2012 saw the beginnings of Burgers and Bruce and it's been a mighty burger eating and Bruce watching year.
With hundreds of pounds spent (I can't bring myself to do the calculations), I've seen six live Springsteen shows and eaten over 50 burgers worldwide (again, I can't bring myself to do the calculations).
April 2012 was when the fun began, as I sat in the world famous Shake Shack New York before seeing Springsteen and the band for the first of two dates at Madison Square Gardens that night. Fuelled by an excitement for both topics, I decided to start a blog dedicated to my two biggest loves.
|Where It All Began|
|Shack Burger - coming soon to London!|
I got round to that first post in July 2012. The months were spent trotting from one glorious burger to the next, from the award winning The Hole In The Wall in the Cambridgeshire countryside, to street stall Mother Flipper.
The Summer was made even better by a flurry of live Springsteen dates. Following the two concerts in NY, I had a break for going on to Florence to experience the 'Frenzy in Firenze', with hard core Italians who love to dance to Bruce in the torrential rain. I took a break from burgers for a mammoth six days and traveled to the Amalfi Coast to gorge on pizza and pasta.
|Frenzy in Firenze 2012 (from Springsteen.net)|
From Italy it was on to the less romantic Manchester, where unsurprisingly, the rain continued, but Bruce kept the crowds happy with a 30 song set list. 'Atlantic City' was a highlight of the night. Oh and the close up photo below.
Of course I had time to check out Manchester's emerging burger scene, ticking the dirty burgers at Almost Famous and towering Inka grilled burgers at SoLIta off my list.
|Almost Famous Manchester|
Two days later it was a long journey from Manchester to the muddy fields at the Isle of Wight Festival, my first concert where I have managed to get to the very very front and on the barrier. An incredible set list was delivered, quite literally, into my hands at the end of the night, with a spur of the moment 'Because The Night' added about half way through. Brilliant.
|Isle Of Wight Setlist|
|Isle Of Wight 2012|
|Stevie Van Zandt and Bruce|
Between the IOW fest in June and Hyde Park date in July, I had time to twiddle my thumbs and enjoy some of London's hottest burger offerings, some of the best being the reliable Honest, very messy Lucky Chip and 'luxury burger' at Rivington Grill.
|The Honest Burger|
I also saw another childhood favourite in concert, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes, who Bruce Springsteen has has written plenty of songs for. That evening, my very lucky friend ran into the super cool Jake Clemons, the Big Man Clarence Clemons' nephew.
Shortly after, Hard Rock Calling was upon me, and after a brilliant hour from The Nightwatchman Tom Morello, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band delivered some of my most memorable live songs to date, including an acoustic opener of Thunder Road and a spine tingling very powerful Ghost of Tom Joad. Sir Paul McCartney graced the stage and Bruce and the band made headlines when the authorities pulled the plug mid 'Twist and Shout'.
|As close as you can get?|
|London Hyde Park 2012|
Following my last concert of the year in London, I went through a bad patch, a serious case of the Bruce Blues, unsure if there would be a 2013 tour and hating the uncertainty of when Bruce fans like me would see the band play together again. Burgers provided a welcome distraction (New York style Bleeker St Burger being one of the best) as I kept an eye on the set lists as the tour continued in the US.
|Bleeker St Burger|
The months trundled on, and in October I was distressed to miss the pop up in London from California burger experts In-N-Out, but consoled myself when I found a retro In-N-Out varsity jacket in my local charity shop.
|Burger eating uniform|
I kept myself busy listening to my favourite Springsteen tunes and even remixes (I'm On Fire), drinking pints of 'The Boss' and in November I was teased with an announcement of Bruce playing in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in September 2013. That's one I insisted all fans must try to go to.
December finally saw my wishes granted, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced the continuation of the Wrecking Ball tour into 2013. I celebrated with a mammoth five burgers in a week (including a very juicy Patty & Bun) before going global with my burger research in Malaysia.
|Patty & Bun|
The burger eating will continue with gusto into 2013 but my Bruce tour will continue also, and I've been mapping out my travel plans around the various dates.
Rest assured, there's plenty more Burgers and Bruce action to come in 2013!