Bruce Springsteen is an incontrovertible force of nature — nothing short of one can drive 16,000 people to Anaheim in rush hour on a Tuesday.
All around the world Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have been marching, but on Tuesday, the tour took a second 2012 spin through Southern California, transforming Anaheim's Honda Center into the Bossiest place on Earth.
Who’s the leader of the Club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y B-R-U-C-E.
As it turns out, Disneyland is Bruce's Niagara Falls, and the crowd was treated to a "slowly I turned...step by step..." retelling of the time he and Steve Van Zandt were flagged by security at the Magic Kingdom and denied entry.
As Springsteen recalls, they were at the height of Born in the USA stardom when the two were booted for being dressed like totally super '80s caricatures and refusing to remove their banandas. So they went to Knott's Berry Farm instead. And apparantly they got thrown out of there too. (We're looking into that.)
Wrecking Ball is the band's first tour since Clarence Clemons' death in June 2011. A founding member of the band (and one of the three most important people in the world) the "big man" was given a mid-song tribute during "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" complete with a sad, through-the-years slideshow and a brightly-lit cheering ovation.
How big was the "big man?" An entire horn section was installed to stand his ground. Included is Clemons' nephew, Jake Clemons, who has been tasked with preserving the rock-sax legacy with an ever-growing collection of precision solo reenactments.
63-year-old Springsteen and the young Clemons had a moment at the end of "Spirit in the Night" where they settled on the floor near the edge of the stage and created a stoop-like scene. The two took turns singing and playing, and then, for just a second, they sort of drifted away. Like they were somewhere else. Like they could see through the roof. Like they didn't know the audience was there.
The night's career-spanning set list appearance of saxophone-significant "Jungleland" stands out as one of the greatest live songs of all time, and the one most likely to get you pregnant and/or steal your car and crash it into the L.A. River. At the very least you're a changed person by the time it's over.
Claims of religious experiences at Springsteen shows are not without merit.
Nils Lofgren's superhuman solo on "Because the Night" was the kind of performance that suggests he was just humoring accomplished guest stars Tom Morello and Mike Ness by allowing them spotlight time.
Springsteen had a "Star's They're Just Like Us" moment trying to remember the chords for "Long Time Comin,'" the crowd got a dose of the musical buddy comedy that is "Darlington County," and a Magic-era reworking of Nebraska's "Reason To Believe," gave us all one.
Also it's December. So Santa Claus came to town.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Honda Center in Anaheim, CA - Dec. 4, 2012
- Land of Hope and Dreams (with Tom Morello)
- Adam Raised a Cain
- Streets of Fire
- Hungry Heart
- We Take Care of Our Own
- Wrecking Ball
- Death to My Hometown (with Tom Morello)
- My City of Ruins
- Spirit in the Night
- The E Street Shuffle
- Long Time Comin'
- Reason to Believe
- This Depression (with Tom Morello)
- Darkness on the Edge of Town
- Bad Luck (with Mike Ness)
- Because the Night
- Darlington County
- Shackled and Drawn
- Waitin' on a Sunny Day
- Raise Your Hand
- The Ghost of Tom Joad (with Tom Morello)
- Badlands (with Tom Morello)
- Thunder Road
- Born to Run
- Dancing in the Dark
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
- Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (with Tom Morello)
Because The Night
Santa Claus is Coming To Town
Streets of Fire (audio only)
Streets of Fire
Reason to Believe (audio only)
Spirit In The Night