“Evening New Jersey! It’s nice to be in my backyard,” Bruce Springsteen said, greeting the crowd at Giants Stadium Wednesday night. “You’ve joined us tonight to shut the old lady down. We’ve had a lot of great nights here. Let’s make this another one.”
Shortly after, the band began a new number, “Wrecking Ball,” which Springsteen wrote specifically for the night. “I was raised out of steel here in the swamps of Jersey/Some misty years ago,” he sang while the lyrics scrolled across the screens. “My home is here in the Meadowlands/Where mosquitoes grow big as airplanes/Here where the blood is spilled, the arena is filled and Giants play the game,” he continued to screams. (Watch video below courtesy NJ.com.)
|Bruce Springsteen performs his new song Wrecking Ball at Giants Stadium
Playing just over three hours, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s energetic 29-song set, kept concertgoers on their feet. Whether it was newer tracks like, “Working on a Dream” from his most recent release, or the entirety of 1975’s Born To Run cover to cover, Springsteen and the E Street Band continue their legacy of New Jersey’s finest and must-see acts.
“Seeds,” “Johnny 99” and “Atlantic City” followed “Wrecking Ball” with saxophone, violin and steel guitar interludes fans know and love. During “Atlantic City,” Springsteen jumped off the stage and played to those on the floor, marking the first of his many sprints into the masses of fans throughout the venue.
|Bruce Springsteen performs Seeds at Giants Stadium
With little to no segue between songs, on the rare occasion there was a moment before his “1, 2, 3, 4” start to the next number, fans chanted, “BRUCE!” Performing with a cowboy hat during “Outlaw Pete,” The Boss could be seen conducting his band with his infamous swinging arm motions.
One of the highlights of the night, “Hungry Heart” had the crowd singing in unison, before Springsteen took the mic. Running into the crowd, he sat on the barricades singing to fans lucky enough to garner spots on the floor. Shaking hands and posing for photos, Springsteen ran back to the stage, lying on the ground for a few seconds before the song segued into “Working on a Dream.”
“We’re so glad to be with you tonight. It feels so good to be home,” he said. “We were trying to think of things to make our last stay in Giants Stadium special.” He then told the crowd the albums he’ll be playing for the next four shows in their entirety. Taking out his harmonica to begin, “Thunder Road,” the stadium erupted with excitement I’ve never witnessed before. Definitely a favorite album by many, Springsteen continued to play Born To Run cover to cover. For the title track, the house lights went on as many danced and raised their beer bottles in the air while the video screens displayed signs from fans in the crowd that read, “It’s Boss Time” and “Happy 60th.”
When the very last chord of “Jungleland” was played Springsteen ushered the band to the front of the stage. “These are the guys that make the music,” he said as they took a bow. “Alright, back to work. Get your asses back on those instruments,” he joked into which “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” began. Mid-song, Springsteen handed over his mic to a young boy from the floor who he pulled onstage to sing.
Additional highlights included the moving “The Promised Land,” “Lonesome Day” and “Badlands.” While leaning into the crowd, Springsteen collected a handful of signs, one that read “E Street Shuffle” and another, “Growin’ Up,” both of which he performed soon after. Midway through “Growin’ Up,” Springsteen told the crowd of “the weirdest dream” he had the previous night. “I was walking in the house in a trance and all the lights went out and all I remember was this cake and there were 60 fuckin’ candles on it,” to which the entire stadium began singing “Happy Birthday.” Barely able to get a word in, eventually he continued. “Then there were thousands of people reminding me of something I was trying to forget,” he joked. “And then I woke up.”
Chants of, “JERSEY!” permeated throughout Giants Stadium, prefacing another fan favorite, “Dancing In the Dark.” Closing the night with “Hard Times” and the beloved “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off a successful first of five nights performing at Giants Stadium. The last band to play before the Stadium is torn down; I couldn’t imagine a better show to, in Springsteen’s words, “shut the old lady down.”
You can read this review, originally posted on Bumpershine.