Today’s announcement that Bruce Springsteen will be playing in Wrigley Field on September 7 was welcome news to me. I love Springsteen’s music, and I’ve also written about it before. My hope is that everyone reading this has experienced at least one Springsteen show, but if somehow you haven’t, please get to one, this year. Not the next tour, and not some yet-to-be determined day in the future. This tour. And you can thank me later.
There’s a parallel between the upcoming Wrigley show and Springsteen’s two shows at Fenway Park back in 2003. The new GM of the Red Sox that year was a guy named Theo Epstein. Where have I heard that name before? Oh yes, he’s now running the Cubs. Interesting.
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Much was made of how Jimmy Buffett played in Fenway Park in September of 2004, and the Red Sox won the Series later that year. But Buffett also played at Wrigley back in 2005, and nothing positive seemed to come of that, when you consider that the Cubs are 0-6 in the playoffs since then, being swept out of both the the 2007 and 2008 NLDS.
If you’re crazy enough to believe in the billy goat curse, why not also allow for the possibility that a musical act can somehow reverse it? Bruce Springsteen can’t run the bases or hit the cutoff man, but he’ll bring a lot of positive energy into Wrigley Field later this year. It could be the only thing we’ll have to look forward to in September.
I’m not religious in any traditional sense, but there are themes of faith and hope and redemption running through Springsteen’s music. A song on his newest record is called “Land of Hope and Dreams,” and he’s played it in concert for many years. As Cubs fans, hope and dreams are just about all that we have to hang onto.
We all hope that Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and all the rest of the new blood at Wrigley will get us to the mountaintop. We all dream about what that will look like when it happens, as evidenced by Eddie Vedder’s “Someday We’ll Go All the Way” and the recent MLB12 commercial.
Even though Springsteen’s music takes on an angry tone on his recent “Wrecking Ball” CD, the songs that you already know are as uplifting and life-affirming as anything you’ll ever hear in a church. His concerts have a revival feel about them, and that’s a good thing.
I’ll tell you right now that every last person at the show in September will have a smile on his or her face. And if that somehow lingers, inside a ballpark that hasn’t seen very much joy over the years, then it will all be worthwhile.