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November 21, 2009

Concert review: Bruce Springsteen at 1st Mariner Arena

bruce springsteenThat was the concert of a lifetime. I think that was the best show I've ever seen.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band made a triumphant return to 1st Mariner Arena last night, playing to a sold-out crowd of more than 14,000.

Here is a link to my full review, which will run in tomorrow's paper.

Wow. Consider me a convert to the Church of Springsteen. Bruce and the boys played 30 songs, and the show lasted almost three and a half hours.

If you were there last night and you want to share your thoughts, leave a comment.

Here is the set list from the show ...

1. Wrecking Ball
2. Prove it All Night
3. Hungry Heart
4. Working on a Dream
5. Thunder Road
6. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
7. Night
8. Backstreets
9. Born to Run
10. She's the One
11. Meeting Across the River
12. Jungleland
13. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
14. Spirit in the Night
15. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (audience request)
16. The E Street Shuffle (audience request)
17. For You (solo piano)
18. Radio Nowhere (audience request)
19. My Love Will Not Let You Down
20. Long Walk Home
21. The Rising
22. Badlands
23. Ramrod
24. Hard Times
25. Land of Hope and Dreams
26. American Land
27. Dancing in the Dark
28. Rosalita
29. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
30. Glory Days

(Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:18 AM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Concert reviews



On the way home, I couldn't help but feel that I just got my a** kicked by a 60 year old man.

Hands down - the best show I've ever seen. So many incredible moments: his interaction with the crowd (the picture on this post tells it all), picking songs again and again based on fans' signs, letting a little girl sing with him on stage and then giving her a chance to do it solo (much to her surprise - but she did great), and his endless energy. I hoped they'd play Rosalita...they did. I hoped they'd play Jungleland...they did. And I never in a million years thought they'd play Santa Claus is Coming to Town...they did. The entire arena singing a Christmas song altogether...amazing. And due to the smaller than usual venue there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. It was a phenomenal show.

Amazing Performance. It was clear that after many years on the road, the boss is well schooled into giving the audience what they paid for. He totally gets the fact that he is a legend, and this may be the last time many of us will be able to see him in Concert. He put on a show we will not soon forget.

Wrecking Ball was definitely an interesting choice an opening song at the Arean. Symbolic?

Great review by the way.

Can't help but think you didn't deserve to see this incredible show.

Clarification: Getting one's ass kicked at a rock n roll show is a good thing. I left last night's show physically and emotionally drained (again a good thing). That show was amazing.

That show was a lesson for any young, up and coming band in the area. Passion, heart, dedication, soul colliding head on with talent. Unbelievable.

Can't help but think you didn't deserve to see this incredible show.

LOL. That's the great thing about spending your money on experiences rather than things, no one can take them away from you.

I took my 10 year old son so that he would get a chance to see Bruce and the E-Street Band, and so that he would have an amazing first concert experience. I think I've probably ruined it all for him - that was the best show I've ever seen in my life!

This was one of the concerts on my wish list and I have to say it was amazing. Honestly not much more I can say I'm still processing it.

It's funny, he didn't play all the songs I hoped he would (although Thunder Road was the only must hear song) but I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Damn that was amazing!

At the last minute a friend called with one ticket. I would have to say my friend is like a professional concert goer. He's been to so many shows over the years- Led Zep, Cream, Clapton , Stones , James Brown -but never a Boss show. I would tell him, " you gotta get to a Bruce show." SO, here we were.
Because the guy was taping the show, he didn't yell or anything. And because of our seats, he had his back to me the whole show. I had no idea what he was thinking of the show. But when the show ended he turned to me and said, " That was one unbelievable show!" A new convert.
It was a killer show . Finally, Baltimore got it's chance to rock, and it tore the roof off the sucker. Great venue for the Boss.
I think the ushers were in awe of what they saw.
Some great stuff on Youtube, including some nice interview from the Super Bowl with Nils and sports talk guy Nasty Nestor.
What;s the deal with all the kids? I'm not saying it's bad, it's just interesting how many fans bring their kids. I took my daughter when she was 7 , 8 and 10, so I'm as guilty,but I'm just wondering what it is about the Boss.


A great review, btw. Between "Spirit" and before "Santa", the band played "Green Onions" while Bruce collected signs.

