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Curing the summertime blues with Bruce Springsteen at Citizens Bank Park (review, photos, setlist)

Bruce Springsteen began the first of two stops on his “Labor Day labor of love,” as he called it, with a classic cover, Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues.” This performance at Citizens Bank Park was just the cure the enthusiastic crowd was looking for at the brink of summer’s end.

There are many ways to express the pure rock ’n’ roll joy that poured forth from the New Jersey native and his E Street Band. Let’s begin with a quantification. The show featured 33 songs, 19 of which hadn’t been performed at the two shows he played at the Wells Fargo Center in March. Sunday’s show clocked in at 3 hours and 43 minutes. Before this summer, he had never played a show this long and hadn’t even come close since 1980. This ties with a Madrid outing as his second-longest show and ranks behind only a four-hour-plus affair in Helsinki.

If one can attest to quality based on these statistics alone, this show proved to be a rousing success. Of course this is only part of the Bruce Springsteen experience. Qualitatively, Sunday’s show was a smash as well.

Photo by Eric Ashleigh | showtographe.com
Bruce interacted with the crowd with his usual mastery, collecting numerous sign requests, crowd-surfing twice during “Rosalita” and bringing up more fans than normal (three rather than one) for “Dancing in the Dark,” with two even dancing with saxophonist Jake Clemons, nephew of the late, great Clarence Clemons. Stage chatter between The Boss and the rest of his musical family and the crowd struck many varying chords of entertainment. There was the humor shared between Bruce and Jake regarding the fact that Jake was not born when “Spirit in the Night” — in wildly rollicking form — had been conceived. The energy and ingenuity brought to rarely played covers of early rockers like “Good Rocking Tonight” and “You Can’t Sit Down” injected life into a crowd that may have otherwise been disinterested in what they do not know. And then there was the white-hot fire breathed into a rarely performed but oft-requested cover of Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl” that knocked the socks off of Citizens Bank Park. Continue reading →