciting projects.

Springsteen and the E Street Band are planning more tours, possibly visiting Australia and New Zealand in 2025. His ticket sales in Europe are higher than in most US cities outside the East Coast, suggesting he might return to Europe soon.

Bruce Springsteen often visits Ireland for vacations and supports his daughter, Jessica, an Olympic show jumper. He has helped her get horses and cheered for her at the Royal Dublin Society Horse Show. Jessica’s team won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Bruce Springsteen, who has Irish, Dutch, and Italian roots, loves Ireland. He had his first concert in Ireland at Slane Castle in 1985. Since then, he has always included Ireland in his European tours.

Ireland stands out among Bruce Springsteen’s top-performing markets, alongside Italy, Spain, and Sweden. His concerts in Ireland now sell out as quickly as those back home in New Jersey. Promoter Peter Aiken emphasized the dedication and enthusiasm of Springsteen’s Irish fans, suggesting that multiple additional shows would have also seen a quick sell-out.

Throughout a remarkable 39-year span, Bruce Springsteen has captivated more than one million ticketed fans in Ireland. In the past two weeks, he performed for nearly 200,000 fans, of whom over 30,000 were overseas visitors, substantially contributing to the local tourism surge.

The Boss and his band will say goodbye to Ireland and head to Sunderland in the UK for their next show. After that, Bruce Springsteen along with the E Street Band will travel through Europe, performing in France, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

After the European leg of the tour, they will return to the US for a series of North American gigs between August and November.

A new documentary about Bruce Springsteen’s 2023/24 world tour, directed by Thom Zimny, will come out on Hulu and Disney next October. It will highlight Ireland with special tour footage and prominent concert venues.

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