A Bruce Springsteen concert — for free

Perching on the sidewalk outside Fenway Park offered a great chance to enjoy the music.

So, after feeling like an idiot for not seeing Bruce Springsteen’s first show at Fenway Park a few weeks ago, I went the second night. Well, sort of. I mean, I was at Fenway. I just wasn’t inside Fenway; I was freeloading from the sidewalk. And I wasn’t alone — not even close. As the sun set on Van Ness Street, the sidewalk was lined with folks sharing an intimate evening of mooching. Some even brought beach chairs. Sure, we missed stuff that paying patrons didn’t. But it sounded pretty darn good — we, too, got to sing, dance, and tap our feet to “Thunder Road” and “Hungry Heart.” I met Ed and Shyana Harper, a couple from Back Bay with a family tradition of concert-squatting, having crashed the Pink Floyd performance in July and the Rolling Stones show back in 2005. Their son Christopher, who is 15, manned a backpack with waters and rain jackets. Evelyn, 10, sat next to him. Bedtime, Shyana declared, would be “whenever Bruce says we can go home.” Springsteen fanatics Lori and Bob Chmiel were perched nearby, having driven in from Ludlow. There was little to see, so we all just gazed up at the ballpark as music washed over the city.


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