It was a typical British summer’s night at the Etihad on Friday night, waterproofs, scarves and woolly hats all making an unwanted reappearance from the wardrobe. But no-one was ever going to care, after all, it’s not often you’re able to see a true legend perform right in front of your eyes.
If you look up cool in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Bruce Springsteen…he’s not only cool, he’s effortlessly cool, unlike ‘stars’ of the music world today who have to resort to gimmicky names (Will.i.am) or taking all their clothes off (Rihanna and pretty much the majority of female pop artists).
Bruce put the younger artists of the world to shame, with his epic 30 track set lasting 3 hours 17 minutes (without intermission) proving that at 62 years of age he still has the energy to outdo even the best of today’s live performers (Coldplay’s 20 track set list at the o2 arena last year paling in comparison).
The Boss started strong with ‘Badlands’ and ‘No Surrender’, meticulously integrating old classics like ‘Atlantic City’ with some tracks from ‘Wrecking Ball’ such as the rocking ‘Death to My Hometown’ and the beautiful ‘Jack of All Trades’. The main highlights of the pre-encore show being a haunting solo piano performance of ‘The Promise’ and the ever current ‘The River’ (“lately there ain’t been much work on account of the economy”).
Whilst the first couple of hours was exceptional, it was slow burning, drawing the crowd in and building anticipation for what we all knew was coming…and boy did it come. What had gone before was almost forgotten the instant the classic harmonica intro to ‘Thunder Road’ echoed throughout the stadium…the crowd roared and at that moment the heavens opened on the Etihad Stadium, almost as if Bruce himself had torn the heavens down.
From then on in there was no rest bite as The Boss along with the absurdly awesome Steve Van Zandt (AKA Silvio from the Soprano’s) and the rest of the E Street band rocked out classic after classic. Springsteen’s performance of ‘Born to Run’ is perhaps one of the greatest things I’ve witnessed in my life, I’ve never heard a crowd so pumped and so engaged. Nothing could ever match ‘Born to Run’ but performances of ‘Bobby Jean’, ‘Dancing in the Dark’ and the surprising finale of the Beatles classic ‘Twist and Shout’ came pretty damn close.
Click “next” below to read part 2…