Yesterday was my birthday.
I got to see Bruce Springsteen.
As they say on the netz, your argument is invalid.
It was a near-great show, on the Springsteen scale, in other words a hell of a lot better than the shows put on by most performers, but probably the shortest full-scale Bruce & the E-Streeters show I’ve ever seen, and pulling in third on enjoyment behind (#2) the Tunnel Of Love show I saw in the eighties, and the incredible show I saw (and blogged about a good bit) three years ago. It was heavy on new material from his latest album, Wrecking Ball, much of which I was sort of lukewarm on going in, but after seeing the songs performed live I have a stronger appreciation for them (the one big exception being “Jack Of All Trades,” which is a plodding, overly earnest song that made everybody sit down and check their smartphones).
The band was exemplary, including Jake Clemons on sax, the nephew of the late, great “Big Man” Clarence Clemons. There were some very moving bits of tribute to Clarence and the other lost E-Streeter, Danny Federici, including one epic moment of grace and power during “10th Avenue Freezeout;” when Bruce sang the line “A change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band…” Springsteen and the band stopped playing and let the crowd roar its appreciation for Clemons in an extended, building, cacophonous, epic moment of silence, before continuing the song.
Springsteen himself was as playful and dynamic and incredible as ever. He hasn’t lost a beat over the decades (at one point he performed a full split, in tight jeans no less!), and actually took the act out into the crowd several times, not only crowd-surfing mosh-pit style but belting out a tune while tight-roping his way along a narrow railing out into the mass of fans.
A charming moment occurred when, during the song “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day,” Bruce took a sign from a girl in the crowd and held it up so it could be read on the video screens above the stage. It said something like “
11 12 13 14 Concerts & Still Waitin’ To Sing Sunny Day!” He crouched at the edge of the stage and held the mike out to her, letting her sing the chorus. Later, during a rousing rendition of “Dancing In The Dark,” he brought another young girl onstage to dance her little Courtney Cox off.
I’m waiting for some decent videos to appear from the show. Once they do, I’ll share ’em in another post.
There was at least one other local writer there last night, Laurel Snyder (and thank you, Laurel, for so enthusiastically celebrating my birthday!). She is a huge fan, and has written her own blog post about the experience that is a lot better than the one you’re reading, so you should check it out here.
Here’s an okay video of the show’s opening which you should watch if only for the funny introduction Bruce gives for himself…