I remember saying to myself “I can’t possibly go a third time…I can’t justify it. Unless of course, tickets just dropped into my lap…” And then I got the text on Sunday night. A good friend had an extra ticket to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – and he wanted to GIVE it to me! Well, you know that I was totally in!
Springsteen opened his record-breaking performance with “New York City Serenade” from his 1973 album “The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle,” with a string ensemble. He continued by going out into the audience and grabbing requests that were written on cardboard. He would then turn to the band and hold up the signs like flashcards and the band would respond in seconds.
The band played “Blinded by the Light” – a song he rarely plays live, “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?,” “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City,” “Spirit in the Night,” and on and on for a total of 24 songs. If you are a true Springsteen fan, you were in heaven. This was no “greatest hits” show, this was a vintage performance. They played “Living Proof,” a song about Bruce’s son Evan, which he has only played live four times. He played “Secret Garden” to start off his NINE song encore and the emotional “Jungleland” with Jake Clemmons, the late Clarence Clemmons’ nephew, perfecting his uncle’s signature sound. Bruce ended with “Jersey Girl” making every female in the audience swoon.
It was a show like none this fan has ever seen. Bruce performed with such stamina and playfulness that everyone knew he was enjoying every minute as much as we were. He was chugging beers, running out to the crowd, making faces with Little Steven – engaging everyone and drawing us into his world.
The phenomena known as “The Boss” entertained the crowd for four hours and one minute – fans of all ages were standing for most of this marathon. If you have never experienced a “Bruce Show”, the time to do it is now. This tour is titled “The River Tour,” but nearing the end of it, one could tell that Bruce is getting the most out of his band and playing from his enormous library – not just from the double “The River” album.
Who knows when or if they will ever play like this again because at 66, Bruce is aging – although one would never be able to tell by the endurance and perfection he displayed.
Until next time, keep on rocking! J