On Friday, Oct. 5, Bruce Springsteen, a.k.a., “The Boss,” was back in Philadelphia with the E-Street Band to promote the new album, “Magic.” As a New Jersey native, whenever Springsteen makes a stop in the local tri-state area, there is definitely the feeling of being in “Springsteen Country.” Along the way to the show, one car had a sticker on it reading “Thunder Road,” paying tribute to one of Springsteen’s classic hits.In anticipating the start of a concert, it always seems like you are forever waiting for a great music act to step out onto the stage. When the lights finally dimmed, signaling Springsteen’s time to rock, the crowd offered up a rowdy, wild cheer to welcome The Boss back to Philly. In following the theme of the new album, a circus-themed ornament was lifted off the ground behind the stage. Circus music played as it lifted high enough to allow Springsteen and the E-Street band to head out on stage.
Once on stage, Springsteen opened the concert with a song entitled “Radio Nowhere,” which is from his new album. Other new songs on the set list for the evening included “Magic,” “Gypsy Biker,” and “Devil’s Arcade.” After a few songs, Springsteen said intros for drummer Max Weinberg, sax player Clarence Clemons, and guitarist Steve Van Zandt AKA “Little Steven.” Springsteen’s wife and E-Street guitarist Patti Scialfa was also present on the new tour, as well as other band members and a violinist.
Sitting in the mezzanine level, stage right, the view of the show was good enough to sit through, at least during the ballads. During one song accented by Springsteen’s harmonica, I caught a glimpse of a woman in the front row – lucky her! Every time Springsteen turned in her direction, she held up a sign that read, “Harmonica Please.” As an artist who often interacts with his crowd of fans beyond singing to them, Springsteen went right into notes on his harmonica.
In another moment of interacting directly with a fan, Springsteen sang and walked towards the crowd at the rear of the stage. One guy threw his cowboy hat out to The Boss, who then posed with the fan’s hat on his head as he continued singing. After tossing the hat back to his fan, Springsteen headed out to another area of the stage, taking turns engaging the crowd on all sides.
Along with songs from the new album, Springsteen and his bandmates played the crowds’ old favorites, including “Darlington County,” “Born to Run,” and “Promised Land.” The song “Darlington County” always gets the crowd on their feet, along with the stadium rocking anthem “Born to Run.”
Springsteen’s song “Badlands” was followed by a short intermission. As the Springsteen and the E-Street Band retreated backstage, the crowd echoed the song with of “Oooooh, oooooh, oooooh, oooooh, oooh!”
The set list for the Oct. 5 show didn’t include Springsteen crowd favorites such as “Glory Days” or “Born in the USA.” In terms of Springsteen concerts, that would have to be the only negative about the show on that particular night. However, Springsteen’s set list could vary from city to city as he and the E-Street Band continues on their latest US tour.
For anyone who has not been to see The Boss live in concert, Springsteen is one of those artists not to be missed. Springsteen shows a great passion for music in his ballads, and energizes the crowd as he rocks out in louder rock ‘n roll songs. Having seen The Boss a few times in concert, one thing is certain – Springsteen fans can’t get enough of his music. So expect a rockin’ crowd, yelling out “Bruuuuuuuce” for multiple encores to round out an evening The Boss and the E-Street Band.
Check out where The Boss is headed next on tour at http://www.brucespringsteen.net.
Carol Dwyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.