Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Force Of Nature

Manchester & rain go together like salt & vinegar. So it was of little surprise that the city was drenched all through yesterday evening. In a funny way, though, it made Bruce Springsteen's gig at Old Trafford all the more memorable.
Opening the show with "No Surrender" from the "Born To Run" album, he led the E Street Band through a turbo-charged set of favourites old & new. Most of the tracks from the current "Magic" album were given an airing. However, the real stand out moments came with the reprise of a few old numbers. "Growin' Up" got the full E Street Band treatment, a world away from its acoustic incarnation, & "Because The Night" was adorned by a wondrous guitar solo from Nils Lofgren. The final number, a riotous cover of the Irish folk song "American Land", turned the stadium into a giant celidh house.
Another thing that struck me was that there surely can't be any other act who uses the term, habeas corpus before 50,000 people in introducing "Livin' In The Future", from the current album.
For those of us who had travelled down the East Lancs Road, it was a case of smiling through gritted teeth as the Boss accepted a Man Utd shirt thrown from the crowd & joked about last week's Champions League Final (referring to the stadium as "hallowed ground" & being informed by one of his road crew that Utd beating Chelsea was a bit like New Jersey beating New York). A fleeting moment, though, in an exhilarating two & three-quarter hours.
He's still the Boss. .

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