Bruce Springsteen | 11.18 | Boston

Words by: John Reed

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band :: 11.18.07 :: TD BankNorth Garden :: Boston, Mass

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Is it true? Is "The Boss" really back?

Now, I'm not just talking about Bruce Springsteen - the guy who had recently been experimenting with musical styles and singing the songs of Pete Seeger - but The Boss, the oh-so-proud to be from New Jersey native who's been pouring his heart out on stages since the '70s alongside his crew of E Street hooligans. You know, the guy with his own vision of real America that struck a chord with millions who gladly scarf up tickets at any cost to witness his concerts (with the E Street Band that is).

His longtime faithful fans who justifiably brag about witnessing his marathon-like, passion-filled concerts (which sometimes ran nearly four hours) were no doubt more than relieved when Springsteen reunited with the E Street Band for his latest album, Magic, (which debuted at Number One on Billboard) and current tour, which recently stopped at TD BankNorth Garden in Boston.

From the opener "Radio Nowhere," one of the strongest tracks from Magic, it was clear that Springsteen's kinetic showmanship and presence was back in full force. While he did spend a bit too much time plugging the new CD, there were so many stellar moments that the audience was thrilled to let Springsteen show off his newer creations.

Strong versions of classics "She's the One," "The Promised Land" and "Badlands" were more than enough to make up for an unfamiliar cut or three, although a few more chestnuts from the '70s and '80s would have been welcome. Enough cannot be said about having the E Street Band back in the picture. They are essential, perhaps even mandatory, to ensure a classic Springsteen rock show. The triple guitar threat of Springsteen, Nils Lofgren and Steve Van Zandt were often the main focus as the trio showed unbelievable chemistry.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Sadly understated was Springsteen's former onstage foil, saxophonist Clarence Clemons. He stood for the most part as if he was a hired sideman. The onstage antics with Springsteen, which were once a centerpiece of the show, were now almost a memory as interactions between the two were very minimal. One wonders if hard feelings from Springsteen's original dismissal of the E Street Band in 1989 still linger. However, Clemons did shine at points such as the impressive sax work on "Jungleland." Drummer Max Weinberg, on loan from his gig with Conan O'Brien, was the most arresting E Streeter the whole night, adding controlled, yet powerful beats to Springsteen's palpable intensity.

The sole five-song encore - once again a major downsizing from past tours when Springsteen seemed as if he never wanted to stop, though to be fair he is 58 now - was when the Boston concert reached its zenith with the machine gun presentation of "Jungleland," "Born to Run" (easily the best performed song of the night) and "Dancing in the Dark," which proved enough to send the crowd into Bruce nirvana.

While the halcyon days of the '80s when Springsteen was the unofficial American hero and the marathon four hour shows are long over, his drive to be one of the best performers around is still very alive.

Radio Nowhere, Night, Lonesome Day, Gypsy Biker, Magic, Reason to Believe, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Candy's Room, She's the One, Livin' in the Future, This Hard Land, 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), The E Street Shuffle, Working on the Highway, Devil's Arcade, The Rising, Last to Die, Long Walk Home, Badlands
Encore: Girls in Their Summer Clothes, Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, Kitty's Back, Born to Run, American Land

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[Published on: 11/27/07]

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nokin starstar Tue 11/27/2007 06:07PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Not that im the biggest Springsteen fan, but its worth pointing out that this was the last show for long time E Sreet Keyboard player Danny Federici whos been by the bosses side for 40 some years. He is leaving for treatment for lymphoma.

In a statement, Springsteen said: “Danny is one of the pillars of our sound and has played beside me as a great friend for more than 40 years,” Springsteen said in a statement. “We all eagerly await his healthy and speedy return.”

okalrightic Wed 11/28/2007 05:42AM
Show -7 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
D.B.Higdon starstarstarstar Wed 11/28/2007 05:43AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


We all wish Danny a full recovery and a speedy return. Thanks for covering this show, but I wish that the article had a little more punch to it. Maybe a listing of the songs played, the audience vibe, a mentioning of the send off for Danny at the end. I can't help but wonder if this was the reviewer's first Springsteen show. He does a good job of pointing out some obvious highlights, but this setlist was geared towards showcasing Danny's role as an instrumental figure in the E Street Band; the show even had two tour premiers that drove this home. As far as the question raised about Clarence's possible lingering hard feelings? No way; those guys are all best friends. They interact on stage all the time, but Springsteen made this truly Danny's show. Thanks for covering this.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/28/2007 06:02AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

its ok with me, to express any opinions about any artist. we all will never like all the same music.

The album by Nils Lofgren sacred weapon was really good.

miked Wed 11/28/2007 08:27AM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
onearmguitarist star Wed 11/28/2007 09:15AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I have to admit, until last year I dismissed bruce and e street as being cheesy. Then I found Nebraska, Ghost of tom joad, Devils and dust, seeger sessions, and now magic. Magic is a great record and I no longer have such feelings for e street. i have never seen them but as a reformed fan would love to. Now they just need to play slc and im there.

ROCvibes Wed 11/28/2007 09:30AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


ok so apparently the people that are ripping the writer only read springsteen articles b/c as brought up in o so many threads/articls, jambase is primarilly run by volunteers, you have to remember this is jambase, not bruce's website, people around here care a lot more about other things than just bruce springsteen

King Rhino starstar Thu 11/29/2007 07:12AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I saw one of Springsteen's shows at the Meadowlands in NJ last month.

Simply awful. In seeing Bruce over the past 30 years this show was absolutely the worst I had ever seen.

Terrible set list. Short show. Bruce barely making an effort to communicate with the crowd.

And then he lets Patti do a song from her hideous new solo album?

Bitch, please.

cocheese Thu 11/29/2007 11:18AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


"The sole five-song encore..." did you read the same article as the rest of us MIKED???????

theragman starstarstar Fri 11/30/2007 04:32AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

10th AVE Freeze Out AND Born to Run!


miked Fri 11/30/2007 11:50AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The original article said 3 song encore. But whatever, maybe I was a little harsh. Sorry.


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