From the Aud, to Vernon, to Italy, it’s Bruce, Bruce, Bruce

Sara Tracey
Don Testa remembers 1978 as a particularly musical year at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

He said he saw KISS, Boston, the Doobie Brothers and Blue Oyster Cult in the same season.

And then there was Springsteen.

“Believe me, all those other bands were great, but this thing came out of nowhere,” he said of Bruce Springsteen’s performance.

When he heard about Springsteen’s upcoming set at Vernon Downs, he knew he had to go. That concert will be one more tally to add to the 30-or-so times Testa, owner of Mello’s Subs on Genesee Street in Utica, has seen “The Boss” in his lifetime.

Springsteen and his E Street Band have an energy that’s contagious, intentionally or not, Testa said.

“He’ll tell you to bring the noise,” said Testa, 51 of West Frankfort.

Even after nearly 40 years of albums and concerts, The Boss still has it, Testa said. He started listening to Springsteen’s albums after he saw his concert at the Aud, and said he’s still got it. He said he appreciates the singer’s message about the struggle of the middle class.

“It’s all about how you have to keep on going,” he said. “It’s uplifting.”

Testa makes a point to go to Springsteen concerts in the state, but is not above traveling a ways to get his fix. His wife always wanted to go to Italy. Testa joked that he would go only if Springsteen was playing. Turns out, he was.

“We made a nice vacation out of it,” he said. “I got to see Michelangelo’s “David” in the morning, and went to see Bruce at night.”

Springsteen Summer Tour 2012 Book Sale: Last Week!
Discover the Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 225 copies remain. A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there- the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!

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