Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
HP Pavilion, San Jose
Better than: Every other crowd surfer that has ever landed on us.
You know how people throw the word "epic" around these days? (Let's be honest, "epic" is the new "awesome".) Well, tonight, Bruce Springsteen is epic. Like, actually epic -- in the traditional sense of the word. He plays for close to three and a half hours (which is why there is no opening artist tonight), and during that time, takes this arena on an emotional rollercoaster. There's joy, there's sadness, there's liberation, there's politics, there's... crowd-surfing.
That's right. Crowd-surfing. Two and a half hours in, in the middle of a soulful cover of The Temptations' "The Way You Do The Things You Do" (with full gospel accompaniment), The Boss gets
itchy feet, goes on a tour of the audience, and ultimately decides to drop backwards off a central barrier, onto the front portion of the crowd. He's subsequently
carried back to the stage by thrilled fans -- and we're proud to say that our sweaty little
over-excited hands helped in this task. Not bad for a dude who's old
enough to be some of the audience members' grandfather.
For the most part, this is an older crowd. Frankly, with these ticket prices ($100+), who else could afford it? And -- sorry Bruce -- for a man so concerned with poor people, the merch prices are insane: $40 for a T-shirt, $65 for a hoodie, $10 for four buttons. If there's comfort to be had, though, it's in the sheer value for money the audience gets from a set this long, and this insanely passionate. The band works hard. Really, really hard. So hard in fact that, at several points, we fear for drummer Max Weinberg's health.