Barcelona (CNA).-Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band offered two three and a quarter hour concerts in the Estadi Olímpic of Montjuïc, in Barcelona. In the two consecutive shows, on May 17th and 18th, the American musician changed almost half of the repertoire. Whereas the first performance started with a clear leitmotiv, the economic crisis and its consequences for the working class and middle classes, the second one was more of a dedication to his greatest fans. Nevertheless, the artist from New Jersey presented an important number of greatest hits in both nights, such as Born to run, Dancing in the dark and Born in the USA.
As the speakers boomed out Last Dance, a tribute to Donna Summer, who had died some hours before the first show started, lights went out and Bruce Springsteen came in. An explosive cocktail for a public that had been waiting four years to see him again in Barcelona. ‘Hola Barcelona. Hola Catalunya’ and Badlands, a 1970’s song but never démodé and a real hymn for Springsteen’s fans, was the beginning of another epic night for The Boss.
Presenting his latest work
This time Springsteen was presenting Wrecking ball, his latest work, inspired essentially in the current economic crisis. Accompanied by the E-Street band, the musician from New Jersey presented a story of depression, but also of hope, using for that aim songs of different origin. There were songs like We take care of our own (pretty descriptive title) or Death to my hometown, both from the latest album, combined with No surrender and Out in the street, for instance.
Introducing the new band
When the band played My city of ruins, from the record The Rising in remembrance of how was New York city after 9/11, he introduced the whole band that shares stage with him. Or what is the same, what remains of the original E-Street Band and a new chorus, percussion and wind instrument section, in order to replace the absence of the saxophonist of the E-street, who died last June: Clarence ‘Big Man’ Clemons. So Big that they needed five people to replace him. The wind instrument section includes Clemons’ nephew, who is also a saxophonist. There were also words for the other missing member, Danny Federeci, the keyboard player who died in 2008, and Patty Scialfa, Springsteen’s wife, who hasn’t joined the band for the European tour for the moment. “If you are here, and we are here, then they are here too. I can feel them in your voices” The Boss said as the public shouted out.
Concern for those who suffer
Singing about the consequences of the tough economic situation for the working class, is not a new topic for Springsteen. Along his professional career, it is easy to find songs containing these elements. His albums Darkness in the Edge of town (Badlands, The Promised Land), The River (The River, Factory), Born in the USA (My Hometown), but especially The Ghost of Tom Joad, inspired in the John Ford film The Grapes of Wrath, at the time inspired in the novel by John Steinbeck (The Ghost of Tom Joad, Youngstown, this last one was in the set list, including a spectacular Nils Lofgren guitar solo) are good examples of Springsteen concern and compromise with the people who suffer inequalities, injustice and abuse of power.
The Boss talked in Catalan
Springsteen tried to talk in Catalan as much as possible. For example when he introduced the song ‘Jack of all trades’ he said that Americans have had hard times, but Catalans are having even harder ones. Afterwards, he dedicated the song to the Indignados and to the 15M movement. As dedication, they also played Prove it all night, “especially for Barcelona”, beginning with a great guitar solo by Springsteen himself, and finishing with another impressive guitar solo by Steve Van Zandt.
There were, for sure, moments to recover the greatest hits that kept the public dancing and echoing whatever Springsteen required. The River, Hungry Heart, Thunder Road, Born in the USA, Born to Run were some of the examples. And a request from the public, Talk to me, added a more carefree tone to the show.
The second show
The second night Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band begun with Night, from the album Born to Run. As he did in his last visit to Barcelona, during the Magic Tour in 2008 when he played two consecutive nights in the Camp Nou stadium, the first show had plenty of greatest hits and the second one had more nods to the fans. Some changes of the night were Spirit in the night, Trapped, Racing in the Street (performed with the mastery of ‘Professor’ Roy Bittan), and Because the night, a song Springsteen co-wrote with Patty Smith in 1978, with another spectacular solo of Nils Lofgren. The Boss also surprised the audience with a request from the public, The E-street shuffle, a treasure from his second record The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle, including a percussion duel between percussionist Everett Bradley and the drummer Max Weinberg.
The Boss never stopped
During the three hours of rock, The Boss never stopped, moving from one place to another, singing, playing, dancing and getting close the public, pulling into the stage some kids (a girl in the first show, a boy in the second one) to sing the chorus of Waiting on a Sunny Day or dance in Dancing in the Dark.
Remembering the Big Man
Both shows finished with Tenth-Avenue Freeze-out, a song from the album Born to Run that explains the relation between young Springsteen and young Big Man. A short video was shown the moment right after Springsteen sang “the big man joined the band”. The public burst into applause once again, this time for the memory of the Big Man.
The numbers of the show
2 shows offered in Barcelona.
3rd city he visits since he started his European tour in Seville.
3h-3h15: duration of the show.
15: musicians he had on stage.
62: age of Springsteen.
69,1: price of a general entry ticket, taxes included.
50.000: attendance figure