Bruce Springsteen performs onstage during a concert at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich, Switzerland in July. — Photo by The Associated Press
It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments for the Bradley boys of Ottawa, getting to share the stage at Scotiabank Place with the Boss himself.
Bruce Springsteen and his legendary E Street band played in Canada’s capital Friday night, keeping the capacity crowd of 19,000 screaming fans on their feet for more than three hours.
But for three of those fans, Scott Bradley and his two sons, eight-year-old Peter and seven-year-old Stuart, it would become an almost transcendent experience to top all others.
During his shows Springsteen always chooses a youngster from the audience to join him onstage to warble out a rendition of “Waiting on a Sunny Day,” and on Friday night the honour was bestowed upon brothers Peter and Stuart.
For dad, a lifelong Springsteen disciple who even plays a Fender Telecaster guitar similar to the one the Boss slings, it just couldn’t get any better.
“Your boys go up on stage, it was incredible, in a way you’re watching your kids live your dream,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Scott Bradley was armed with a video camera but said he handed it to the stranger standing next to him to record the magic moment because he just wanted to stand back and soak it all in.
“The most exciting part for me was just that, you know when they got on stage they made the most it. They sang with their hearts right out there and they jumped around and had fun, and if they were nervous, which they said they were, they didn’t show it.”
Stuart, with a seven-year-old’s typical mastery of understatement, said “it was really fun.”
In the video that’s posted on YouTube, Stuart and big brother Peter certainly look like they are having fun — and so is Springsteen, his face lit with a huge grin as he urges the boys on, to the pure delight of the crowd.
Bradley prepped his boys well, taking them to their first Springsteen show in Boston, and then using “name that Springsteen tune” games in the car to teach them in the lyrics they’d need to know Friday night.
“I was just so proud of the fact that here’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and the boys made the most of it, and both my wife and I were very, very proud,” he said.
It was Bradley’s 29th Springsteen concert, and needless to say the most memorable, but not just because of the showmanship of his sons.
Along with the treasured memories, Bradley left Scotiabank Place with another treasure of nearly incomparable value to an amateur musician with a Springsteen addiction — the actual harmonica the Boss had been blowing on stage.
“Literally as he was walking off he pointed back at the boys, I could see the harmonica in his back pocket so I was making the harmonica motion to him and he came right back and tossed it to us.”