Seen live: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

The only Dutch gig on Springsteen’s Working on a Dream World Tour 2009 was at Pinkpop. Since the rest of the bill didn’t quite strike my fancy and I’m not much of a festival guy anyway, I started to explore other options. Two concerts in a weekend, ticket availability, general appeal and rave reviews on last year’s tour stop made me decide in favor of Dublin, Ireland.

Hindsight is 20/20, they say, but I think I picked the right gig. What a show it was. What a crowd. What an energy. What a set list. What a sound! What a band! Three hours flew by and the gig went on and on and on. Or as Little Steven proclaimed during Glory Days, it was Curfew bustin Boss-time! In short: it was seven totally different kinds of awesome.

Sure, there are some minor quibbles I could make about the lines, the cost of refreshments, the lack of public transport after the show, people complaining that I’m too tall and that they can’t see a thing, or people using me as a reference point because I’m so damn tall. But that has nothing to do with the show: it was an over-the-top, exuberant, fist-pumping and glorious celebration of rock and roll. Highlights? The whole crowd singing along with all of Hungry Heart; Youngstown ending with a blistering solo by Nils Lofgren; Darkness on the Edge of Town; Trapped; American Skin; Mighty Max Weinberg on drums and Roy Bittan on the piano; The Big Man‘s sax solo in Jungleland—I stood there, eyes closed, and man, he just ripped; Rosalita was a party; hell, even a drawn-out Twist & Shout worked where it shouldn’t. Such is the power and the glory of the hard-rocking, show-stopping, love-making, Viagra-taking *, etc. etc., E Street Band.

Seen live
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at the RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland on July 12, 2009
Set list
The Fields of Anthenry (Nils Lofgren accordeon-intro) / No Surrender / Badlands / Night / My Lucky Day / Outlaw Pete / Hungry Heart / Working on a Dream / Seeds / Johnny 99 / Youngstown / Darkness on the Edge of Town / Raise Your Hand (instrumental) / Spirit in the Night / Sherry Darling / Proud Mary / Prove it All Night / Trapped / Waitin’ on a Sunny Day / The Promised Land / Radio Nowhere / American Skin (41 Shots) / Lonesome Day / The Rising / Born to Run // Jungleland / American Land / Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) / Glory Days / Dancing in the Dark / Twist and Shout

* His words, not mine.