Denver is about 1,700 miles from the swamps of Jersey, and but the Entrance Vary confirmed up with love and power, respect and recognition on Tuesday night for one of many biggest musical acts of all time — Bruce Springsteen and the E Road Band. The beloved Jersey boy’s cease on the Ball Area is his seventh go to to the Denver venue and the twelfth present of an in depth North American tour that runs by way of December, with your complete manufacturing already working as an impressively well-oiled machine. With one of many extra infamously diehard fanbases in music tradition, followers got here from all throughout Colorado and past to the Mile Excessive Metropolis to expertise the person, the parable, the legend, “The Boss.”
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Springsteen has been lengthy recognized for serving top-of-the-line performances in stay music, aided by his on-stage charisma and seemingly easy showmanship expertise. Plus the assist of the E Road Band, whose numbers appear to rise over time, which on Tuesday included guitarist Steve Van Zandt, drummer Max Weinberg, guitarist Gary W. Tallent, bassist Nils Lofgren and violinist Soozie Tyrell, amongst others.
Saxophonist Jake Clemons gracefully stuffed the sneakers of his late uncle Clarence Clemons, aka “The Huge Man,” taking up the function with the identical expertise and magnificence his uncle was recognized for. With a handful of backup singers, dueling keyboards and drums, a full horn part and his iconic tight, black, sleeveless ensemble, Springsteen was singer, storyteller, guitarist, dancer, conductor and impresario, all in an evening’s work.
Not many individuals can command a room the best way Springsteen can — bringing a crowd of 20,000 to useless silence simply moments after commanding those self same 20,000 to shout the identical lyrics in unison. This occurred in cycles over the course of the night as he led the E Road Band by way of 26 songs with out stopping. The setlist spanned the whole thing of his profession, from 1973’s The Wild, the Harmless & the E Road Shuffle to final yr’s Solely the Robust Survive. There have been covers, just like the Commodores’ “Nightshift” and Patti Smith’s “As a result of the Night time.” In fact, there have been additionally large hits, fan favorites and rarities that spanned practically three hours and introduced on all the feels.
“No Give up,” “Ghosts,” “Show It All Night time” and “Letter to You,” kicked off the setlist, with “The Promised Land” following as the primary of the night’s highlights. There have been various indicators to be seen within the crowd, one in all which proposed a commerce: a fan’s trucker hat for Springsteen’s harmonica. As quickly as Springsteen noticed the signal, it was a accomplished deal, and a good commerce. He wore the hat till the tip of “Out within the Road.” The second spotlight of the night time got here with the sensual “Kitty’s Again,” which made the sector really feel like an intimate jazz membership and obtained the entire room grooving. A sluggish and drum-heavy “Johnny 99” was subsequent and noticed all palms on deck, making a full-band sound to distinction the acoustic studio album model followers are used to.
Traditional tune and band anthem “The E Road Shuffle” got here earlier than the 17 supporting musicians took their go away from the stage and left Springsteen alone together with his viewers. Earlier than shifting into the subsequent track, we had been instructed the story of Springsteen’s first band, The Castiles, based in highschool together with his late buddy George Theiss. Taking a second to honor Theiss and replicate on the sanctity of our time right here on Earth, you might hear a pin drop as Springsteen started to play “Final Man Standing.” Again-to-back fan favorites and singalongs got here within the type of “The Rising” and “Badlands” to shut out the set, adopted by a hasty group bow.
With out lacking a beat, Springsteen and crew dove straight right into a six-song encore all with the home lights on, operating by way of the perfect of the perfect and turning the power stage as much as a most. “Thunder Street,” “Born to Run,” “Rosalita,” “Glory Days” and “Dancing within the Darkish” had been raucously carried out to the sheer glee of the group. Regardless of his star standing, Springsteen by no means fails to thank his band by way of prolonged introductions, which he did in full earlier than making his notorious, ovation-earning announcement: “You’ve simply seen the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, earth-quaking, booty-shaking, Viagra-taking, love-making, legendary E Road Band!”
As the sector reverberated with hoots, hollers, and chants of “BRUUUCE,” we had been delighted as soon as extra with “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” resulting in the 17 gamers of the E Road Band taking their second bow and ultimate departure from the stage. Simply the person, his guitar and 20,000 adoring followers for yet another track, Springsteen left us with an acoustic “I’ll See You in My Goals” and thanked the viewers — “Denver, the E Road Band loves you.” Nicely, Bruce, the sensation is mutual.