Ok this is getting boring. Why do I bother going to Springsteen gigs? Seriously what is the point? I mean you know exactly what you are going to get. Something so predictable is boring right? Of course I jest. The only predictable thing about a Springsteen gig is that it is going to be great.
I guess you are reading this because you like Springsteen and if you like Springsteen then you know how good he is. If you are interested enough in Bruce then:
- You will have seen the reviews and nodded your head in a knowing way while having a big satisfied and slightly smug grin on your face
- You will have seen the set lists and although not be completely surprised, still be amazed that no two shows are the same
- You will have seen the show times. That is to say, the actual time he and the mighty E Street Band are on stage. A 3 hour show is the norm. Hell, he just did a 3 hour and 48 minutes show in Madrid...
…so you really don’t need me to tell you that this was a great gig however I am going to anyway.
One thing about Springsteen gigs in Europe is that you just turn up and if you are lucky enough (early enough) you get in the pit. There are no extra charges or over the top Gold Circle prices. If you get in, you get a wrist band and then you can come and go as you please. It helped that the pit is big at the RDS (3000) and it was on a work day. As a result I was reasonably confident of getting in however due to the publicised start time of 7pm (in no small way due to the curfew killjoys at Hyde Park on Saturday) then there was no guarantee.
As it was we turned up at 5.45 and they were handing out wrist bands on the gate. Happy fecking days. Now there are people, usually women, (quite a few of them from Holland it seems) that queue up very early, as in the night before. I take my hat off to these glorious people and one day I will do it myself. As it is I am getting old and I like my home comforts too much...and I’m not crazy...however they do get close (#jealous as I would say on Twitter).
As for the show, tonight he played a whopping 31 songs and a total time of 3 hours and 25 minutes. Pretty run of the mill for him really. The E Street Band wandered on stage at 7.23 with Bruce and guitarist Steve Van Zandt last up. They rolled on, what appeared to be, a large mocked up Power Switch…very much in the 'On' position. ‘Before I was so rudely interrupted’ he said and the band started up and finished Twist and Shout from where they had been cut off in their now infamous Hyde Park gig. The band were obviously in great form as they followed up with The Clash’s I Fought The Law. ‘Let that be a lesson to them’ he shouted and launched straight into Badlands. This was gonna be a special gig.
Springsteen has never just relied on the hits as he has always played new songs mixed in with tracks from all the way through his back catalogue. Unlike other artists the new tracks don’t lessen the atmosphere and We Take Care Of Our Own, Wrecking Ball and the marching Death To My Hometown all keep up the pace. However none could match the glorious, gospel like My City In Ruins. The chorus of ‘Come On Rise Up’ really does send the shivers down the spine.
Spirit Of The Night was stunning with Jake Clemons doing his Uncle proud. I’m A Rocker was a raucous run through of a song not previously played on this tour. Murder Incorporated and Johnny 99 were belted out; Waiting On A Sunny Day is a fabulous sing along with Springsteen normally finding a younger member of the audience to sing the chorus. The very young girl who Bruce got on stage did herself proud. My Hometown (requested by U2 apparently) and The River showed off Springsteen’s mellow side while The Rising and Land Of Hope And Dreams finished off the main set.
The encore; no one does encores like Bruce. Starting off slowly with We Are Alive (which was spoilt by a group of idiots next to us who were trying to persuade one of their number to get on the shoulders of another. This went on for the whole song as she was seemingly afraid to do it…at one point even being close to tears and screeching. I was nearly going to pick her up myself and put her on the guys shoulders but eventually she did so herself) there then came possibly the best group of songs I have ever witnessed. Just look at this list:
Born In The USA, Born To Run, Rosalita, Dancing In The Dark, Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, Twist And Shout and American Land. Simply listing them really doesn’t do them justice though:
-Born In The USA - my first time hearing this in 9 years and the first time in its full over the top glory
-Born To Run – a great sing-a-long-a-Bruce
-Rosalita – if you fail to dance to this then you are not human. Fabulous stuff
-Dancing in The Dark – a stomping version with Bruce dancing the ‘Courtney Cox’ dance with a, shall we say, older lady (probably same age as Bruce actually)
-Tenth Avenue Freeze Out – included a spine tingling tribute to the sadly missed Clarence Clemons. Jake at the back of the stage looked towards the heavens throughout. Goosebumps
-Twist And Shout – this time the full version with the power switch back on stage and the ‘threat’ of the power being cut. Pure theatre. Alice Copper would be proud
-American Land – including a Benny Hill type fight with a fake English Bobby and a man in a suit (representing London Council maybe?). Hilarious stuff watching them wrestle with Bruce and Steve. Also I have never jumped so much to any song…ever
Exhausting stuff. The sweat was drenching me at this stage but that’s always the sign of a great gig. Seeing the man up close, seeing the energy that he and the E Street Band put into a show, seeing the enthusiasm of him, the band, and in return the audience makes for a wonderful experience. I pity you if you have never been to a Springsteen gig; you are missing out on something rather exceptional. Having said that some people you can never please…as the wife said afterwards “They didn’t play Glory Days”. Tomorrow Lorraine, tomorrow.
PS As Bruce said “Why do you women wear heels?” Yep they seemingly shouldn’t as both Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell both slipped over
PPS The Guinness was actually pretty nice (unusual at concerts) and at €5.00 was surprisingly cheap (compare that to O2 Arena prices and you will see what I mean). Someone made a bit of a fuck up by spelling Guinness wrong on the signs above the bar though
PPPS The rain held off until leaving time…and then it pissed it down. By that stage though it was a welcome feeling
Now for round 2.
Ticket Price: €86.00