Bruce Springsteen | 08.16.08 | SC

By: David Higdon

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band :: 08.16.08 :: North Charleston Coliseum :: Charleston, SC

Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
There are some journeys that one must go alone, and then there are some one must share with their closest friends. When Bruce Springsteen made his first appearance in picturesque Charleston, SC in over thirty years, diehards and novices alike scurried to pick up one of the coveted 12,000 tickets. Bruce – the embodiment of this road trip philosophy - brought the earth shaking E Street Band along for an unforgettable, life-affirming concert, and I brought my closest friends.

From the opening surprise of "a little beach music" with the state shagging anthem "Double Shot (of My Baby's Love)," the evening had its very own feel. Sure, it was an E Street concert through and through, but Bruce and company had made a winding trip to the edge of America that veered from the Magic heavy setlist. "Radio Nowhere" brought the audience out of shock with its searing rock 'n' roll tempo before the coliseum filling "uh uh ohs" of "Out in the Street" let the crowd know that this show had no musical compass; the band was just having fun. "Two Hearts," with perfectly ragged harmonies from Little Steven, even carried the theme of friendship through by its lesson of always looking ahead.

Springsteen was building up the crowd participation as a whole, and the audience was in his hands (except for when Bruce was literally in the audiences' hands while they supported his frequent stretches out above them). Miraculously, he finds a way to make each ticket holder, from the front of the pit to those dancing in the aisles by the rafters, feel like this show is being put on just for them. Whether it is through a birthday request for "Growin' Up" or just the parking lot wish to hear "No Surrender" that night, the Boss has a distinct connection with his fans.

Bruce Springsteen
During the non-stop three hour show, Springsteen showcased a number of characters who have become close friends to his fans - Janey ("Janey Don't You Lose Heart"), Mary ("Mary's Place") and Rosie ("Rosalita") were just a few of the flesh and blood sketches from the Boss' catalog we've come to know and love. The songs of strong emotion (the intense "Streets of Fire" and "Last to Die") were delivered with the same power as the fist pumping "Badlands" or the hip swaying "Hungry Heart." Nils Lofgren provided the show's only truly jaw-dropping solo during "Because the Night," which was accented with numerous full body spins and Springsteen shouting out for him to "go for it!"

But, no matter whether it's the knee slides across the stage, the cocky cool of the guitar-to-roadie axe toss or the taking of requests to patch together an on-the-fly setlist, Springsteen is just guiding this musical leviathan. The coolest person onstage is still the King of the World, the Master of the Universe, the Secretary of the Brotherhood, Mr. Big Man himself - Clarence Clemons. When the change was made uptown, Big Man added the spiritual weight to this group of rock 'n' roll devotees that was uncharacteristically absent. His sax delivers the notes on air in a way that is dignified, beautiful and rich with soul ("Jungleland").

The E Street Band has a unique camaraderie onstage and in the pantheons of rock history in general. They play for themselves, for the name of the band, and for each and every person in the venue. Their friendship is seen through the music. Its memories, smiles and the inside jokes are the exact same qualities we were all sharing in the audience.

08.16.08 :: North Charleston Coliseum :: Charleston, SC
Double Shot (of My Baby's Love), Radio Nowhere, Out in the Street, Two Hearts, Spirit in the Night, Light of Day, Growin' Up, Janey Don't You Lose Heart, No Surrender, Atlantic City, Because the Night, She's the One, Livin' in the Future, Mary's Place, Hungry Heart, The Rising, Last to Die, Long Walk Home, Badlands
Encore: Streets of Fire, Jungleland, Born to Run, Rosalita, Dancing in the Dark, American Land, Twist and Shout

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[Published on: 9/8/08]

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jbleiche Mon 9/8/2008 01:11PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


ClarkSean Mon 9/8/2008 01:33PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

For those lucky enough to catch Bruce in recent months, you would have been rewarded with argueably, some of the finest shows of his career. With the band playing in super tight mode, Bruce began a nightly ritual of playing requests from sign-holding fans. Some obscure, some not but all completely off the setlist. In fact, his handwritten setlists each night would say, ? ? ? ? ?. Not an orchestrated show but a fun rock n review with enough for the die hards and the fair weather fans. Rumor is Bruce will do one more tour with the E Street Band next year. I was moved to the Promised Land. So should you.

