Concert Review: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Prove it All Night

Friday night at Wrigley Field Bruce Springsteen played the role of rock star, friend, dream fulfiller, and even ghost whisper. The most important role, was of course, rock star which he did brilliantly for over three and a half hours. At 62, he might not have the same spring in his step that he used to, but it didn’t stop him from running up, down, and around the stage that took up the majority of Wrigley Field’s outfield.

The show kicked off at 8:25 with “Prove it All Night,” the classic tune off of Darkness on the Edge of Town. And Prove It is just what Bruce did. On tour for their new album, Wrecking Ball, Bruce and the E Street band treated the audience to a number of tracks from the new album. My favorite was “Death to My Hometown” which had an Irish/Punk flair to it. Of course, new songs wouldn’t inspire a sold out crown to pay $100 a ticket (at minimum). The crowd came to see the classics and the Boss delivered on that front as well. “Hungry Heart”, “Badlands”, and “Thunder Road” were among the hits that really got the people going.

As an added bonus, a couple of Chicago native rock stars had guest appearances at the show. Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam joined The Boss for a haunting version of “Atlantic City.” Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine joined the band for a number of tracks including the aforementioned “Death to My Hometown,” but brought the house down with an incredible version of “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” This track is one of my personal favorites, but with the addition of one of the greatest guitar players alive brought the song to another level.

Other highlights of the night included Bruce making a little girl’s life by bringing her on stage to help him sing “Waiting on a Sunny Day,” and making another women’s life by dancing with her to “Dancing in the Dark.” The most touching moment of the entire concert, however, was Bruce playing the part of medium. During the moment in “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” when Bruce sings, “the big man joined the band” the music cut out and a minute long montage to the late Clarence Clemons appeared on the stage’s large screens as the audience cheered. As Clemons’ nephew Jake kicked back in, the song wrapped up and all the guests came back on stage to play one final song. Bruce wanted to have the crowd leave dancing and did just that by playing “Twist and Shout,” wrapping the show up just before midnight.

Overall it was an amazing show by an amazing performer. I’ll say it again. Three and a half hours. 28 songs. No breaks. Bruce may be 62 years old but he’s still out performing those more than half his age.

Setlist:

1 Prove it All Night

2 My Love Will Not let You Down

3 Out in the Street

4 Hungry Heart

5 We Take Care of Our Own

6 Wrecking Ball

7 Death to My Hometown (with Tom Morello)

8 My City of Ruins

9 Spirit in the Night

10 Trapped (Jimmy Cliff cover)

11 Jack of All Trades (with Morello)

12 Atlantic City (with Eddie Vedder)

13 Lonesome Day

14 I’m Going Down

15 Darlington County

16 Shackled and Drawn

17 Waitin’ on a Sunny Day

18 None but the Brave

19 Ghost of Tom Joad (with Morello)

20 Badlands

21 Land of Hope and Dreams

22 We are Alive

23 Thunder Road

24 Born to Run

25 Dancing in the Dark

26 Jungleland

27 Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

28 Twist and Shout (Isley Brothers cover with Vedder and Morello)

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