Now, I have to admit that I like Springsteen, but I don't consider myself a huge fan. I've enjoyed his music for years, own a number of his albums, and have now seen him live twice. In many ways, that's the key: Springsteen is legendary for his live performances. Though he's slowing down some (he no longer plays 4+ hours at a stretch), his current tour consists of well over two hours of nearly non-stop music. One song segues into the next with very little chatter. Even the obligatory guitar changes usually happen while someone is still playing, and then he counts off into the next tune.
It's really amazing. The energy level Bruce and the band maintain is beyond anything I've seen.
What's also amazing is the number of New Jerseyites (if that's the term) who pop up like prairie dogs to see "BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!" play. Riding BART to the arena for the show, eight or ten of the people standing near me were comparing notes about what part of New Jersey they came from. And when Springsteen called out from the stage to greet the bay area, he also called out to folks from New Jersey, and they were almost as loud, if not as numerous. One is not normally so aware of their presence, and I'm unclear whether they just follow the band (Bruceheads?) or whether they're always here, but usually quieter.
Anyway, it was a very good show. I enjoyed it more than the first time I saw him, which was outdoors at Pacific Bell Park (or whatever it was called that week). Springsteen really connects with the smaller audience. I'm told his solo acoustic shows are even more amazing. Perhaps I'll check that out the next time he does one around here.
Here's the glowing review from the San Francisco Chronicle the next day:
...somehow, some way, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band still stand for the same things, still shine the same beacon, still stay true to the dream. They are older, wiser men - joined now by women, Soozie Tyrell and Patti Scialfa - and they are slowed by time. .... The Boss himself couldn't quite put that harsh wailing urgency into "Backstreets," but just the fact that he was playing the song again for the first time in years said everything.On the down side, I see indications today that some radio stations are trying to suppress some of the songs from Springsteen's newest album (although how you suppress the #1 album in the country, I don't know). Bruce has always been outspoken about things, and he makes no secret of his dislike or even disdain for the current U.S. administration. But truly, I find it difficult to believe that even to corporate conglomerates that run the radio business these days would try to suppress extremely popular music if there's money in it for them. Weird. I'll keep an eye on that.