GIG: Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band
DATE: Saturday 15th June 2013
VENUE: Wembley Arena, Wembley, London
COST: £50 plus booking fees (£14.75 in total)

These days there may only be one person in the world that we’d go to a stadium gig for. And that person would be Bruce Springsteen. The Beeb had seen him before and knew just how good he was live. This was to be an eye-opener for Minty though.

Deciding to make a day of it, we booked a hotel nearby so we didn’t need to worry about getting home afterwards. We made our way to Wembley Stadium and eventually got our tickets sorted out, after a nightmare week of phone calls, emails and Facebook fights with Ticketmaster.

It was our first time at Wembley and it really is well laid out. Very easy to find your way around, and it must be great watching a football match here. There’s not a bad view from anywhere in the stadium. The same cannot be said for a concert mind you. We sat at the back, just forward of the right hand side of the stage. But that didn’t matter…we were about to see The Boss.

The mosh pit started to fill early on

The place erupted as the band came on and blasted into “Land Of Hope And Dreams”, then went straight into a number they don’t really perform very often, “Jackson Cage.” The high tempo continued with a powerful “Radio Nowhere”, before slowing things down with an out-take from the Darkness album, “Save My Love”.

Bruce’s energy level was truly astonishing. He kept going into the crowd and took requests from them. On “Hungry Heart” he didn’t sing the first verse because the crowd took over before he could start. He then made us an offer….... he could keep playing requests, or they could do the whole “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” album!”

“Darkness” won the vote overwhelmingly, and the band kicked it off with a rocking “Badlands.” Bruce had explained that the “Darkness” album defined what the work of the E Street Band was about. “Adam Raised A Cain” contributed to the reason why so many fans consider this album to be his best. On “Racing In The Street” Bruce just stood back to take in the beauty of the piano solo Roy Bittan came up with. The crowd seemed stunned by it too. A highlight of the night as far as we were concerned.

The title “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” sets the actual mood for most of the album. Some people may have been happier with the complete “Born In The USA” instead. Minty didn’t know the album, but for The Beeb it was the perfect choice. After finishing with the title track, that’s when the party really started to take off. Special mention has to be made about Nils Lofgren’s gymnastic prowess though. It’s hard to believe he’s had two new hips put in the way he danced and swaggered around on stage.

“Shackled and Drawn” and “Waiting For A Sunny Day” lifted the mood, before the set ended with “The Rising” and “Light Of Day”.

The encore started with a sing-a-long “Pay Me My Money Down”.  It’s a good job Wembley doesn’t have a roof, because it would have been blown off by the power generated by “Born To Run.” After a brace of “Born In The USA” songs, poignancy crept in via a moving collage featuring Clarence and Danny as the band played “10th Avenue Freeze Out”. Clarence’s nephew of course, played a blinder.

Curfew time was closing in, and Bruce had to mention this after what happened at Hyde Park. He was going to make sure the whole song was played this time, and a blistering “Twist And Shout” closed the show. Well ALMOST closed the show. The band had left the stage when Bruce came back and performed, perhaps the most moving song of the night, a wonderful heart string tugging acoustic version of “Thunder Road.” As we said, this was a truly astonishing performance!

Some people later complained about the sound in the stadium. It sounded fine to us, and stadiums aren’t built for sound anyway. It’s not a concert hall. The atmosphere in the place more than made up for any short-comings in sound. Bruce isn’t just a rock star, he genuinely is a religion as far as his most ardent fans are concerned. Well worth spending a day in a stadium for.

The Bruce night didn't end at the stadium for us though. We headed into a nearby Irish pub afterwards and had a great couple of hours, all singing our heads off to songs by Bruce and other classic rock bands. There was a great buzz about the place and it was funny to see groups of fans dressed like Bruce did on "Born In The USA", when they probably weren't born when the album came out!

The stadium was packed

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