He Worked for Our Love

19 Nov

A Bruce Springsteen concert isn’t just any concert. It’s practically a religious experience.

And Sunday night’s show at the TD BankNorth Fleet Boston Garden Center was no exception.

This was, I believe, my fourth time seeing Bruce live (including the 1999 reunion tour when I had seats third row center, thisclose to the stage), and again, he didn’t disappoint.

Somehow I was able to get real good seats for Sunday’s show — Loge level, center, facing the stage, right in between Bruce and Steve Van Zandt — and it was an awesome evening. (No surprise.)

Starting off with the 1-2-3 punch of “Radio Nowhere,” “No Surrender” and “Lonesome Day,” Bruce got the crowd pumped up, on their feet, and rocking.

Another great 1-2 punch came midway with “Tunnel of Love” and “Working on the Highway.” Other Magic songs like “Livin’ in the Future” and (my favorite track) “Long Walk Home” worked real well live, and it was great to hear old favorites like “She’s the One” and “Badlands” again.

Also memorable was the rousing closer, “American Land” (and I loved how the lyrics were superimposed on the TV screens above the stage so we could all sing along).

The band was really tight, and despite a wall of sound that was at times overwhelming (I can still hear the ringing in my ears), they sounded great.

That said, songs like “Magic,” that were quieter and slower, were definite highlights, if only because I could actually hear them. (Then again, what song wasn’t a highlight?)

There were two truly transcendant moments, tho.

One was Clarence Clemons’ sax solo on “Jungleland” (which the band hadn’t played in a month).

Wow. It just blew me away. (Sorry. Bad pun.)

But seriously, the power and the passion with which Clarence played was truly stunning.

And the second thing was, of course, “Born to Run.” Say what you will about how cliche the song may or may not be at this point, but the second you hear the first chord and see the lights come on, there’s just nothing like it, no matter how many times you witness it.

Yelling out the lyrics and fist pumping in unison with thousands of other fans is just one of those rare live experiences that few artists can duplicate. It’s mind-blowing how much of a frenzy that song whips up, especially as the momentum builds and builds to that great line: “The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive. Everybody’s out on the run tonight, but there’s no place left to hide.”

I’ll be hoarse in the morning from yelling/singing along so loudly.

Good stuff.

That one song makes the $100 ticket price worth it for me.

And while I wish the order was reversed, for Bruce to go right from “Born to Run” into “Dancing in the Dark?” How much excitement can one person take??

I felt a little letdown that Bruce didn’t do “Dirty Water,” like he often does when he’s in Boston, but maybe Monday night’s audience will get to hear it.

Still, the man works hard to put on a good show. There’s no set, no fancy lighting, no choreography, no schtick, no lip-synching.

There’s not even a whole lot of stage banter (though Bruce did get a huge cheer when he said Boston was “Home of the World Champion … ah, you know the rest”). Just good old fashioned classic live rock and roll, and there’s no one better.

As Bono said in 1999 when he inducted Bruce into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “They call him the Boss. Well that’s a bunch of crap. He’s not the boss. He works for us.”

And how. Bruce worked hard Sunday night and ensured that everyone in the arena went home satisfied.

(By the way, most of the photos came from Backstreets.com.)

3 Responses to “He Worked for Our Love”


  1. The Big Man Was a Friend of Mine « Martin's Musings - March 27, 2012

    […] time you heard “Jungleland” live, it was awe-inspiring. Stunning. Powerful. An out-of-body […]

  2. Meet Him in the Land of Hope and Dreams « Martin's Musings - March 27, 2012

    […] more can really be said about Springsteen concerts than I have already said in previous […]

  3. Bruce Stopped the Rain « Martin's Musings - March 27, 2012

    […] the show I saw in November, this one was more party than promotion, and songs from Magic generally played second fiddle to […]

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