The Energy & Legacy of Bruce Springsteen

The news story below does a decent job of describing the show my son Kenneth and I enjoyed last night. Most of you know my great love of Bruce Springsteen. I’ve listened to Bruce just about every day since the mid-1980s. He started just a few minutes after 8:00 p.m. was did not pause or break for 3-1/2 hours. Boundless energy. Especially since he can do this night after night.

“The River Tour” started in January 16, 2016. This was his 30th performance. He will do 8 more between now and April 25. He then heads over to Europe to do at least 25 more. That takes him through July 23. That’s just basically the first half of his year.

As I recall from an interview some time ago, he said he never has done drugs. He quickly saw what was happening to other rock stars early in his career. But he also says he knew he had been given a gift, and he wanted to protect it. He has a rich catalogue to show for close to 50 years of writing music and lyrics. If you listen closely, he has a religious reference in the bulk of his songs. Most are subtle. But he often introduces songs talking about his Catholic upbringings and how it was a component of his life, along with his relationship with his family. Some good and some not so good.

Last night Springsteen & The E Street Band delivered big time. Songs he has sung hundreds of times in major concerts came across with emotion felt by everyone. You simply have to listen to him and watch him live. This was the first time Kenneth had seen Bruce live. He seemed genuinely impressed and said so. Bruce touches every generation, and his audience is proof. He is simply having fun, feeding from the energy in the crowds. Uplifting. Reflective.

And then he does things like invite 20+ young girls about 8-10 years of age to come on stage to sing with him. The single most impressive memory I carried away from last night’s was the camera focused on a girl with Downs Syndrome in the group of girls. She was smiling to the limits, her eyes as bright as headlights, rocking with Bruce to her heart’s delight. That is classic Bruce Springsteen.

I’m mostly trying to share rather than proselytize, although it is inevitable when talking about something that moves you, is part of you. But it you are a fan or would like to get a sampling of what a house-full of us enjoyed last night, there are thousands of samples on as well as It’s pure unadulterated Rock ‘n Roll. LFM

Springsteen in Dallas: From ‘The River’ to ‘Thunder Road,’ diehards dug in and sang out
Hunter Hauk, Music Critic Dallas Morning News

The thousands of fans who turned up and pumped fists Tuesday night at American Airlines Center will be the first to say it: There’s no show like a Bruce Springsteen show. With the large and supercharged E Street Band behind him, the 66-year-old rock legend gave his Dallas diehards the same remarkable energy he’s banked on for decades.

His latest tour devotes more than half of its time to recreating the diverse and arena-ready magic of Springsteen’s 1980 double album, The River.

“‘The River’ was my coming of age record,” Springsteen said after kicking off with one of the album’s outtakes, “Meet Me in the City.” “All the ones before that were sort of young-man records.

“By the time I got to ‘The River’ I wanted to make a record that felt like an E Street show.”

As the band and Springsteen (a.k.a. “Bruuuuuuuce!”) worked their way through the album’s 20 tracks, its power as a self-contained setlist became more clear by the song.

“The Ties That Bind,” “Two Hearts” and “Ramrod” found the people on their feet, shouting the words and following Springsteen as he paced the open stage and shook fans’ hands. He basically handed most of “Hungry Heart” over to them, allowing them to sing much of it while he connected and, yes, crowd-surfed.

As buoyant as the faster tunes were, with their full-throated chants and the rock posturing of Springsteen’s bandmates (Steven Van Zandt, Nils Lofgren and Max Weinberg were particularly fun to watch), the stripped down sections impressed us even more. Springsteen’s voice on “Independence Day,” “The River” and “Wreck on the Highway” sounded world-weary, layered and beautiful.

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