Monday, 17 February 2014
Bruce Springsteen-AAMI Park
Bruce Springsteen is one of those rare specimens, an artist who defies time and continues to stay relevant even as his career ticks past its 40th year. He is an artist that continues to challenge himself but all the while staying true to his roots, songs that are cast in the concerns of everyday life, the small town struggles and that sense of fear and desperation that is all pervasive when your back is too the wall. In the live setting he is revered for his commitment to putting over a great show, legend abounds with stories of four hour concert marathons. Springsteen returned to Australia less than twelve months after his last visit and there was a palpable sense of expectation for his return, this time to the larger AAMI Park outdoor stadium. We weren't disappointed the show was incredible, all three and a half hours, there was also the bonus of the welcome return of guitarist Little Stevie Van Zandt.
The show kicked off in exciting fashion with guest Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam contributing vocals to a cover of ACDC's Highway To Hell and then Darkness On The Edge Of Town, the title of Bruce's gloomy 1978 masterpiece. He followed that with the epic Badlands, a song that resonates with that dark beauty that Bruce is famous for. On his new album High Hopes he does a great cover of The Saints classic Just Like Fire Would which he recorded during his previous Australian tour. Bruce then went to the crowd and dragged out a sign signalling to the E Street Band that Hungry Heart would be next and they didn't disappoint it was a rousing version. At this point Bruce let the crowd know that he didn't want tread over old ground so he announced that he was going to perform The Born In The USA album from start to finish, his performance of the album was superb, as was the effort of the E Street Band. Max Weinberg would have to be one of the most underrated drummers in rock, he is the rock from which Bruce and the band build their sound. Bruce then returned to Darkness for Factory which had an especially poignant meaning in light of recent events.
Bruce kicked off the encore with Heaven's Wall from High Hopes before launching into the anthemic Born To Run, followed by the early classic Rosalita from The Wild, The Innocent, The E Street Shuffle. Bruce then went way back with a version of Moon Mullican's Seven Nights To Rock before returning to the classic Born To Run for the soulful effervescence of 10th Avenue Freeze Out. When all seemed done Bruce came back, after all the glory and all the reverence and finished off with an acoustic version of Thunder Road.