Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Jobing.com Arena, 12/6/12
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ Jobing.com Arena|12/6/12
Who is Bruce Springsteen anyway?
The street rat poet singing about characters straight out of West Side Story? The balladeer casting American youth in B movie glory, Roy Orbison grandeur, and fleets of fast cars? The protest singer, spitting bile at corrupt bankers and politicians? The soul brother, swinging his hips and taking the crowd to church?
Bruce Springsteen, standing in front of the mighty E Street Band, spent time in all of these poses last night as he finished up the Wrecking Ball tour at Jobing.com Arena, reminding the roaring crowd with each song, each shimmy, each sweaty line, that he's one of the greatest performers and songwriters in America.
Springsteen started out the night solo, with an acoustic rendition of "Surprise, Surprise." The folk pop song, from his 2009 effort Working on a Dream, was a low-key start, the sort of tuneful, crafted, and gentle thing you expect a 63-year-old singer/songwriter to be doing on stage. He wasted no time discarding the easygoing vibe, as the E Street Band, replete with guitarist "Little" Steven Van Zandt, drummer Max Weinberg, guitarist Nils Lofgren, bassist Garry Tallent, pianist Roy Bittan, violinist Soozie Tyrell, the E Street Horns (led by the late Clarence Clemons' nephew, Jake Clemons and Ed Manion), a trio of backup singers commanded by the stunning Cindy Mizelle, and a few more percussionists and auxiliary players for good measure, stepped up and tore into the chiming chords of "No Surrender."
Melissa Fossum See more photos of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ Jobing.com Arena in the complete slideshow.
From there on, Springsteen was a livewire, sprinting across the stage during "I'm a Rocker," taking a seat at the foot of the stage, as eager fans' hands grabbed at him, and directing the assembly through "Hungry Heart" before running to the middle stage and crowd-surfing back to the main. Bittan steered the band into "Prove It All Night," and Springsteen dug into a nasty guitar solo before stepping to the mic: "What it means to steal, to cheat, to lie! What it's like to live and die."
The band packed more energy into its first trio of songs than most bands do into entire shows. Springsteen stripped off the vest he wore over his denim shirt, signifying he was just getting started.