SUNDERLAND’S Stadium of Light welcomed Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band on summer Solstice night with typical North-Eastern mist and rain – but Bruce and the band beat the weather to deliver a storming set.
This was the first time Springsteen and his band had played a stadium show in the region since his legendary two-night stand at Newcastle’s St James’s Park at the height of his powers back in 1985, watched by this reviewer as a mere callow youth.
In almost three decades since the singer-songwriter has aged with his audience, chronicling the magic and loss of life on albums like The Rising and the latest Wrecking Ball.
But the 62-year-old rocker is not out on tour just to sell T-shirts.
With his augmented 15-piece hard-rocking, soul-stirring band, he means business man.
Bruce blasts through anthemic tracks from the new album, like Death To My Hometown, with the fervour of a demented preacher, the hard times themes resonating with the North-East audience.
The locals were certainly in party mood though with Bruce being upstaged by a lass getting her top off, a fan stealing his microphone and two lads idiot-dancing onstage with guitarist Nils Lofgren for his birthday.
In a marathon three-hour set, Bruce reeled out rockers like Out In The Street, rarities like Point Blank and faves like Thunder Road to a packed stadium.
Encores Born To Run, Glory Days and Dancing In The Dark tore the roof off the stadium and fans witnessing what is possibly the greatest rock n roll band in the world.
Baby, we were born to run!
– IAN MONAGHAN