The Boss swings for the fences at Foxboro
Pow! Springsteen, just finishing off a three-night stand at Giants Stadium, swung for the fences, and delivered, blasting out a 27-song, three hour set that was unusually high-energy, even for "The Boss."
The show was delayed for about an hour as a concussive thunderstorm made its way over the stadium, forcing about 50,000 patrons to seek shelter in the concession areas under the stands. It was a tight fit for a while, but endured good-naturedly by the crowd. That meant that the show blew well past the 11 p.m. town curfew, finishing after midnight.
Springsteen went on a little after 9 p.m., opening with a rockabilly version of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues." As is customary for a Springsteen show, the early pace was frenetic, with "Summertime" followed by "10th Avenue Freezeout," "Radio Nowhere," "Lonesome Day" and "Promised Land," all delivered at an animated, upbeat tempo.
Moments after sending the crowd into a tizzy with a full-bodied version of "Spirits in the Night" and a stunning "Tunnel of Love" featuring guitarist Nils Lofgrin, the crowd was treated to a pair of tour rarities. The first came after Springsteen trolled the front row, picking up signs requesting various songs. He read one, and cackled, "The band will not be ready for this one. Oh, they will not be ready!"
It turned out to be "Little Latin Lupe Lu," a song not heard since the late 1970s. But no band with drummer Max Weinberg and bassist Garry W. Tallent, human jukeboxes whose musical repertoire spans literally tens of thousands of songs, could be flummoxed for long, and the number turned out just fine.
The second rarity was a rousing "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street," only the second time the song has been played on this tour.
One might have reasonably expected a slower pace at this point, but one would have been wrong. The Bossman and his band kept sprinting till the end.
The crowd obligingly fed Springsteen the first verse of a joyous "Hungry Heart"; Bruce and Miami Steve Van Zandt traded guitar licks on a powerful "Murder, Inc., and saxophonist Clarence Clemons drove a monstrous version of "She's the One," that had most of the audience (including your correspondent) dancing to the Bo Diddley-esque beat.
It seemed only minutes later that Springsteen ended the set with a brawny version of "Badlands." But after only a minute or three, the band was back for the encore. This was another request: "the rarely played and even more rarely requested" according to Springsteen, "I'm Going Down." That was followed by a quartet of crowd favorites: "Jungleland", "Born To Run," "Glory Days" and "Dancin' In The Dark."
Following his usual show-ending number, "American Land," Springsteen and the band lingered a bit, with Bruce telling the audience that is was too late, the band couldn't play even one more song! No, they couldn't!
But wait! They did! And it was the near-mythical Rosalita, the song guaranteed to send everyone home happy. Despite the rain.
Set list: Summertime Blues, 10th Avenue Freezeout, Radio Nowhere, Lonesome Day, The Promised Land, Spirits in the Night, Tunnel of Love, Little Latin Lupe Lu, Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street? Hungry Heart, Who'll Stop the Rain?, Youngstown, Murder, Inc., She's The One, Living in the Future, Mary's Place, The Rising, Last To Die, Long Walk Home, Badlands.
Encore: I'm Goin' Down, Jungleland, Born To Run, Glory Days, Dancin' In The Dark, American Land, Rosalita.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.