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Sunday, 19 July 2009

Bruce Springsteen - Hampden Review

Flower of Scotland [Nils solo accordion intro]
Badlands
Out in the Street
My Lucky Day
She's the One
Outlaw Pete
Working on the Highway
Working on a Dream
Seeds
Johnny 99
Atlantic City
Raise Your Hand (instrumental) - Bruce collects the signs

The Requests
Incident on 57th Street
Pink Cadillac
Cover Me

Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
The River
Kingdom of Days
Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born to Run

Hard Times
Thunder Road
American Land (with Evan Springsteen on Guitar)
Bobby Jean
Dancing in the Dark
Twist and Shout/La Bamba



We had seats in the Upper Tier of the South Stand at Hampden and whilst not a great view for taking pictures we were able to enjoy the show undercover and so avoid the showers that came prior to show time. It had been 28 years since The East Street band had played in Glasgow and 16 since Springsteen himself was here (on the Human Touch/Lucky Town tour). A packed Hampden Park waited expectantly for show to begin.

Just before 8pm Nils Lofgren strolled onto the stage with his accordion and played 'Flower of Scotland' and everyone rose up to sing along to our unofficial National Anthem. Then enter the band and before you know it we are on a ride for our lives. A storming version of 'Badlands' opens the set and the crowd roar into life and that's quckily followed by a fine mix of old and new. It's amazing that a song like 'She's the One', originally released in 1975 sounds so fresh 34 years later!

After 'Working on a Dream' the band launch into a trio of fantastic songs, 'Seeds', 'Johnny 99' and Atlantic City' and with the full band playing these tunes it makes you wonder what they might have sounded like had the 'Nebraska' album never been released by Bruce in it's stripped down demo like quality.


The instrumental of 'Raise Your Hands' sees Bruce running up and down collecting signs. Some he nods approvingly at and others he shakes his head with a wry smile on his face. 'Incident on 57th Street' is the first of the requests granted. The banner for it was huge and the choice got a cheer of approval. 'Pink Cadillac' was next. Bruce looked like he wasn't going to play it at first but then commented on the hard work that had gone into making the sign and did the song anyway. 'Cover Me' was the next request and many was it a stomping version!


'Waiting on a Sunny Day' was up next and the singalong was fantastic. Bruce spotted a little girl of maybe 10 years old (or younger) in a pink stetson and he got her to sing the chorus. She was brilliant and received a huge cheer from the crowd.

The home stretch was real quality culminating in a riotous version of 'Born to Run' that had the whole stadium rocking. Encore time was probably a lot shorter than it's been at some shows on the tour but it was still superb. Beginning with 'Hard Times', another banner request in 'Thunder Road', the very rocking 'American Land' (on which Springsteen's son Evan and Suzie's son also played on) which had the stadium doing a jig and then the closers 'Bobby Jean', 'Dancing in the Dark' and 'Twist and Shout/La Bamba'. All in all the set was just under three hours and if Bruce could have got his way he would have played on for longer.

A show to remember for the ages. It had everything you want in a show, passion, fun, quality musicianship and a firm belief that just for those few hours that the world can be an alright place to live despite the darkness that often seems to surround us.

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