The lights went out, the crown began to roar. Some crazy things floated up at the back of the stage making carnival like music. The crowd roared louder. The carnival like sounds stopped and that unmistakable gravelly voice yelled through the darkness, “Hey Boston, is there anybody alive out there?” the crowd roared yet louder, so much so that the seats were shaking. One more time, “Hey Boston, is there anybody alive out there?” then the chords began and the crowd erupted; as did the band as they opened the show with the first single off the new CD “Radio Nowhere”.
A quick guitar change, chords still ringing through the arena, the band followed up with “Night” from Born to Run and then “Lonesome Day” from The Rising. Finally Bruce speaks to us but very briefly. “Thank you Boston, thank you for coming out tonight.” I seemed as through the brief pause had the intent of allowing us to process the true magic that began to unfold and would thrill all 18,000+ as the night progressed. One of the things I think makes Springsteen so relevant and entertaining is he is still hungry after all these years, he really loves doing this.
“Gypsy Biker” from followed by the title track from the new CD “Magic”, a song “not so much about magic, but tricks” Springsteen exclaimed after a short synopsis about the song and its inspiration. With this, the tone was reset as the crowd response was nothing short of mesmerized as we all watched these brand new songs come to life on the concert stage.
“Reason to Believe” from the solo acoustic effort Nebraska was next but delivered with fuzz box intensity and an arrangement reminiscent of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”. As a long time diehard fan of Springsteen, I get especially excited hearing rearrangements of his songs and have yet to be disappointed. This particular arrangement had me literally at the edge of my seat and as the song ended and led into “Darkness on the Edge of Town”, from of course the album of the same name, I can’t even begin to describe (though I’ll continue to try) nor quantify the joy (to borrow an expression from John Stewart’s Madison Square Garden review) I was feeling as was that of the crowd, obvious by their reaction.
to be continued.