Bruce Springsteen Is Back In South Philly!

Apparently anybody can be booed in Philadelphia, even Bruce Springsteen. The capacity crowd at the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday night for the first of two very sold out evenings with Springsteen and the E Street Band, weren’t screaming ‘Bruce’ when the Boss sang ‘Here Where The Blood Is Spilled/And Giants Play The Game.’ Philly fans couldn’t help but jeer Springsteen when he toasted his Super Bowl champion New York Giants during ‘Wrecking Ball,’ the title track from his album, which dropped three weeks ago. The iconic rocker couldn’t help but laugh when he was pelted with the verbal raspberries. But it was all cheers after that early show salvo. For most of the two-hour 50-minute set, fans were in a blissful state as Springsteen and his mighty E Street Band leveled the fans with a barrage of old and new material. The tunes ranged from a dusted off ‘Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?,’ from his debut album, 1973’s ‘Greetings From Asbury Park’ to a healthy dose of cuts from the solid ‘Wrecking Ball.’ While introducing himself, he cracked that ‘Wrecking Ball “stood at the top of the Billboard chart for one consecutive week.’ A rim shot by drummer Max Weinberg could have followed. Guitarist Nils Lofgren noted during an interview that the set could be quite different than the exceptional show Springsteen and the E Street Band delivered in Austin two weeks ago and that was so. ‘She’s The One,’ ‘Atlantic City,’ and a nice tribute to Smokey Robinson and Wilson Pickett was rendered as the band offered reverent covers of ‘The Way You Do The Things You Do’ and ‘634-5789’ were some of the changeups. Springsteen, 62, was all over the place. He bounded around the massive stage, crowd-surfed and even walked up the aisle to my section (124), sat down and drank a fan’s beer during a version of Eddie Floyd’s ‘Raise Your Hand.’ The raveups were included (‘Badlands,’ Born To Run’) and so were somber numbers, such as ’American Skin (41 Shots,’) which may have been added due to the Trayvon Martin murder and ‘My City of Ruins.’ Springsteen, who was flanked by 16 musicians, covered all of the bases as usual. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the South Philly arena so packed. Aside from the lack of empty seats, even all of the suites at the top of the venue were filled. But there was good reason to head to the Wells Fargo Center to catch Springsteen and his accomplices since there is no act, which takes fans to another place quite like Bruce and the E Street Band. The show was powerful, poignant and uplifting. But it was just another night at the office for the Boss, who delivered yet another terrific performance. It was almost transcendent enough for Eagles fans to tolerate the Giants success. Almost.

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