Mar 19, 2013

Bruce Springsteen @ Allphones Arena

He is many things. An entertainer. A performer. A rock star. A man of the people. The last one especially. He connects and enthralls like few others. If he just had almost 40 years of incredible music, then that would be enough. But there is so much more. He roams the stage, looking into people's eyes. Hollering, roaring, screaming. He touches people. Literally. He gives them an experience and a half. But it is real. This is not just a show. It is an affirmation of music. The power of song. Bruce Springsteen is the real deal. A living, breathing monument of sound. Last night at Allphones Arena was just stupid fun. Just stupid.

Like many fans I have a long history with Bruce. I came in around "Born In The USA" but soon I was searching for more. "Born to Run", "Darkness On the Edge of Town", the stark beauty of "Nebraska". Even if the quality dropped off in the last decade or so a live show was too good to resist. Especially as The Boss has not toured here for nearly ten years. This show was high energy from start to finish. It was nearly spiritual in intent with Springsteen cajoling us to join in. He could have been a preacher. The E Street Band went the whole way as you would expect. Even though Clarence Clemons is no longer with us, he is not forgotten. His nephew Jake Clemons ably filled his shoes. Also missing was Steven Van Zandt, who couldn't come on this tour. Former Rage Against the Machine man Tom Morello took his place and he was electric. Especially his shredding on "The Ghost of Tom Joad". The band was augmented by 3 back up singers and a 5 piece horn section. All added up to a potent mix. But it was Bruce that took centre stage. Whether he was crowd surfing on "Hungry Heart" or pulling a ten year old girl on stage during "Waitin' on a Sunny Day", he had the crowd savouring each and every moment. The set was a pretty good selection of old and new. When he played "Atlantic City" and "The River" in Brisbane on Saturday night I thought we might miss out on those two classics and so it proved. But we did get a slew from "Darkness on the Edge of Town". "Candy's Room" was a real standout. As was the fiercesome "Adam Raised a Cain", which was a sign request and proved a very pleasant surprise. Naturally latest album "Wrecking Ball" got a major workout and the songs improved in the live arena. Especially the title track and the Irish inspired "American Land". Of course the biggest cheers were reserved for the 'big ones'. Closer "Badlands" was an absolute stunner as were the encore songs. Especially the purely magnificent "Thunder Road". When the houselights came on for "Born to Run", it was time for the crowd to collectively lose its shit. So it happened. Fun was had. Tears flowed. We laughed. We felt. It happened.

Set List
American Land
Prove It All Night
Adam Raised a Cain (Sign Request)
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
Hungry Heart
My City of Ruins
Spirit in the Night
High Hopes (The Havalinas cover)
Candy's Room
She's the One
Pay Me My Money Down
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Rising
The Ghost of Tom Joad

Thunder Road
Born to Run
Seven Nights to Rock (Moon Mullican cover)
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out


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