Bruce Springsteen at the Royal Farms Arena

It seems a little weird to be writing about a musician other than Prince today, but last night I went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert and I’m going to write about it. I bought tickets when they went on sale several months ago, but then my husband had to go out of town for work and couldn’t go. The tickets were expensive and more than I usually pay for concert tickets so I almost just thought about selling them and not going. Then I thought better of it. 2016 has already been really evil about taking away great artists, and Bruce Springsteen is getting up there in years. I decided if I didn’t see him last night, I might not get the chance to see him again. That was obviously hit home even further today with Prince’s death, so I’m glad I decided to go.

First though I have to tell you guys my dirty little secret. I don’t even really like Bruce Springsteen’s music very much. I never sit down and turn on Bruce Springsteen to listen to and probably 75% of the time I change the channel if I hear one of his songs on the radio. There are a few I legitimately like, but most I at best could take or leave.

However, he is the best person I have ever seen live. I bought my husband tickets to see him back in 2009 for our first anniversary (because you know concert tickets are made of paper). He was such an amazing performer I didn’t even care that I only really like a small portion of his music. Someone I follow on Twitter who apparently is also not a Springsteen fan tweeted something about not needing to sit through three hours of something he hates to know he hates it obviously in response to people saying he wouldn’t know until he saw Springsteen live. Normally I would agree with his argument, but having experienced it myself I also think he may be wrong.

I was very much looking forward to seeing Springsteen again because he is so fantastic live. He played for three hours straight with incredible energy. I hope I have that much energy when I’m in my 60s, but I don’t think I even have it now. He also more than anyone I know loves his fans and genuinely wants to give them the best and most meaningful experience at each show that he can.

It’s hard to talk about this concert for me without comparing it to the last time I saw him. I enjoyed this one much more in terms of the actual music played. This show was part of the the River Tour in which he was playing the River album all the way through at every show. During the last tour I saw him he was playing full albums as part of his set, but was changing it up at different shows. Baltimore got Born to Run, which I just don’t like at all. I know this is blasphemous to Springsteen fans, but deal with it. I like the River album infinitely more than Born to Run so that half of the concert was much better this time.

However at the previous concert he was a lot more engaged with the fans. Don’t get me wrong about this one. He was out in the crowd during a number of songs, he crowd surfed during Hungry Heart, pulled people up on stage during Dancing in the Dark, and let a couple come up on stage and get engaged leading into the song I Wanna Marry You. Yet the show was completely played from a set list, which is all well and good and what I generally expect from concerts except that at the last show he spent a good portion of it playing fan requests from signs in the crowd. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen at any other show, and I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t something that happened again last night.

Old curmudgeon Danielle has one more observation about what made last night’s concert not as good as the last one she saw in that in 2009 people were not taking selfies like they do now. Every person he brought up on stage insisted on taking a selfie with Springsteen. You know what is fun to watch? Fans enjoying themselves and having the moment of a lifetime with one of their idols. You know what is not interesting to watch? People shoving a camera in someone’s face and watching someone take 10 selfies in a row with people. Put your phones down and live in the moment for a change people.

I may have enjoyed the last show I saw slightly more than last night, but it was still an amazing concert. Those guys are still amazingly kicking it after all these years. I missed Clarence Clemons, but his nephew is doing great in his stead and they had a sweet montage of Clarence Clemons over the years during 10th Avenue Freeze Out. I would definitely pay to see Bruce Springsteen again any chance I got.

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