Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Glory Days

I suppose I should comment on the Bruce Springsteen concert I saw last Thursday night.

It was like seeing a Bruce Springsteen show from 1980. With the exception of “Dancing in the Dark” and the seven songs from his new album, all the rest of it predated the Born in the U.S.A. era. And we’re not talking about well-known songs from his early era, either; there was no “Thunder Road” or “Hungry Heart” in attendance that evening. It was all album cuts or rarities. In other words, for a Brucephile like myself, it was a bit of heaven. Really? “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”? I had no idea he even performed that song any more.

Unfortunately, my friend who went with me only owns Born in the U.S.A. and Bruce’s Greatest Hits. He didn’t know a song until “Badlands,” the final song before the encore. He hated the show while I loved it. Judging from the opinions I’ve read online after the show, he wasn’t the only one.

We had the best seats I think I’ve ever had for a concert. We were right next to the stage, twelve rows off the floor. We were basically on an even plane with the stage. I made eye contact with each person onstage that night and even received a nod from Steven Van Zandt when I waved to him. I have pictures of Bruce and the band on my phone and you can actually tell who you’re looking at. That’s how close we were.

Here’s what he played:

Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
Prove It All Night
Gypsy Biker
Reason To Believe
Because the Night
She’s the One
Livin’ in the Future
The Promised Land
Spirit in the Night
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Devil’s Arcade
The Rising
Last To Die
Long Walk Home

Kitty’s Back
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
American Land

During “Dancing in the Dark” Bruce pulled a little girl onstage to dance with him during the end of the song. (Think Courtney Cox in the video, only eleven years old.) They danced, he helped her back into the audience, but then he pulled her onstage to dance with him again. It was easily the best moment – and the cutest – of the show.

Also, the concert marked a brief return of organist Danny Federici. He hasn’t been on the tour due to a melanoma scare, but he looked great on the few songs he joined the band. Hopefully he’s on the way to a healthful and speedy recovery.

Bruce is the man.
(Note: The photo, which I found on Backstreets.com, is by Ron Valle. Great site there, by the way.)