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  • Writer's pictureChristopher McHale


Springsteen kicks off arena tour with set at the Friendly Confines

The author and his beautiful wife Patricia in the stands at the Bruce Springsteen Wrigley Field show
In the stands at Wrigley Field

I’d like to talk about Bruce Springsteen show last night at Wrigley.

Bruce, you know.

We all know the hits. He didn’t play ‘em all, but enough.

I’m not a fan, but some of his music is powerful. And the crowd is Bruce Church, so that’s fun to see, especially at Wrigley on a beautiful summer night. Notes getting lost in the Ivy. It doesn’t get better than that.

Bruce’s connection to his fans is heartwarming. He loves his people and it shows. He spent most of the show off the stage touching and connecting. Sang an entire verse two inches from a woman’s face. Changed her life. Imagine? Wow.

You get what you get when you go to a Bruce Springsteen concert

The truth is Bruce worked his ass off. He sang like a demon. Played biting Tele leads. Worked like the working man he is. The E-Street Band? I didn’t quite get it. 17-pieces? Why?

You’ve got Bruce out there top to bottom, ball of energy, carrying the whole show. Not sure why he needs that big band. And to my ears, it felt a lot like the band was mailing it in. Like a boardwalk band on a Tuesday night Atlantic City casino show. Sorry, Bruces, I don’t mean to be a jerk. I didn’t get it. All the tempos were the same (that might be Bruce) but the musicality was a little hotel lobby for my taste.

There were sparks. Niles Lofgren played a great slide on a tune. Old friend and vocal monster Curtis King sang a beautiful duet with Bruce. That was pretty much it for the E Streets.

The rest was Bruce. I found myself waiting for those moments where Bruce played solo with his acoustic. Those were the moments.

One of those moments was Bruce playing a gorgeous, soft ‘I’ll See You in my Dreams’ to “My dear friend, Robbie Robertson.”

Cue lump in throat.

(Robbie, man, there’s another monster. RIP)

Last night was kick off for a new tour of arena shows, so maybe they were shaking off the rust. I don’t know. You tell me. My last Bruce show was 45 years ago lol. The corny bits of the act took me by surprise. What was that all about? I’d love to see old Bruce in front of a hard-core tight rock quartet of some fresher vibe.

But this is Bruce’s show. He likes a big band, I guess. Something. He’s loyal. He can’t say no. Whatever.

Bruce is a god. He truly is. I felt honored to be in his presence. A truly iconic artist. You have to love him.


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