My love for Bruce Springsteen began on a bus from Cleveland to Chicago.
I sat down next to a young guy wearing a polo shirt and khaki pants who was headed to the Windy City to catch a Springsteen show and return the same night on the midnight bus to Cleveland.
He asked if I had any Springsteen music on my phone. I did.
He asked if I’d seen him in concert. I hadn’t.
Without hesitation, he offered me his extra ticket to that night’s show. “Anyone with Bruce on their phone needs to experience him live,” he said. “Trust me.”
I protested the entire four-hour trip, but to no avail. He handed me the ticket when we stepped off the bus, and he walked away, hoping I’d show.
I walked into the United Center for the first time, standing on the wooden floor that Michael Jordan made famous. I teetered with as much anticipation as a little kid about to take his first lick of ice cream.
I could not have prepared myself for what happened in those next three hours.
It was a revival, it was time suspended, it was electrifying and freeing. It was a thesaurus full of “laissez les bon temps rouler” synonyms. It can’t be explained, only experienced.