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October 15, 2009

Concert review: Bruce Springsteen at the Spectrum last night

bruce springsteenThere are Springsteen fans, and there are Springsteen fanatics. Baltimore Sun sports guru Ron Fritz has seen Bruce Springsteen 12 or 15 times. I don't know if I'd call him a fanatic, but he's definitely more than a casual fan of the Boss.

Fritz saw Springsteen last night in Philly. Here are his thoughts:

Get ready Baltimore, the Boss is coming and he’s bringing a smokin’ hot E Street Band with him.

Bruce Springsteen, scheduled to play 1st Mariner Arena on Nov. 20, played the second of four shows in Philadelphia last night at The Spectrum.

He played for about 2 hours and 45 minutes, 15 minutes shorter than the first night in Philly, but got the old building rocking right from the start with "Thundercrack," followed by "The Ties That Bind" and "What Love Can Do."

The band was so good, right off the bat, that it was like seeing the Ravens run their 2-minute offense to start the game and have everything perfectly in sync ...

Bruce let the house sing "Hungry Heart" while he body surfed from the middle of the general admission pit back up to the stage. He seemed to enjoy being passed around.

He's been playing whole albums on this tour and Tuesday night it was "Born to Run." On Wednesday, it was "Darkness on the Edge of Town," and it could not have been finer. Bruce and the band ripped into “Badlands” and “Adam Raised a Cain,” but for me the highlights of the “Darkness” set were the three in a row of "Candy’s Room," "Racing in the Street" and "Promised Land." The version of “Racing” was beautiful, led by Roy Bittan's amazing piano work. One thing that the “Darkness” set reinforced is what great musicians these guys are. Bruce, Roy and Max particularly stood out. Folks around me also thought the version of  "Darkness" was terrific.

Following the "Darkness" set and "Waiting on a Dream" and "Sherry Darling," the band, including the Biggest Man Alive, Clarence Clemons, roared through a four-song arc of "Human Touch," "Long Walk Home," "The Rising" and "Born to Run." Patti Scialfa, who did not play with the band Tuesday, was terrific with Bruce on "Human Touch."

Bruce opened the encores with "Ramrod," which is just a fun song, and ended with "Rosalita." In truth, it left me wanting more. But as with every Bruce show, you can't expect to hear everything. He hasn't played Baltimore since 1973, so let's hope he has something special planned.

As he sang in "Rosalita,":

"So hold tight baby, 'cause don’t you know daddy's comin'."

I can't wait.

(Photo by Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Daily News)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:38 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Concert reviews


I've seen him twice, in "76 and in 2007, both in DC. I can't wait to see him in Baltimore!! It's gonna be hot!

Stood for 3 hours watching Bruce at Hyde Park in London in June. Finest concert I've ever seen. Would have stood for 3 more. went to see Bruce in Philly after seeing him 12-15 times, and he'll be in this area twice within the next month (and you'll probably go see at least one of those shows). Yea, I'd say you are a fanatic. But that's cool. I'm a Stones fanatic and I love Bruce too. I'll be at the Baltimore show, although I doubt he'll be able to top the Magic Tour show in D.C., in '07. But I dare him to try.

Yeah extraordinary performances always be remembered for a long time.

Bruce Springsteen is amazing

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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