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Posts Tagged ‘ The Boss ’

Springsteen Set For Croke Park

Bruce-Springsteen

As an avid Bruce Springsteen fan and as the proud owner of an unused Garth Brooks ticket it’s hard to respond to this news with anything but at least mild trepidation; but all signs indicate that Bruce Springsteen is set to play two nights in Croke Park this coming summer. Continue reading

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Springsteen Keeps The Wrecking Ball Rolling In Cork

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So, how do you top playing one of your biggest albums live start to finish two days before yet another landmark gig in your forty year career? Well if you’re Bruce Springsteen, you only play three tracks from said album yet still churn out one of the finest live shows of 2013.
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No Plugs Pulled – Bruce & The E Street Band Rock Dublin

Night One

Two nights, seven hours (thereabouts) and sixty five songs. Nobody can ever doubt Springsteen provides value for money. What’s more is that, for nut jobs like me who did both nights, he played a total of 49 different tracks across the two nights, with the first half hour of the second not resembling the first in any way whatsoever. This guy is the consummate entertainer.

I’ve been going to Springsteen gigs since the Magic tour in 2008. Since that one show four years ago I’ve found myself following it up the next year with an appearance at both gigs including queuing from 11am for night two. Then I capped the year off with a trip to New Jersey for the final ever gig in the old Giants Stadium. It’s a fairly routine thing to say about an artist one greatly admires, but I completely mean it when I say that these two stops in Dublin this year eclipsed all four of the previous shows I had been at. Unless he kicked their dog and kissed their mother, there is no possible way anyone in attendance either night could not have marvelled at the show unfolding before them.

Things kicked off with a bang Tuesday when The Boss, in the wake of his abrupt finish at Hyde Park, appeared on stage and proceeded to finish off his rendition of Twist & Shout that he was “rudely interrupted” during at the previous show. That set the cheeky tone of the night and what followed was a good light hearted show, full of high spirits and cheer.  The set played out as expected with new tracks like We Take Care Of Our Own and Death To My Hometown going down fantastically well, which surprised me more than anyone given that I find the new album so-so but as per usual, the live interpretations always make a big difference. Then came some special tracks of the night, notably a way out of left field performance of I’m A Rocker and an absolutely chilling double of My Hometown and The River. The references to a desperate economic situation in the latter resonate incredibly strongly these days and there is an amazing unity in the crowd whilst it is being performed.

As this was the first show post “curfew-gate” there had been multiple references to running the show over time all night, and the pinnacle of these nods came at the encore when Bruce was interrupted by a corporate suit and a London bobby! The two acts landed on stage to flip the switch on the dummy power box The Boss had on stage and after a mock tussle between Little Steve, Bruce, the bobby and the suit, it was decided the power would stay on and Bruce confirmed this by tearing up the curfew notice and tossing it in the air. More music to be played it seemed, including the ultimate surprise; Bruce grabbed a request sign late in the game and there it was, Rosalita! No better track to begin the wrap up on what had been a crazy night, a song that is, as my gig buddy Peter described it “organised chaos”. It brought the house down, followed by Tenth Avenue Freeze Out with its touching tribute to the Big Man Clemons, another rendition of Twist & Shout and the always ecstatic American Land. A great night, made only better by the thought of doing it all over again the next day.

Night Two

Four hours sleep may not have been ideal, but it was a start. Back up at the RDS Simmonscourt Car Park at 8am to check in again for roll call, we manage to do six hundred places better on the night before and stood 429 and 430 in the queue. One slight issue stood in the way on the Wednesday show and that was that the weather didn’t look like it was going to be as favourable as the day before. The rain did its best to dampen the mood in the queue all the way up until the band took the stage when it shockingly cleared up just in time for the show to kick off! It is tradition with Bruce that he acknowledges how many people do every night on a stopover and this was clearly evident in the opening track of the night. There hasn’t been a consistent opener on this tour, its bounced between Badlands, We Take Care Of Our Own and No Surrender. What it has never been however, is a fantastic solo rendition of This Hard Land. It was surreal, having already been later than the Tuesday coming on stage, the show didn’t immediately kick off with a bang, instead with a personal moment between Bruce and the crowd. It wasn’t to last long though, as the band came on stage and then launched full force into No Surrender. As mentioned above already, it was an age before a single track from the Tuesday show surfaced. Amongst the new additions was a stirring rendition of Adam Raised A Cain, a welcome She’s The One given the absence of Born To Run tracks the previous night and an absolutely blisteringly hot Because The Night where, as usual, Nils Lofgren absolutely stole the stage from the seventeen others around him. The solo performance at the piano of The Promise too was amazing, evidence of his power as an artist that he could hold attentions of the majority for the duration. But the moment of the gig, possibly of the entire two days, was the spontaneous inclusion of Backstreets. It’s a track I simply never thought I would hear live and after the show, I could see why it’s worth playing it so sparingly. It felt like a privilege to hear, an earned reward. I couldn’t tell who was singing it with more power, The Boss or the crowd. It summed up the quality of the two gigs immensely. The gig wrapped up much the same with the exceptions including the new single Rocky Ground which echoes the woes and hard times many find themselves suffering today touchingly. A swap of Seven Nights To Rock in place of Twist & Shout was welcome as the latter does eventually lose its charm somewhat.

Over both nights Springsteen was relentless with his energy. He ensured the die-hard fans were satisfied with the diversity of the sets, whilst also making sure that the general attendees were sated with the likes of the Waiting On A Sunny Day and the sing-along sessions he makes through inviting kids from the crowd to sing a chorus, particularly the now famous young girl from the Tuesday who now has an incredible memory to keep with her of the time she not only sang with, but conducted the E Street Band! Bruce’s joking around on the Wednesday over Jake Clemons’ (an incredible stand in for his uncle too it has to be said) unfortunate injury where he seemingly sneezed on the Tuesday and threw his back out was fantastic entertainment also and by the time he was jamming on the piano with Professor Bittan using his head, it was clear that the euphoria had completely taken over and he was now completely immersed, lost to the “house party”. Even without his two comrades, Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, Springsteen only carries on through the music, it heals, it helps and it revolutionises. It is what he does better than no other artist, sell his work as convincingly now as he did when he first wrote and make the newer material sound as if its been around forever. He is the king, he is the ultimate; he is The Boss

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