Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
Genre: Rock, folk rock, heartland rock
OK, so you all know who The Boss is. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t be on this site in the first place. It’s the man with the throaty voice who oozes with the aura of the decent hard-working down-to-earth good ol’ American guy – who’s blasted out some of the most classic rock tunes of the last forty years: Born to Run, Hungry Heart, The River, Born in the USA, Dancing in the Dark, Glory Days, My Hometown – a decent pub rock band that doesn’t have at least one Springsteen number in their set just ain’t a decent pub rock band as far as we’re concerned.
The fourth biggest selling concert artist of the first decade of the century may now be 62, but the ladies will still say he’s as raunchy as ever. And he’s back in Spain for the umpteenth time, a country that simply worships the old boy. In fact, the Sevilla show is the very first of the European leg of the Wrecking Ball Tour, at the 60,000 capacity La Cartuja. He’s following that with the recently added night in the Canary Islands, and is also appearing at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona and in both Real Sociedad and Real Madrid’s stadiums. Hang on, didn’t Madrid say the Bernabeu was closed this summer for refurbishments? Don’t worry, Springsteen fans, that was just a ploy to stop Barça and Bilbao playing the cup final there, booing the national anthem and writing grafitti all over the bogs.
Bruce is a very lucky man. Only twice before have major international acts been allowed to perform in the Bernabeu. The first was u2 on their 1987 Joshua Tree tour, and second was Springsteen himself, in 2008. Told you they like him in this part of the world.
Our Bruce is promoting his latest album of the same name, released in March, and described as his angriest yet as New Jersey’s finest screams out against such issues as the evils of economic injustice (overpriced concert tickets excepted) to the sound of such atypical Springsteen rhythms as hip-hop and Irish folk, with a gospel choir and mariachi horns even making an appearance. Curious. Naturally it was an immediate number one on both sides of the Atlantic, but is it any good? Responses have been mixed. Some say it’s his most ambitious stuff since the Born to Run era, others say it’s just more of the same but with more militant lyrics. Springsteen fans will say the people’s poet has spoken, cynics will say he’s just cashing in on the misfortune of those less fortunate than himself that really are feeling the effects of the economic downturn. But if you want good genuine Springsteen rock, and don’t mind a bit of pontification, then you’ll get what you came for, and that’s what really matters. He can still pen a decent tune, although some have spotted that We Take Care of Our Own was already penned many years before by The Lightning Seeds and called Life of Riley.
Let’s face it, Bruce could release an album of his choicest bottom-burps and the fans would still queue up to get it. But of course, he’s never done such a thing. All he’s ever released has been top notch rock. They don’t say he’s the second greatest person called Bruce to have ever lived for nothing. Yes, second. Surely he’s not a bigger star than Bruce Forsyth? Hang on … does Robert the Bruce count?
This is the first time the E Street Band has toured without founder member saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who died in June 2011, and whose duties have been taken up by Eddie Manion and his own nephew, Jake Clemons. In all, The Boss is going to be joined on stage by a 15-strong line-up. Expect to come out of this one feeling very, very entertained. Judging by the early shows, it doesn’t look like the Wrecking Ball tour is going to be one of those where Bruce churns out all the classics. Almost all of the new album is included, and he’s also picked out some of his more political earlier numbers: Mansion on the hill, off Nebraska and The ghost of Tom Joad, for instance. Also present is Waiting on a Sunny Day, which Springsteen traditionalists might not appreciate. One nice moment we hope they’ll be carrying throughout the tour is the whole band stopping when it gets to Clarence’s bit on 10th Avenue Freeze Out – it’s down to the audience to fill in the silence. A fitting tribute…
Did you know: On his father’s side, Bruce is of Dutch ancestry, and his surname in Dutch means something like ‘jump stone’.
Sunday May 13, 2012 Sevilla Olympic Stadium
Tuesday May 15, 2012 Las Palmas Estadio Gran Canaria
Thursday May 17 and Friday May 18, 2012 Barcelona Olympic Stadium, Montjuic
Saturday June 2, 2012 San Sebastian Anoeta
Sunday June 17, 2012 Madrid Santiago Bernabéu