8.30 pm. Just in time, with the usual one hour delay, the E-Street Band enters the stage at the sold out Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and starts a 3-hour-show-to-remember with “No Surrender”. A show with many First’s and some surprises.
The first First: It’s the first time ever Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street-Band play at the Pru Center. The multi-purpose indoor arena hosts mainly the hockey team of the New Jersey Devils and the basketball team of the New Jersey Nets. Today the Pru Center is sold out with 20.000 spectators. Same old and bad story: It was of course almost impossible to get tickets via Ticket Master, but … Hey, therefore we have StubHub. Nice.
The Pru Center is located in the central business district of Newark which causes some major traffic problems. So in the end, the pre-ordered (pre-paid) “Yellow 2” parking lot became the pay-again “green-what-ever” parking lot. Yay. A positive thing searching the right parking lot: You see a lot of the city. If there is a “next time in Newark” a pre-ordered parking lot isn’t necessary. Just go there and find a parking space, especially since you cannot trust the location plan.
It’s worth to keep your eyes open around the Pru Center. This million dollar arena, built in 2007, sponsored by a big financial group, is located in the immediate vicinity of closed stores, dilapidated stores, houses and roads. To be honest: I wouldn’t get lost in this area. Maybe I’m doing Newark and the neighborhood wrong … by far I didn’t see all of the spots. But what I saw is, while facing a Springsteen concert, a visual lesson. In the streets around the Pru Center, the stories Bruce tells in his songs come alive once more.
With such impressions, lines from Atlantic City and Death to my Hometown jump right into my head:Well they blow up the chicken man in Philly last night now they blew up his house too Down on the boardwalk they’re gettin’ ready for a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do … Everything dies baby that’s a fact But maybe everything that dies someday comes back” – Atlantic City – As an absolute contrast to this: In addition to soft drinks and almost 37 different beer brands you can get wine at the Pru Center. In plastic cups. Yummy. For sure. Wine? Come on. Really? Wine? It’s a Springsteen concert and you buy wine? Looks weird watching the guys balancing the plastic cups full of red wine. Do not spill any drop of this tasteful Chateau de Swamps of Jersey. Don’t know if wine is the right drink at a Springsteen concert, but for me it was strange seeing it. Back to the show. The next, absolute awesome “First”: Bruce performs for the very first time “Bishop Danced” in a full band version. With my mouth wide open I was glad and happy to hear and see a song, which has not been played since 1973. What a surprise. With “It’s hard to be a Saint in the city” the next First jumps into line. The song from “Greetings from Asbury Park” has its tour premiere. Nice. Later on he performed an absolutely funny version of “Talk to me” and the house was rocking. You could see and feel how much fun Bruce had during the show. Hm, maybe because Patty wasn’t around? Who knows? Another highlight was “The Weight”. Bruce played it in honor of Levon Helm from “The Band” who passed away a few weeks ago. It’s almost impossible to describe the feelings when 20.000 people sing “Take a load off Anny Take a load for free Take a load off Anny And you put the load right on me” – The Weight – with one voice. A promised goose skin runs over my body.
All in all one great show with a lot of important songs to me. New songs, old songs and never heard songs took turns in perfect order. Bruce and the audience had a lot of fun. This was the last show of the first leg of the tour. The tour will go over to Europe for about 30 shows. Maybe the one or the other will go to one of his shows in Europe. Have fun and don’t let him fall down when he body surfs through the pit. We need this guy here in September again. I was some kind sad reading this after the show:
“Jersey Girl” was on the printed set list (in the spot before “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out”) but was not played. “Tied That Bind” was also on the set list and not played.”
In this spirit: We’re not done yet.
No Surrender (Lights up)
We Take Care of Our Own
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Hard to be a Saint in the City
Jack of All Trades
She’s The One
Shackled & Drawn
Waitin’ On a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Talk to Me
The Way You Do The Things You Do
We Are Alive
Land of Hope & Dreams
Born To Run (Lights up)
Dancing In the Dark
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
10th Avenue Freeze Out
Attached you will find some video shots taken by me. Mainly a few memories for me, but maybe you are interested in the atmosphere.