Henrock Mon 9/8/2008 02:11PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


He was flabbergasted at how stupid you were

King Rhino starstarstarstarstar Mon 9/8/2008 02:16PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Well .... I have to be honest. I have seen Bruce well over 30 times. And the show I saw at the Meadowlands in NEW JERSEY was without a doubt phoned in. Very disappointing set and performance. So, yes ... Bruce does on occasion tank a show.

Flat5 starstarstarstarstar Mon 9/8/2008 05:38PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


excellent review! I love Atlantic City. great tune.

RothburyWithCheese star Mon 9/8/2008 07:32PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Woody Mon 9/8/2008 09:12PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE! jbleiche your fucking right. Im not scared to say that Springsteen is the fucking man, and he puts on epic live shows.

yankee starstarstar Tue 9/9/2008 04:29AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Caught 3 shows on this tour and they were the unbelievable. 3 hour+ shows every night without benefit of a setbreak. He just keeps bringing it. Bruce is the man.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Tue 9/9/2008 09:46AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

man, I never liked this guy. gimme some Neil Young please.

I know he is a legend, but I just can't.

D.B.Higdon starstarstarstarstar Tue 9/9/2008 05:58PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Hey Miles, if you get a second, check this clip of Neil guesting with the E Street Band on "All Along the Watchtower." It makes perfect sense as Nils Lofgren is an E Street member, and he played on all of those classic Neil albums. Nils also has an album out now of all Neil Young covers.

the second clip is of Bruce guesting with Neil on "Helpless."

Limoduck starstarstarstarstar Tue 9/9/2008 10:21PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Saw Bruce in Hershey and the show was alot of fun. First show was in '75, seen 35+. The show was non stop 3hr 10mins including an 8 song hour long encore. The sound was crystal clear and the performance was a B+. Personally I would have liked to have seen a few more surprises like he did in St Louis, but all-in-all a very good show. There's hope in Philly for a last hurrah at the Spectrum in the spring before she's torn down.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Wed 9/10/2008 06:15AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

cool, I really like Nil's.

MusicPub starstarstarstar Wed 9/10/2008 03:39PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

saw Bruce 5 times on the Magic tour. this guy performs for close to 3 hours with more emotion, passion and energy than artists half his age...I just received the Springsteen book, "For You" and I was really blown away...if any book can capture what it's like to be at a Springsteen show, this is it.

eask starstarstarstar Fri 9/12/2008 11:44AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i saw him in ATL earlier this year and it was my first time seeing him. i don't have anything to compare it to obviously, but i thought it was rockin and i'd go see him again for sure.

anyone who knows bruce at the atl show that cares to comment on quality, song choice, etc.?

D.B.Higdon starstarstarstarstar Fri 9/12/2008 01:29PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


The Atlanta show was incredible. With it being less than a week after Danny Federici passed away, I had not idea if it was going to be a somber evening or how they would handle it. But, as you witnessed, those guys took the music and deep cuts to celebrate and not hold anything back. That was really the turning point on the tour when they through the set lists completely out the window and started celebrating what the band means now. By doing that, they revisited a bunch of classics, but they also took on an entirely new vigor and energy. Opening the show with that rockin' version of "Reason to Believe" floored me; it was the one song that I wanted to hear all night, and they opened with it. Also, I'd never heard "Blinded By the Light" live, and that was a total treat. While I'm at it, I guess that I'll have to add the Jimmy Cliff classic "Trapped" to the list. There was this kid about fifteen with his parents who was singing along to every word of that song; I was impressed. Of course, "Murder, Inc." is a complete rocker of a song, and the horns on "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" bring a party atmosphere to all.

April 25, 2008

Atlanta, Georgia

Philips Arena

Reason To Believe

Out In The Street

Radio Nowhere

No Surrender

Blinded By The Light Tour Premiere

Your Own Worst Enemy


Murder Incorporated

Prove It All Night

She's The One

Livin' In The Future

The Promised Land

Bobby Jean

Point Blank

Devil's Arcade

The Rising

Last To Die

Long Walk Home


Thunder Road

Born To Run


Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

American Land

PCPrabbit Thu 9/18/2008 09:42AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i guess people missed the memo that Bruce is a bombastic, melodramatic reactionary. haha. i argue with my friend all the time about the legitimacy of bruce's career.

he kinda always seemed like a fluffed up bar-band to me. cant deny that he has a enormous following so i guess i gotta just chalk this one up as "not for me".

sorry to waste all bruce-fans time. that is all.


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