Have you ever seen Bruce Springsteen in concert? Have you ever experienced the way he connects with his fans during a live show? Have you ever witnessed the power, the promise, and the passion that is a Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band performance? If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying this for yourself, let me tell you, it is one of life’s greatest musical experiences.
Envision the showmanship of an Iron Maiden concert, mixed with the power of Kix, and the enjoyment of Kiss. A Bruce Springsteen concert is all of that and more, wrapped into a three-hour set of amazement. Springsteen has been doing this for years, and it’s what has endeared his fans to him as life-long believers in the power of rock and roll.
There are several elements of a Springsteen concert that make him worth the price of admission. As a fan of the Boss who has witnessed him in concert 15 times (and counting), I’ve logged those experiences over the years. The first notable element is the fact that there is no opening act. There is no need to sit through someone to “warm up” the crowd. Springsteen will do his own warming up, thank you very much. The second he takes the stage, the crowd is warm and ready to go, and Bruce is more than happy to lead the charge.
His performances are not for an early night (and I don’t mean because he will come on late like a certain Mr. Rose likes to do). The band takes the stage and remains fixed there, usually for the next 3 hours (sometimes more, occasionally a lot more). When was the last time your favorite band played for 3 hours?
Springsteen’s song selection is second to none. Unlike Kiss, Poison, or Van Halen, Bruce makes each concert a unique experience. There’s a reason that he can sell out ten nights in the same venue, and a large part of the reason is his song selection. Each night brings a different setlist. And the varying differences aren’t one or two songs, they are several. Sure, “Born To Run,” and choice selections from the current album are always going to be played, but after that, all bets are off.
Over the 15 concerts that I have attended, I was witness to 128 different songs. Of the 12 Kiss concerts I’ve seen, I was witness to 39 different songs. Springsteen mixes it up unlike any other performer. He knows that his fans love and want to hear any song in his repertoire and The Boss rewards his fans. Lately, he’s been known to grab sign requests from the crowd and play one of those songs on the spot. Even if it isn’t an E-Street Band song, the band will give it a shot, and almost always nail the performance. Who else has the gusto to pull off a move like that?
What’s most effective about a Springsteen concert is the way that he connects to his fans through the power of rock and roll. Springsteen (and the entire E-Street Band) give their best performance every night. They don’t have “off” nights. Prior to the start of a tour, the rehearsals are long and intense. Springsteen makes certain of that. A perfectionist to the bitter end, The Boss doesn’t want anything going wrong when it is time for the show to go live, even when he’s calling out an audible and changing the next song in the set on a whim. The E-Street Band is prepared and ready for it.
An amazing guitarist, an incredible storyteller, and a perfect showman, Bruce Springsteen is the epitome of what every rock musician should aspire to. He knows his fans and knows how to make them react. If you’re sitting on your ass at a Springsteen show, he’ll call you out for it. There’s no sitting during a rock concert, and Springsteen makes sure that everyone knows this. His passion for music and live performing are ever present and really shape the framework of his concerts. You will never see another artist like Bruce Springsteen. The rabid fans are rabid because Springsteen has spent a lifetime making believers out of them.
The E-Street Band are currently set to head out on a long tour this spring, spend the summer in Europe, and then most likely be back in the states for the fall. If you’ve never seen Bruce Springsteen in concert, this is your best chance. The older the band gets, the more uncertain his fans become of how much longer he will be able (or want) to tour. If you don’t have tickets for the spring leg, then you probably have t wait until the fall as most Springsteen concerts sell out in minutes. However, if you do get the opportunity to purchase tickets, take advantage of that opportunity. If you love hard rock, you are going to really love Bruce Springsteen in concert. The E-Street Band are one of those rare group of performers that can actually justify high ticket prices. They are a band that all hard rock bands should hold up as an inspiration.
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