In an era when most musical acts seem trivial and fleeting, it’s a wonder that any can retain their relevance for a period of over 35 years. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have managed to do exactly that. Everything the E Street Band does is big, anthemic, and profound, and their concert this past Sunday at the BankAtlantic Center was no exception.
Springsteen’s music gave voice to a generation of aimless 20-somethings who are now 50-something Bridge and Tunnel transplants.
Very little has changed since the 1975 release of Born to Run, an album many think of as simply the greatest ever, and with good reason. It’s easy to think how young the entire band looked three decades ago if one closes their eyes, as Bruce, Clarence, and Little Steven sounded just as epic as always.
No one really goes to a classic rock concert to hear a band’s new material, and when the E Street Band started the songs from Born to Run, listening to “Outlaw Pete” and “Radio Nowhere” suddenly seemed like small sacrifices for the greatness witnessed onstage.
Everything from “Backstreets” onward – a group of songs that included anthems like “The Rising,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Jungleland” – was Springsteen at his absolute finest.
No one can argue that Springsteen doesn’t know his audience, and his banter with the crowd and with the band was priceless. Laughing at the three-accordion introduction to “Sherry Darling,” he said, “We may not have a big stage but you’re not gonna see that at the U2 show.”
Springsteen also selected songs from placards held by audience members, prompting performances of lesser-known songs like “Cadillac Ranch” and “Then She Kissed Me.”
The showstoppers were, of course, two of Springsteen’s most famous songs. “Born to Run” closed the first part of the concert with the arena’s lights fully up with Springsteen pumping his fist and encouraging the wild crowd. “Thunder Road,” the final song of the encore, also brought down the house.
Some bands may burn out over time, yet it’s no wonder why some remain eternal; Springsteen and company easily proved that. Here’s to another 35-plus years and then some.