Seen Live: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Seeing Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band in Nijmegen wasn’t the plan. After seeing the show in Wembley, it started to itch, and itches have to be scratched. My esteemed colleague Wilbert had a spare ticket, so I went anyway.

Location wise, I’m not sure if Nijmegen’s Goffertpark is the ideal location for a gig. Unless you showed up early enough—which I didn’t—you probably ended up with a view of the screen that blocked all of the stage, as you can see:

Waiting on a sunny day

I could see Roy Bittan’s head just to the right of the screen, and The Boss when he went on one of his trips down the catwalks. With the wind and rain, I though the sound was a bit iffy, but good enough for a gig in the great outdoors. And the rain? Well, it wasn’t as epic as in Florence, last year.

Springsteen’s entrance mirrored his exit in Wembley: with just his guitar and harmonica he took the stage, kicking the show of with “The Ghost of Tom Joad”. After “Land of Hope and Dreams” it was time for some requests, most notably “Growin’ Up” and “So Young and In Love”. After “The River”, we were treated on a full Darkness on the Edge of Town. No biggie. It means you definitely get “Badlands”, “Adam Raised a Cain”, “Racing in the Street”, “Prove It All Night” (including an amazing solo by Nils Lofgren) and the title track. The remainder of the set didn’t include any real surprises, but I got to check a full band rendition of “Thunder Road” from my wish list. The encore started with “Born in the USA”, after which I went to get a beer, and when it really started to rain during “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out” I decided it was time to go. “Twist and Shout” I can do without.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band — Thunder Road

The main reason for caving in was suspecting that I’d regret not going. That Springsteen would play a lot of stuff that I wanted to hear (not counting Darkness, there were just 13 doubles on a 34 song set), and that I’d be kicking myself for staying home. While that didn’t really happen, and despite the so-so weather, it was still pretty amazing. If I hadn’t seen the London show, I probably would have gone in with a different set of expectations and gotten a bigger kick out of it. Now, it felt like a bonus. But I’d go for bonus like this any day.

Seen Live
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band + Black Crows at Goffertpark Nijmegen, on June 22nd, 2013
Set List
The Ghost of Tom Joad / Land of Hope and Dreams / My Love Will Not Let You Down / Sherry Darling / Growin’ Up / Downbound Train / Wrecking Ball / Death to My Hometown / So Young and In Love / The River / Badlands / Adam Raised a Cain / Something in the Night / Candy’s Room / Racing in the Street / The Promised Land / Factory / Streets of Fire / Prove it All Night / Darkness on the Edge of Town / Pay Me My Money Down / Shackled & Drawn / Waitin’ on a Sunny Day / Raise Your Hand / Lonesome Day / The Rising / Thunder Road // Born in the USA / Born to Run / Bobby Jean / Dancing in the Dark / Tenth Avenue Freeze-out / Twist and Shout / Shout