I do believe it's the last time I'll see the E Street Band with Clarence Clemons. And he pretty much nailed the "Jungleland" solo.

Easily the greatest concert I've been to.

This was my 90th plus show since 1980 and 8th this year. In the past 7 weeks i have seen Born to Run, Darkness, Born In The USA and The River at the Garden played back to back in Phila & N.Y. I must say that last nights show at 1st Mariner was in my top 3 shows hands down. The hug Bruce gave Clarence at the end tells it all. They say money cant buy love & health. This is true, unless your seeing Bruce live in concert! It's THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH!

Not enough superlatives can describe last night. I only got my ticket the night before for face from a good man who had an extra GA, for face value nonetheless! This was one phenomenal performance! Baltimore has really dedicated fans. Years of waiting seem to be unleashed mutually from audience to band and vice-versa. What a fitting way to come near the end of the tour. They will be back! Max gave me his drumsticks, one of the great experiences of my life. A five-star, 10/10, A+++ performance! cheers!

I have been to maybe 25 concerts in my life including what some would consider the best band in the world, U2. This was my first Bruce concert and it was simply the greatest show I have ever seen. There is not even a close second. He rocked the arena from start to finish, got the audience involved, and just honestly destroyed the place. Unbelievable to see. My only regret is that more or my friends and family werent there to experience it. AMAZING!!! Once in a lifetime experience!!!

I saw the Verizon show a few weeks ago. This show just blew it away. More songs, more energy, much smaller venue, totally drained when it was over. Wow, what an experience.

OMG this show was amazing. My husband and I have been to more than a few concerts and I have to say that this topped them off. No wonder they call him the Boss. I too loved the way he interacted with the crowd, espcially the youngsters. I really loved that about him. I didn't know some of the songs and was truly amazed that the crowd knew all the words to all of his songs. I have never seen one performer with the energy that he had. Please Bruce come back again. I will surely be there.

Two days later and I'm still amazed at the energy Bruce brought to that show.

It's inspiring to see a man who clearly had a dream and worked so hard to make it come true. Makes me feel like even the impossible is possible.

Simply the greatest show on earth. Bruce has been kicking my ass since I first saw him in NJ in '85 and Baltimore was my 50th time. I'll gladly keep takin' my licks as long as he wants to dish it out! Thanks Bruce and The E Street Band!

I woke Saturday morning feeling a whole lot better than I did Friday morning
Nothing is better than an evening with Bruce !
"Give me that Old-Time Religion" !!!

What is continuing to blow my mind is that I have the music playing in my head days later. Before I fall asleep, when I wake up, when I am at rest, I realize that a tune is going through my head constantly. Its incredible. I have never had this experience after a concert before.

I am 50 and this was my first Bruce concert after a lifetime of concerts. Blew me away. My other favorite concert ever was this year as well- Decemberists' Hazards of Love tour. So far, 50 is pretty damn good.

Best show of the year!! 3rd time I've seen him this year. Between the hometown venue, the set-list and the sheer energy of the band and the crowd; it doesn't get any better. Stood in between the mixing/lighting boards, so we were able to get a 1st peak of the set-list and watch as Bruce called the audiables on "My Love will not let you Down", "For You", and the extra encore. Was fun watching the crew scramble through thier log books looking for the set-ups for those songs.
Loved it when he swigged the beer out of a fans hand.
Sam, congrats on the front page review. Way to go.

just received the new springsteen book, The Light in Darkness, with it's amazing stories and photos it really captures the live concert experience like no other book I haave seen, highly recommended for Xmas

"The hug Bruce gave Clarence at the end tells it all."

My God...they held on to each other for half a minute, neither saying a word.
I knew I was watching them say their goodbyes.

After first seeing Bruce in 1975 and many shows since, there was never
a better moment than that.

It was heartbreaking and triumphant all at once.

I would only be so lucky to see him!!
If I saw him in a concert like that I wouldn't be in awe for the rest of my life I would have died a very happen person!! I think my heart would given out for sure!
Bruce has never been to Perth Western Australia, but I did see him in melbourne in 2003... from far back..
but Isnt he just the Best there is ever!!!

Thanks for list.

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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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