Who's The Boss? Springsteen Shows Dallas He's Still Got It

Published: Apr 08, 2014 01:18am EDT
By Michael Owen, Sports Writer for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 08, 2014 @ 11:28am EDT


(DALLAS, TX) -- Close to 40,000 braved the cold and the rain to cram Reunion Park Sunday night to see Jamfest, headlined by Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band in their first Dallas concert in six years and their first in America since 2012.

The Boss. Did Not. Disappoint.

In a performance that will likely overshadow Monday night's actual NCAA Final Four Championship, Springsteen capped a weekend music festival in Downtown Dallas that included such names as The Killers, Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw. The festival has already been compared to that of Austin City Limits and many more. 

Things began on Sunday with local legend and Fort Worth native Pat Green taking the stage. Unfortunately for a very under-rated Green, the regular packed house were likely scared away by not only heavy rains but very cold, windy weather to boot.

Next up was New York's indie pop band "fun", 2013's Grammy winner for Best New Artist and best known for their three hit singles: "Some Nights", "Carry On" and 2013's Grammy Song of the Year "We Are Young".

While not exactly everyone's cup of tea, fun, led by frontman Nate Ruess, seemed to delight the cold, wet crowd as they pushed towards the stage, bouncing and hopping to their favorites.  

Ruess, showed great range using material from fun's hit album "Some Nights" and seemed sincerely emotional at times as he enjoyed being on stage after an extended break for the group.  “We’ve got to get the [expletive] out of retirement,” he said just before singing the hit that started their climb, “We Are Young.” 

fun ended their set with a surprisingly well done cover of the Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want", much to the delight of the crowd.

But the night belonged to The Boss and his E-Street Band.

With the setting being a party hosted by the NCAA and the Final Four, the band fittingly walked out to “Sweet Georgia Brown”, the Harlem Globetrotters theme song, while Bruce arrived holding a ball. “This has something to do with basketball. Am I right?” he asked the crowd. Springsteen's longtime guitar tech, Kevin Buell, dressed in a ref’s outfit, tossed the ball up for an opening tipoff between Bruce and guitarist Nils Lofgren and the fun began.

The familiar keyboard opening of “Jump” started and while most thought it was a play on the basketball theme, the band went on to do a full rendition of the Van Halen super-hit and totally killed it. It sent the crowd into a frenzy and set the tone for what turned out to be a playful theme for the entire three hour show.

After the Van Halen cover, Springsteen went to work with rapid fire pace. “Badlands” and “Death to My Hometown” followed by “Cover Me” into “No Surrender” followed by Bruce’s first Top 10 single, “Hungry Heart,” which apparently was the perfect time for the 64-year-old Springsteen to do a little crowd surfing and chill with a beer from a fan.

Next he got around to the new record, playing the title track off High Hopes, which brought former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello to the forefront to rip a solo that included his trademark moves and even to play part of it with his teeth.  Morello got the nod to join the E-Street Band while Steven Van Zandt is on hiatus to film the Norwegian television series Lilyhammer. Guitar Hero icon Morello, is a force, known as a punk-rocker raised on hip-hop who takes the E Street Band to another level, even on their time tested classics.  He even played a little acoustic at times.

After that, Springsteen went on to tell the crowd that he wasn't much of a basketball fan but that he appreciated the teams that "carries the most heart and spirit” which naturally led into “Spirit in the Night” from his 1973 debut album "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J."  that Bruce sang along with one seemingly startled young lady. 

Next up was “Wrecking Ball” which seemed somewhat fitting as the show was held on the grounds where historic Reunion Arena had once stood, followed by “The River” and then an amazing new version of “Atlantic City.”

Next up came "Johnny 99" which featured the brass of the E-Street Band including a stunning sax solo from Jake Clemons (nephew of the deceased original E-Street sax player Clarence Clemons). With help from another young fan “Darlington County” came next followed by another crowd pleaser “Working on the Highway.”

Cindy Mizelle was featured next on a very soulful and spiritual version of “Shackled and Drawn” from the "Wrecking Ball" album, and then ironically as the rain began to pour again "“Waitin’ on a Sunny Day”  came next followed by “The Ghost of Tom Joad” in an impressive duet with Morello who also ripped an incredible solo on it as well.

No Springsteen concert would be complete without "Born To Run" or "Glory Days" as they were next on the list followed by "Devils and Dust" which a young boy got to improv with The Boss.

"Dancing in the Dark" was next on the set list in which nearly every young lady except Courtney Cox was invited onstage to dance it out with Springsteen.  This move somewhat backfired as every single one of them stopped to take a "selfie" with the rock icon. "Selfies, selfies, selfies" an exasperated Springsteen exclaimed as he tried to get the stage cleared for his final numbers.

"Tenth Avenue Freezout" brought down the house (yes, even though we were in a field) only to take it to another level with a cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Shout", the band's final song.

The night ended with a very sultry version of "Thunder Road" that Bruce sang with his wife of 23 years, Patti Scialfa that brought goosebumps to all around.  (Could have been the damp 40 degree weather, but for this review we'll go with the song.)

It seemed like an abrubt halt to the show as most of the fans hung around wanting more and despite not playing the Springsteen staple "Born In the USA", the 25 song set list was quite complete and covered 40 years of the iconic rocker for the 3 generations of fans that showed up on a dismal night.

Fireworks went off as the patrons headed for the gates, but for most, they were merely background noise and an afterthought as the fans had already been served to 3 hours of such from Springsteen.

"Best concert ever!" Carrollton's Ted Antos exclaimed. "I told him it would be!" fellow concert goer Rowdy Graham of Lewisville chimed in.

Such was the theme of those going away into the cold damp night.  Dallas wanted the best.

They got it.





(photo's courtesy Louis DeLuca/DMN, Michael Owen/Staff Photographer)


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