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Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s 5 Best Moments From Phoenix

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Bruce is again. 

If there was any doubt that Bruce Springsteen hadn’t totally recovered from the peptic ulcer illness that triggered him to postpone 29 dates on his world tour with the E Road Band final fall, he allotted of that notion inside minutes of taking the stage Tuesday (March 19) at Phoenix’s Footprint Middle for the primary time in six months.

The Boss was in high type from present opener “Lonesome Day” and totally had his sea legs again by third track, “No Give up,” when he gave his first trademark shout out, “C’mon, Steve!” beckoning for his brother-in-music for over half a century, Steven Van Zandt, to affix him on the mic.  

For greater than 50 years, Springsteen’s stay exhibits have been about two issues above and past the excellent musical efficiency: Feeling alive and trusting within the communion between the Boss and his followers. 

For longtime followers corresponding to myself (I’ve seen greater than 50 exhibits over greater than 30 years), a Springsteen live performance is likely one of the locations the place we really feel most vibrant. There’s the unbridled pleasure of listening to the music that has given that means and voice to our life experiences within the firm of likeminded souls. For many people, Springsteen has been the very best touring companion by means of life conceivable. A part of that additionally comes from the trusting communion at any present: there’s the implicit understanding that Springsteen goes to handle us and entertain us throughout that live performance one of the simplest ways he can—by pouring all the pieces he has into the efficiency— and, in return, we’re going to ship that vitality again to the stage by being as current as we may be. 

That’s why when he postponed almost 30 exhibits after his Sept. 3 dates at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. due to his sickness, followers feared that this could possibly be the tip. Regardless that he has lengthy prided himself on being in superhuman bodily situation (and proved he nonetheless is in Phoenix by ripping his shirt open to point out his toned chest), at 74, it’s clear that the street will finish ultimately for Springsteen. However as Tuesday night time confirmed, he’s returned on the high of his recreation and the tip feels far into the long run if he needs it to be (although for longtime followers, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that on this tour Springsteen doesn’t finish the exhibits along with his former trademark line, “We’ll be seein’ you.”)

When this world tour began in February 2023, Springsteen was working a theme constructed round “Final Man Standing,” an emotional track featured on his underrated 2020 album, Letter to You. Like on the sooner exhibits on the tour, Springsteen addressed the Phoenix viewers (on this case, for the primary time all night time greater than an hour in), giving an attractive speech about taking part in in his first band, The Castiles, when he was 15 within the mid-‘60s, and the way greater than 50 years later, he stood by the bedside of his buddy and bandmate George Theiss, as he lay dying, leaving Springsteen the final member of the band alive. It’s a mirrored image on mortality, but in addition on resilience and pleasure. Although he’s by no means spoken of demise and the reward it brings the residing from stage so eloquently earlier than, it’s understood by followers. For instance, after my mom died, I consoled myself by going to as many exhibits as I may on the consecutive Magic and Engaged on a Dream excursions as a result of standing within the pit of a Springsteen present was the place I felt most alive. 

In contrast to the setlists from earlier exhibits that appeared barely extra reflective and wide-ranging, Tuesday’s present was a high-octane freight prepare of a rock present. The message is that life is to be savored and, greater than something, celebrated and met head on at full-speed. Springsteen and the band barreled by means of 29 songs, most of them full-on rockers, in 2 hours and 45 minutes. The present felt nothing if not environment friendly. There was no fats. The one break between songs was the few seconds it took for Springsteen to vary guitars and, apart from just a few asides, he solely addressed the viewers for the speech earlier than “Final Man Standing” and after “Backstreets.” He by no means introduced up his sickness till proper earlier than the closing track when he apologized to anybody inconvenienced by the Phoenix date shifting from Nov. 30 to March 19, including, “I had a mom**ker of a bellyache.”

Under are 5 of the highlights from the Phoenix present, which had former N.J. governor Chris Christie and rocker Alice Cooper in attendance, in a night crammed with nothing however stellar moments.



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