The Boss Storms An Irish Castle as a Sea of Fans Celebrates Spring(steen) in the Open Air
The realm he rules once extended no farther than the (solid) wastelands of New Jersey. But Bruce Springsteen's first concert appearance on the Old Sod proved—at least to mega-colleagues Pete Townshend and Elvis Costello, and 65,000 Irish fans crowded onto the usually idyllic Slane Castle estate last week—that the Boss now rules the entire world of rock. With a slightly truncated version (only three hours) of the marathon shows that have wowed American audiences for years, Springsteen delivered an exuberant, nicely muscled performance. "It's amazing how he can live up to the hype," said Martin Kemp of Britain's Spandau Ballet. "I'm completely in love," one fair lass sighed. "Pity he got married," she added, speaking for countless hungry hearts. With new bride Julianne Phillips, 25, wingside, Springsteen, now sporting a wedding ring instead of the gold earring of his Born to Run days, quickly won over the crowd. It was good to get back to basics. The steady glare of publicity generated by his wedding had been giving the working class hero a regal pain. During a recent video shoot in his native Jersey for his fast-rising single Glory Days, Springsteen complained that he and Julianne couldn't drop in at the local bar for brews and a round of eight-ball, pastimes they enjoyed in L.A. before the wedding. While Julianne bubbled to crew members about moving into Bruce's Rumson mansion, Springsteen was uncharacteristically distant. He told his Irish fans just before leaving the stage and flying to Dublin (while his band stayed behind for a party at Slane Castle), "I'm just a prisoner of rock 'n' roll."