‘Dancing in the Páirc’: Bruce Springsteen brings fans ‘tears of joy and nostalgia’ on rainy night in Cork

A rousing rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town was among the highlights of The Boss’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh gig

16th May 2024;   Bruce Springsteen  in concert  at SuperValu Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork.    Picture: Eddie O'Hare Courtesy Irish Examiner

Bruce Springsteen rocked up to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork, and brought a sprinkling of Christmas – and rain – with him on Thursday evening as more than 40,000 fans attended the third concert of his four-date Irish tour.

He kicked things off at Boucher Playing Fields in Belfast last week in spectacular fashion. Our reviewer described it as an “immense show”. Last Sunday night at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny, Springsteen launched into a spirited rendition of The Pogues’ A Rainy Night in Soho in tribute to the late Shane MacGowan. Fans told The Irish Times it was a “performance full of emotion and genuine warmth” and “a phenomenal and incredible evening”.

He and his band will wrap up the tour in grand style at Croke Park in Dublin on Sunday, May 19th.

But what did fans think of The Boss in Páirc Uí Chaoimh?

‘This is more than a concert; it’s a pilgrimage’

Tonight, under the dusky skies of Cork, in the hallowed embrace of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, I find myself surrounded by a sea of jubilant faces as Bruce Springsteen and his legendary band take the stage. It’s here, on this very ground, that I once claimed victory, earning a Cork under-16 county medal – an echo of my youth that resonates deeply as The Boss’s guitar strings thrum to life. I was just 15 when I first discovered Springsteen’s anthems in 1975, and his music has since been the soundtrack to my life. Now, watching him perform, with the Irish and American flags fluttering side by side, I am overwhelmed by the profound “ties that bind” these two great nations. As the band bursts into their first song, each note reverberates through the holy city of Cork, drawing tears of joy and nostalgia. This is more than a concert; it’s a pilgrimage to the heart of our collective past, soundtracked by the timeless anthems of Bruce Springsteen. Tonight, I am home. Bruce, Steve, Max, Nils and the rest of the band are home. – Tom Keane, Co Cork

‘The heavens opened but it didn’t matter’

Dancing in the Páirc!! Amazing night. The heavens opened but it didn’t matter as he played for three hours without a stop. Such positivity and energy, the band were super, so impressed! All the favourites bringing us back to our teenage years in the 80s USA. If only we could harness that 40,000 plus for good instead of evil. – Leonietje and Morgan Buckley, Co Cork

‘Impossible to pick a highlight’

I have been a huge fan since the 80s. When I went to work in the Middle East in 1987 his live box set 1975-1985 kept me sane through some tough lonely times. I often wondered then what it would be like to share his mammoth concerts and I’m lucky enough to have seen him eight times now. I attended last night with two of my daughters who are also huge fans. Him and the band were stunning – the keyboard playing of Roy Bittan was sensational – proving what an astute judge of musical excellence one Mark Knopfler was when selecting him to play on the album Making Movies back in 1980, some 44 years ago. All of the E Streeters were equally brilliant as were the horn section. There were so many highlights last night that it would be impossible to pick a highlight, but a rousing rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town – in the middle of May – was right up there. One word to sum the whole experience last night? Surreal. Michael Collins, Co Mayo

‘They don’t make rockstars like him any more!’

Amazing Rainy Night in Cork with The Boss and the incredible E Street Band. A joyous, heartfelt night of rock’n’roll. They don’t make rockstars like him any more! – Joanne Barry, Co Kerry

‘The crowd lapped it up’

The heavens opened on us but we didn’t care. Bruce served up three hours of pure entertainment. No need for fancy lights or dancers ... it was a musical extravaganza from the magnificent E Street Band and The Boss. This was my fourth time seeing him live but you don’t have to be a big fan to appreciate him... many artists are ahead of him on my Spotify top 10. He is one of the best live performers on the planet and he clearly still loves doing it. He puts it all out there every time with passion and energy (and what energy.. aged 74!) and the crowd lapped it up and responded in kind. A brilliant night. – Kay Chalmers, Co Cork

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