There’s an old joke that goes: “Sex is like pizza. When it’s good it’s great, but when it’s bad…it’s still pretty good.” The same goes for Bruce Springsteen concerts. After listening to the concert at the Apollo Theatre on Sirius XM, I was left feeling slightly under whelmed. Don’t get me wrong, Bruce sounded good, and I’m sure if I was there I would have had a blast. But I remember saying “that’s it?“ when the show ended. I just chalked it up to the fact that listening to Bruce on the radio isn’t the same as being there live. It was my own fault for setting my standards too high.
But prior to that my last Bruce concert was the final concert of Working On A Dream Tour on November 22nd, 2009 at The HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY. That night Bruce played for 3 ½ hours. It was a stellar show, and quite frankly if that was the last Springsteen concert (as many had speculated it might be), it would have been a great end to his phenomenal career. The Apollo Theatre show couldn’t compare to that. But it was still a lot of fun to listen to.
Then on last Tuesday night I saw Bruce at the Izod Center. I think Steve's review was pretty accurate. Again, it’s not that the show was bad, far from it. But I just left that show desiring something more. I was envious of some of the friends I was with, who were seeing Bruce for the first time. They raved about the setlist, Bruce’s incredible energy and just the overall performance. I remembered feeling that way, I had felt that way about almost every other Bruce concert I had been to.
But finally, last Friday I had, as U2 once so wonderfully put it, “found what I was looking for.” Seeing Bruce Springsteen, at New York’s famous Madison Square Garden, was incredible. Right from the beginning I knew this show would be different. Bruce opened the show with “Badlands” as opposed to every other show where he opened with “We Take Care of Our Own”. The first 3 songs he played at the Izod show and MSG show were exactly the same but just the little difference of changing the order he played them in made all the difference. And that’s when I realized what made Bruce the best live performer I’ve ever seen. He constantly is changing things up, evolving mid-tour(sometimes even mid-show) to make sure his concerts never gets stale. No 2 audiences are exactly alike, so no 2 audiences should get the exact same show. Bruce pulled out all the stops, with rare songs that I hadn’t heard live before, like "Lion's Den", and other rarities like "Murder, Inc." and "Lonesome Day". And the night kept rocking with an incredible 20+ minute jamming version of “Kitty’s Back” that nearly blew the roof off of MSG. Normally I'm not a huge fan of this song but Bruce was definitely feeling it that night and so was everyone else in "The World's Most Famous Arena."
I even contemplated going to see Bruce last night for his 2nd show at MSG but couldn't justify spending the prices that StubHub was charging. But when I saw the setlist of that show I was kicking myself. $300 for nosebleed seats is a lot, but not when he's busting out "Thundercrack" and "Rosalita" in the same show! I'm kicking myself for missing that one.
I am anxiously awaiting May 2nd, to see Bruce at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. And if the rumors are true that Bruce will be doing a stadium tour towards the end of this summer and into the fall, you better believe I’ll be snatching up tickets to that. I suggest you do the same.