Kaileen Rozanski danced in the dark Wednesday with Bruce Springsteen.
Springsteen plucked the 18-year-old Avon woman out of the crowd in
front of the stage at Vernon Downs. As the band played, the pair hugged
Video of Rozanski dancing with Springsteen
"Springsteen was such a big inspiration for me growing up," Rozanski said.
Rozanski graduated from Avon High School in the spring, worked the
summer as a recreation counselor and is entering Monroe Community
College next week. She also spent the summer getting ready for her first
When she heard Springsteen was playing at Vernon Downs, a mere 2
1/2-hour drive away, she began making plans. She got tickets the moment
they went on sale. She convinced her father, who went with her to the
concert, to show up early. Way early. She was at the gate at 3 p.m.
As any good Springsteen fan knows, the video for Springsteen's 1984
song "Dancing in the Dark" features a very young Courtney Cox being
plucked from the crowd by Springsteen and the pair dance on stage as the
Rozanski said she was aware from YouTube videos that Springsteen still pulled dancers up on stage.
Rozanski wore a red bandana on her head ("How could I go to a Bruce
Springsteen concert without wearing a red bandana?") and she carried a
sign: "HEY BRUCE I WANNA DANCE IN THE DARK."
When the concert started, she held the sign high over her head.
"I could see that he was reading it," she said.
As the concert went on, she held up the sign. And then Springsteen "communicated with me," she said.
"He mouthed, 'Yes, later, not now.' "
The crowd pushed her up toward the stage, she said. She even thought
he had forgotten her. And then the band played "Dancing in the Dark."
After Springsteen finished singing the song, the band continued
playing. Springsteen went to the edge of the stage, bent down and took
her sign. He showed it to the band.
Then he offered her his hand and the crowd pushed her up on stage.
"It's literally something I've been dreaming of forever," Rozanski said.
"Two times he hugged me. Two times I hugged him. He kissed my cheek. I
told him he was a big inspiration. I said 'I love you.' He said he
loved me," she said.
And there she was, dancing with Bruce Springsteen.
"The band was on one side and 20,000 people on the other," she said.
Springsteen took her red bandana and modeled it for the crowd. He
gave Rozanski his harmonica. They danced, hugged again and he lowered
her down from the stage.
"I'm so blessed by the experience," she said.
She has video of her moment on stage, but the quality isn't that
great, she said. She hopes someone may have taken video or still photos
of her moment.
She's posted her video on her YouTube channel: ohkaythatscool. Anyone with any video or photos of her can contact her there, she said.
Michael Paternoster Sr., of Pulaski, got his family of five to Vernon
Downs at 8 a.m. Wednesday to make sure each one got a wristband
allowing them to stand in the pit during that night’s concert by Bruce
Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Some 16 hours later, that move paid off.
Springsteen fulfilled the hope and dreams of 8-year-old Michael Jr.
by pulling him on stage to sing “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” with the band.
Michael Jr. knew the words by heart. The crowd went nuts.
Michael Sr., wife Rene, and daughters Kaeleigh, 15, and Samantha, 11, watched in awe.
“Very exciting,” Michael Sr. said Thursday. “I’m totally amazed. I’ve
been a Springsteen fan since the early ‘80s. I’m totally shocked. This
is a memory that will never leave us.”
“It felt amazing,” Michael Jr. said..
It was dad’s 26th Springsteen show, including one earlier during this
“Wrecking Ball” tour. So his son knew that Springsteen had been pulling
kids out of the pit to sing “Waiting on a Sunny Day” with him.
Yet Michael Jr. is no one-song wonder. “He knows at least 20 or 25
(Springsteen songs),” says Michael Sr. “His favorite is ‘Shackled and
Drawn.’ He knows ‘Jungleland.’ ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.’¤”
Michael Jr. said now his favorite is “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day.”
Springsteen’s eyes were drawn to a sign held up by Michael Jr., who shares the same birthday as The Boss, Sept. 23.
“It said, ‘Michael, born 9/23/03,” Michael Sr. said. “Then it said,
‘Birthday wish No. 1, Bruce tickets.’ We had it crossed out. Then it
said, ‘No. 2. Have Bruce sign my book.’
The 8-year-old had read a book about Springsteen to write a school book report.
When a security guard deposited Michael Jr. back with his family
after his time on stage, the boy told his family, ‘My biggest dream in
the world came true. I got to sing with Bruce.’
Then he broke into tears.
“It’s the No. 1 (Springsteen) show for him,” said Michael Sr. “It’s always one to remember.”
Does Michael Jr. feel famous? “Oh, yes,” he said.
Video of Michael Jr. singing with Bruce
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