Last night my wife and I went up to the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. The concert was sold out, as are most of the others that I know of that are taking place soon. (The full tour list is on the official Springsteen web site.) The Arena is not huge since it is primarily used for the Rochester Americans, a “minor league” hockey team. Nevertheless, we were two of about 11,500 people present.
Photo by Kris J. Murante, staff photographer of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Since the 70s and 80s when he consistently went to the top of the charts, Springsteen has branched out from his work with the E Street Band into solo acoustic work and the Seeger Sesssions album. This tour is in support of the Magic album, and the full E Street Band was present save for Danny Federici who is battling melanoma, and Bruce’s wife and fellow E Street Band member Patti Scialfa, who was home with their three teenagers.
The set list was
- Radio Nowhere
- Lonesome Day
- Jackson Cage
- Gypsy Biker
- Reason To Believe
- Because The Night
- Loose Ends
- She’s The One
- Livin’ In The Future
- The Promised Land
- Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
- Racing In The Street
- Devil’s Arcade
- The Rising
- Last To Die
- Long Walk Home
- Girls In Their Summer Clothes
- Born To Run
- American Land
Most if not all of the Magic album was covered and the flow between songs was smooth, especially between “Livin’ in the Future” and “The Promised Land”. To be clear, Springsteen is opposed to the war in Iraq and the politics in the US over the last 7 years, and that came through loud and clear in his songs and his dialog. Few of the audience seemed to disagree.
Springsteen and the band were in great form and I had a fantastic time. There’s just something about singing along live with Springsteen and eleven thousand other people to “Born to Run.” While focusing on his new work, Bruce covered enough of his older material to fully engage the audience for nearly two and one-half hours.
I’m not great at writing these reviews because I more want to document my experience than be a critic. So here are some adjectives and phrases to describe what I saw and how I felt last night:
- Where do we park?
- Are all these people going to the concert?
- Glad we didn’t expect to eat at The Dinosaur Bar-b-que before the concert.
- Be careful, it’s icy.
- How do we get in?
- We meet our daughter Katie’s history teacher and his son.
- Do we want to buy t-shirts?
- At 7:30 we can start yelling “Bruuuuce”.
- This is weird that he is starting so late (it began at 8:30).
- We know this song, what’s the title?!
- Where’s Patti? She’s down at the end.
- “Radio Nowhere” – I was off by one, thought he would open with it. He hasn’t lost anything.
- Is that guy going to drink both of those beers?
- He’s buying more beer?
- That’s not Patti.
- “Jackson Cage” – am I singing too loudly? no one around me is telling me to be quiet.
- “Because the Night” – only a couple of piano notes to recognize it, do all these people know that he and not Patti Smith wrote it?
- He’s pacing himself, Little Stevie is singing a lot.
- “She’s the One” – everyone is singing.
- They’re not going to take a break.
- “The Promised Land” – one of my all time favorites, I’ve gotta get more Springsteen sheet music for the guitar.
- “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day” – what album is this from? (The Rising) Beautiful song, everyone singing to the choruses.
- “Badlands” – a total kick ass experience, this crowd sounds good!
- Very short time until the encore starts, about 3 lighters and a thousand cell phone lights.
- “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” – This is just pretty, nice change of pace.
- Rosalita? Rosalita? Rosalita!
- “Born To Run” – we’re all in a shared Bruce moment and loving it.
- “American Land” – Nice tie in to the Seeger Sessions, words to sing along to on the monitors. Great way to end it and send us on our way.
- … one hour to get out of the parking garage, home, can’t sleep, I’m exhausted but happy.