Monday, October 05, 2009

Bruce Springsteen Brings the "Wrecking Ball" to Giants Stadium

darkness  on the edge of town
Bruce Springsteen just turned 60, but he's still running rings around performers half his age. I saw the Friday show at Giants Stadium from Springsteen and the E Street Band, the second of their five-night run of shows to close out that venue. And not only did they play another of their famous three-hour shows, they didn't even take an intermission.

Springsteen is doing something new on this tour: playing an album in its entirety. Friday's was one of my favorites: 1978's "Darkness on the Edge of Town." (Other albums performed have included "Born to Run" and "Born in the U.S.A.")

The show began with six tunes before "Darkness," starting with "Wrecking Ball," a new song Springsteen penned specifically about the end of Giants Stadium. After that first group of songs he performed "Darkness on the Edge of Town," from "Badlands" to the title song. (For a song-by-song chronicle of the show, Jay Lustig's in-depth review from the Newark Star-Ledger and Stan Goldstein's review from

I expected a brief post-"Darkness" set of tunes, but Springsteen delivered a longer group of songs, many of them requests from signs held up by audience members. He ended the show with one of his oldest songs, "Rosalita," from his second album (one of the few songs from that set to be performed live regularly). It's one of his most rousing tunes, and he's used it to close a show many a time.

So Springsteen will outlast Giants Stadium, but that isn't the only venue in his home base of NJ and New York City that he's outlived: he played several shows at the now-defunct Shea Stadium in Queens a few years back. The Boss also was the first musical act to play what's now called the Izod Center (the arena next to Giants Stadium), which is on its last legs but will be around at least until the NJ Nets get their new home in Brooklyn built. I was fortunate enough to see one of those shows back in 1981.

This was a very satisfying show from The Boss and the E Street Band, and although I've never seen them give a bad show, they seem extra motivated to give Giant's Stadium a rousing sendoff. There are two more shows at "the old girl," as Springsteen called the Stadium, on Oct. 8th and 9th, and if you'll be in the NY/NJ area, you might want to go. You're in for a real treat if you do. (I'm not sure if the shows are officially sold out, but even if they are there are usually quite a few people outside the gates trying to sell extra tickets.)

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