Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Hampden Park, Glasgow
This gig was Springsteen’s first performance in Scotland with the E Street Band for 28 years. When you consider guitar virtuosos Nils Lofgren and Stevie Van Zandt are backing him - both of whom could draw an impressive crowd on their own - not to mention sax stalwart Clarence Clemons, on current form, the wait looks to have been well worth it.
The rain had been pouring down all day and as we waited in the front section huddled together, Nils appeared and played the Flower Of Scotland on his accordion to great applause setting everyone up for what was going to be an evening of great rock and roll. Straight from the outset the band raced through each song with an energy and pace that even most young bands would struggle to maintain, The anthemic 'Badlands' followed by 'Out In The Street' and 'My Lucky Day, really got the crowd going. "Is there anybody alive out there?" stresses Springsteen and we certainly are.
'Outlaw Pete' is more a theatrical performance than a song as Springsteen performs the song with such intensity and passion. The songs clocks in at almost nine minutes - with Springsteen running from one side of the stage to the other, full of energy. On a bad note, the sound at Hampden wasn't helping; I can't fault the band as Hampden does have a bit of a reputation for poor sound quality.
After the performance of some material from 'Working On A Dream' Springsteen gives us the recession package of 'Seeds', 'Johnny 99' and 'Atlantic City', which as a full band version really brings life to the song making it sound fuller especially with the powerful drumming of 'Mighty' Max Weinberg (coincidentally 'Atlantic City' was recorded as part of the 'Electric Nebraska' sessions and one wonders if it will see the light of day?).
Quite possibly the favourite part of any Bruce Springsteen show the request section. Running down to the crowd, Springsteen collects signs with the instrumental version of 'Raise Your Hand' gently playing by The E Street Band. We get a very rare performance of 'Incident On 57th Street' which the band run through as if they play it every night.
We had been waiting on a sunny day all day in Glasgow, but we manage to get it with 'Waitin' On A Sunny Day' which lifts the spirits of the crowd. Springsteen then performs in succession a mini greatest hits with an intense performance of 'The River' interspersed with 'The Promised Land', 'Radio Nowhere' and 'The Rising'. Each as good as every song played before - how they keep up this pace I'll never know... 'Born To Run' closes the main set and I've heard this song so many times and I never get tired of hearing the opening salvo and during the song 'The Boss', as usual, heads to the crowd to let them strum his guitar. Truly entertaining.
After this the six song encore, with quite possibly my favourite Springsteen song performed, 'Thunder Road'. With everyone singing and dancing around me it really did make my evening. We then get 'American Land' with Springsteen’s son Evan performing on guitar, he really does look like a young Springsteen. Closing the show with the Classic 'Dancing In The Dark’ - which does get everyone moving and clapping - and a cover of 'Twist And Shout' which goes on for what seems like forever.
As Jon Landau said, 'I have seen the future of Rock and Roll and his name is Bruce Springsteen". Well I saw Bruce Springsteen and he still is the future.
Who needs a pint?