Last wednesday, Bruce Springsteen and his E-Street Band played the Amsterdam Arena. And I was there, for my first Springsteen concert. What a mighty fine gig it was. Sure, it probably wasn’t the best gig I’ve ever seen, but man, that energy, that showmanship, that set list—although my two alltime favorite tracks (“Thunder Road” and “Point Blank”) weren’t played, other favorites like “The River”, “Spirit in the Night”, “Because the Night”, “Prove it all Night”, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and “Badlands” totally made up for that.
The Arena is infamous for it’s acoustic qualities. Every time a concert is announced there, fans automatically scream bloody murder about the reverb that totally ruins the sound. The general consensus seems to be that as long as you’re on the field and not somewhere up in the seats, the sound should be alright. I was going in prepared for the worst, but from where I was standing (somewhere near the center spot, when the stage was on the goal line) I did not hear that dreaded echo. In fact, I thought the sound was quite decent.
The only I’m still not quite sure about is whether or not I totally dig stadium concerts. Sure, the atmosphere and roaring cheers of a decently filled stadium—it was far from being sold out, as a large section of the second ring was closed—are thrilling. But having to wade through half a football field of people to get a much needed refreshment… not so thrilling. And then you have to wade your way back again. Also, the time of year didn’t really help: being just three days before the longest day of the year, it didn’t get really dark at all until the encores, so we only got to really enjoy the (sparse) light show for the last few songs.
An incomplete recording surfaced last night. The quality of the recording is all over the place, but one of my highlights of the show came out good:
download Because the Night (live in Amsterdam, 2008-07-18)
Seen Live: Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, on July 18th, 2008 at the Amsterdam Arena.
Set List: Out in the Streets / Radio Nowhere / Lonesome Day / Promised Land / Spirit in the Night / The River / Gypsy Biker / Prove it all Night / Darkness on the Edge of Town / Darlington County / Because the Night / She’s the One / Living in the Future / Mary’s Place / I’m on Fire / Backstreets / The Rising / Last to Die /Long Walk Home / Badlands // Girls in their Summer Clothes / Summertime Blues / Stand on it / Seven Nights to Rock / Born to Run / Bobby Jean / Dancing in the Dark / American Land