The Unbridled Pragmatist
smart enough to know how dumb we are

The Boss

Had the pleasure of seeing Bruce Springsteen live for the second time earlier this week and needed to confirm what thousands upon thousands have already said; Bruce is one of the best performers of all time.  The energy Bruce & the E Street Band bring throughout the show is nothing short of legendary. The reaction from the crowd incited by the intense combination of wailing guitars, screaming saxophones, methodic bass drums and the guttural vocals that only Bruce can deliver.

Show opened with the single off the new album Radio Nowhere; song is good but wasnt quite enough to distract me from the plate of wings I was devouring.  I watched this show from a box which has pros and cons; pros are free food and beer (ie plate of wings) cons are a disconnection from the crowd and performance.  It is a testament to the Boss that the crowd in my box was singing along and dancing all the while insulated from a real concert experience.  Played a lot, if not all, the songs from the new album which I am not too familiar with.  My only regret this night was not hearing Rosalita.

Eventually I put the wings down and focused more on the tunes.  Badlands rocked and got me singing. “Poor man want to be rich, Rich man want to be King, King aint satisfied ’til he rules everything” Slowly the inevitability of the encore came over the crowd.  Springsteen shows have long been famous for incredible encores that can last 5, 7, 10 songs; to the point where encore probably is a misnomer and second set is more appropriate.

The reputation Bruce & E Street have earned over the years as great entertainers was certainly earned this night.  Classics Thunder Road and Born to Run had the whole crowd standing and screaming.  Dancing in the Dark produced more Courtney Cox imitations than a Friends reunion party.  I have been to countless events at Verizon Center; concerts, basketball games, hockey games, wrestling and hot rods (embarrassed to admit the last two).  I have been at Wizards and Capitals playoff games where neither the quality of the performance nor the intensity of the crowd was matched.

My mom has told me stories of Bruce in the 70’s and 80’s, shows at small venues when the blast of the musician that saved rock and roll was so strong it felt like getting punched in the gut.  The man that was able to save our country from the disco culture that infiltrated radios throughout America is still doing what he does best; making a crowd listen once his guitar starts talking. 

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