On Saturday night, actually afternoon, it became apparent once more that Bruce would not let us down.
He showed up in the afternoon for sound checks — and that’s what 90 percent of life is about — just showing up.
Showing up to be there for our family, for our friends, for those who believe in us.
And there he was — later — singing with Willie Nile, the poster child for showing up and hanging in there and loving it with so much energy, inspiring us all. Bruce joined in on “One Guitar,” a song that resonates.
That was his first duet at the 15th Light of Day Concert last night at the Paramount Theatre at the north end of the boardwalk in Asbury Park, N.J. The headliner concert is the keynote event of more than a week of concerts and performances, a festival by the Light of Day Foundation to benefit Parkinson’s Disease research. Light of Day was founded by Bob Benjamin, who suffers from Parkinson’s and began with him donating proceeds from a show he produced for his own birthday party one year. Light of Day now produces benefit concerts around the world throughout the year to raise money for the cause. But nothing compares to the annual festival in the depths of January on the Jersey Shore.
Never an announced performer for the keynote event, Bruce shows up more often than not. Bruce showed up later to join Southside Johnny Lyons and LBamba for “The Letter” in honor of the late Joe Cocker and then “The Little Girl is Mine.” Followed by “Higher and Higher” then the classic “I Don’t Want To Go Home.”
Then Springsteen performed an acoustic “Janey Don’t You Lose Heart” solo. Then it got loud with “Adam Raised A Cain,” then he went to “Savin’ Up” into “From Small Things One Day Big Things Come.”
With Joe Grushecky, he performed “Never Be Enough Time” and “Don’t Forget Where You’re Coming From.” Then launched “Racing In The Street,” the 1978 version.
Then it was “Pumping Iron,” a Joe Grushecky song, with Danny Clinch on harmonica.
Then they went into “Darkness On The Edge of Town,” ’cause we weren’t all jealous enough yet.
Then it was “I Still Look Good for 60,” no doubt for all those involved, and then Bruce went into “Frankie Fell In Love.”
Then they did “Hearts of Stone,” which may have killed me if I were in attendance, with Eddie Manion killing the sax solo.
Into “Save My Love.” Enough said. ” With a real nice spoken intro” according to Chris Jordan on Twitter. Kill me now.
Then it was on to Grushecky’s “Talking to the King.”
Then Bruce asks for John Eddie, Willie Nile and Garland to join him for “Because The Night.” Lots of loud guitars. Bruce ripped the solo, according to Blot It All Night.
Then it was on to “Born to Run” with everyone helping out and into the “Light Of Day,” of course. “A very hot show.” Then Bob Benjamin is at Center Stage, the center of it all.
We might be done …
But we weren’t. He went on to play “Thunder Road” and ended with “The Promised Land” both performed with all the night’s performers onstage. And then they were done … until next Light of Day.
Nice job, Bob Benjamin.