I was lucky enough to see a legend perform in Sprint Center April 7th. Accompanied by my dad, uncle and family friend, I was given the opportunity to see Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform the River Tour. If was just as incredible as you could imagine, regardless of sitting in the semi-nosebleed seats.
I have seen some great performers at the Sprint Center: KISS, Justin Timberlake, Bob Seger. However, the performance done by Springsteen was something all its own. For starters, I was not near prepared for the setlist for this concert. Yes, I am a huge fan of Springsteen and his discography but not so much of the gargantuan album that is The River. Out of the numerous songs I have heard, there was a large majority I hadn’t heard before that night. Regardless of my lack of knowledge of his setlist, I still was enamored by watching these tacticians of their craft perform on stage. Max Weinberg, the drummer and 42 year veteran of the E Street Band, was incredible to watch as he didn’t stop playing for the entirety of the three and a half hour set. And now, I have a few new favorites from Springsteen including: “The River,” “Price You Pay”, and “Jackson Cage.”
It was also great to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform, and they also played a few songs that I didn’t think I would have heard including “Because the Night,” which was popularized by Patti Smith, but written by Bruce, and “Shout” by the Isley Brothers.
That aspect of this concert was most likely the most impressive. There were no breaks, no intercessions, and nearly no pauses between songs. At the end of each song, Bruce would yell “1, 2, 3, 4… 1, 2, 3, 4” and before the last note was played of “Hungry Heart” directly into the first note of “Out in the Street.” There also was no opener, just the boss up on stage for three and a half hours straight. I thought to myself after the concert was over that this was something that I had never seen before.
One thing to also keep in mind is that that for the most part, other than Jake Clemons (nephew to the original E Street Band’s Saxophone player, the late Clarence Clemons), these performers are old. Bruce Springsteen is 66 years old and is still rocking all night. These performers are not just sitting around during this set either. The venue actually was setup to have a divide in the middle of the pit to allow for Bruce to walk through and eventually crowd-surf and sing back to the stage. Watching this show really let me see first hand that the band was having a blast and that their age was in no way an issue.
While, for the most part, the audience was more on the quiet side, just listening to Bruce and the rest of the band go through their set, until the lights went on. I learned later that night that this indicated the “encore set” which started off with a song that I think everyone in the Sprint Center sang along to: “Born to Run.” The entire place lit up and had no time to settle down as Bruce motioned to his band as he had before “1, 2, 3, 4… 1, 2, 3, 4” into “Dancing in the Dark.” After my two favorite Springsteen songs had played at this point, the concert was well worth the time and money to see.
By: Joe Kucharski