Sunday, April 13, 2014

Concert Review: Virginia Beach Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, VA. 04/12/2014



"Beach music!"

That seemed to be Bruce's rally cry for the night.  And it definitely fit the mood for a beautiful spring night in Virginia.  It was hell getting here, but totally worth it.

When Bruce first announced his 2014 tour dates, I was pretty bummed to see that he was playing mostly smaller markets.  No LA, Boston, Philly, DC, Chicago, and most disappointingly nothing in New York City or New Jersey.  I'm willing to bet anything Bruce will announce a second leg of the tour in stadiums in those major cities this summer but I just couldn't wait that long.  I wanted to keep up my tradition from the past 3 tours of seeing Bruce in a different market.  I decided on Virginia Beach, and Rory was quick to agree.  What should have been a five to six hour drive was turned into a nine hour nightmare of a drive due to awful traffic.  

We walked into the Virginia Beach Amphitheater, grabbed a beer (which was the greatest tasting beer I've ever had after that long drive), and walked on to the lawn just as Bruce and the E Street Band were taking the stage.  Perfect timing!  Bruce continued his tradition of playing a cover of a local song by opening with Virginia's own Bill Deal and The Rhondels "May I".  I wasn't familiar with the song,  but it was good enough for an opener.  And really, who else was there to cover from Virginia?  After that Bruce screamed "Beach music!  From Virginia Beach to the Jersey Shore!" and went into "Mary's Place".  

The venue was very nice, and was definitely a great place to see Bruce on such a beautiful night.  After a long and miserable winter in NYC, it was very welcome to see Bruce outdoors with the sun shining bright.  There were very few younger people in the audience, mostly middle aged and older people there.  But it was a full house and everyone was getting into it.  My only complaint about the venue was the sound quality.  Bruce sounded great, but there was constant feedback on the mics that kept taking me out of the moment.  

Bruce continued the "beach music" theme of the night during the middle of the show with "Sherry Darling", "Talk to Me", "Seaside Bar Song" and finally "Jersey Girl" (which was really odd to hear in the middle of the setlist).  That was pretty much the end of the "beach music" theme of the night, and Bruce went into a fairly standard set.

During the last tour you could tell Bruce really enjoyed playing the songs from Wrecking Ball and he's kept quite a few songs from that album on the this tour.  Unlike Devils and Dust, Seeger Sessions, Magic, and Working On A Dream whose songs were pretty much retired after their respective supporting tours, I think the Wrecking Ball songs will become staples for all future tours.  Of course Bruce played a few songs from High Hopes, which came off much better live than they did on the albums, in particular "Heaven's Wall".  

All in all, it was a great night and a perfect whetting of my Bruce appetite before seeing him at Metlife Stadium this summer.  I think this was my 20th time seeing Bruce live, and he still continues to amaze and impress me as the greatest performer in the world.