Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Arena, 12/6/12

Categories: Last Night

Melissa Fossum
See more photos of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ Arena in the complete slideshow.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ 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 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.

See also:

*Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ Area [Slideshow]
*[Q&A] Nils Lofgren of the E Street Band on the Memory of Clarence Clemons
*Clarence Clemons: Five Awesome "Big Man" Moments

Melissa Fossum
See more photos of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ Arena in the complete slideshow.
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."

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.

Location Info


Gila River Arena

9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, AZ

Category: Music

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Wow, the Boss is still rocking! How cool is that? Amazing!


I've seen him a number of times over the years and I have never heard him or the band sound and play better then last night. That could have been a live album last night. 


Best Bruce show I've seen by far! Lots of classics, lots of deep tracks, and just enough new stuff! No complaints at all! 

On another note, it is SUCH a relief to see this glowing review… considering the last time The Boss graced us with his presence, *whoever* just HAPPENED to be writing that recap (I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out who) started with something like "I'd rather see Kanye West than a man who was last relevant during the Reagan administration," and just kept that aloof tone throughout the piece.

Thank you for doing such a heartfelt write-up on what truly was an electrifying performance!


Amazing, amazing, amazing show. 3 hours and 10 minues of nonstop energy. Everyone on the stage last night was terrific. Amazing show.

Loved the sign request for Light of Day. Bruce's guitar work in the song was awesome and the way his guitar played off of Max Weinberg's drumming was great. The Apollo Theater medley that ended with Bruce singing responsively with Sam Moore was an unexpected treat. The end of the show (before the encore) with The Rising, Badlands and Thunder Road really brough home the power of Bruce's music.

Its remarkable how Bruce and the band can make the whole experience feel new, fresh and entirely spontaneous even though it was the last show of the American leg of the tour.

Amazing show!

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