Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Price You Gotta Pay for Your Ultimate Bruce Springsteen Show

I thought the most painful experience following The E Street Band on another tour of Australia would be missing the two great shows in Melbourne.

Turns out I was wrong.
Actually attending two stadium shows in the front row with a broken foot is in fact a lot more painful.

This I discovered over the last weekend in Auckland after a mad dash to keep my place in line at an early morning roll call ended in me rolling my ankle outside the gate of Mt Smart Stadium.
After a taxi balls-up and a late bus I decided to jog several kilometeres to make the 8am roll call and keep number 47 in line.

It was on the very last step right by the line of people waiting to be checked off the list that I landed badly, letting out a yelp of pain in front of everybody.

If it wasn't the lightning bolt of pain that shot through my leg, than it was the horrified look on people's faces who saw the way my foot landed that I realised I was in trouble.

But fuck it. I had made it to Auckland, made it to roll call and had even made it back to the line the night before after a restaurant blunder saw some idiot "fondle" my burger resulting in a delay for my order.

There was no way I was not going to make it to the end of the tour. Especially after missing Melbourne.

So instead of going to hospital I hobbled back to my hotel room, put an ice pack on my foot and hoped it was just a mild sprain that would heal quickly.

Later that day at the stadium, the St John Ambulance paramedic wasn't so hopeful. Strapping up the ankle, and giving me an ice pack I was told to keep as much weight as possible off the foot. And if it didn't get better by morning, go to hospital.
It would have been a good plan, the only problem was that Springsteen and the band blasted out another great show complete with Born In The USA from top to bottom.

The same as two weeks earlier, it was looking even more likely that the band were going to pull out Born To Run - my all-time favourite album - again for the Sunday night crowd.

I had already missed it once, there was no way I could miss it again.

So after a night with the ice pack, followed by a morning lying in bed, I was back at the stadium, sat on the front row trying to keep a place on the barrier to once again use it to hold up what had now become a severe limp.

It was a gamble, and I'm happy to say it paid off.
Despite the difficulty in trying to stay balanced, hydrated and keep track on how many pain killers I'd taken that day, the show was incredible, and I'd seen the album show.

Of course reality kicked in 24 hours and two flights later.

The bruising was already turning my foot into a dark coloured, puffed up limp machine and it took my girlfriend one look before ordering me into the car where she would take me back to the emergency department where she had just finished an eight hour nursing shift.

The x-ray confirmed it, I'd broken the fifth metatarsal, had to be strapped into something called a moon boot - or CAM boot walker and told to use crutches for six weeks.

All because I wanted to see a full album show of Born To Run.

And most painful of all - as well as the irony that I won't be running for a long time - is that given the opportunity, I'd probably do it all again.