Springsteen electrifies the Yum! Center

It was an unseasonably mild Sunday night in Louisville. After getting a bite to eat with my dad, he and I walked on over to the KFC Yum! Center to get ready for my fifth and his 25th Bruce Springsteen concert. After waiting in line for 30 minutes to get into the arena, we finally made it in. We rushed through the halls, and ended up making it to our seats in time for the opening song.

As the anticipation began to build, Bruce and the E Street Band made their way onto the stage. Before beginning the concert, Bruce described to the audience about what his album, The River (the centerpiece of every concert of the tour), meant to him. Bruce said he wanted to make a record as big as life, one that contained fun, dancing, laughter, sex, comradeship, love, faith, lonely nights and teardrops. He ended his description by saying “I figured if I could make a record that contained all of those things, I’d get a little bit closer to realizing them in my own life.”

I figured if I could make a record that contained all of those things, I’d get a little bit closer to realizing them in my own life.”

— Bruce Springsteen

Bruce opened the concert with “Meet Me in the City,” an outtake from The River. Right off the bat, Bruce invigorated the Louisville crowd, bringing every person in the arena to their feet. For the next two hours, Bruce played every song from The River in sequence. For those who hadn’t heard The River, some fans in attendance felt like the first two hours were somewhat slow. However, in order to really appreciate the album, you have to appreciate how talented “The Boss” is, being able to go from an upbeat, lighthearted song to a deep, contemplative ballad.

After playing The River to its entirety, Bruce then launched into a series of some of his classic songs, starting with Badlands.” I had already heard some of his songs he had played at other concerts, but Bruce ended up surprising me by taking a request from the crowd and playing “Born in the USA.” Highlighted by an incredible drum solo by Max Weinberg (Bruce’s drummer of 41 years), I was immensely impressed after hearing this song live. After having played for nearly three-and-a-half hours with a total of 34 songs, Bruce ended the night on “Bobby Jean” for the 35th and final song of the night.

The Boss interacting with the energetic Louisville crowd.
The Boss interacting with the energetic Louisville crowd.

At age 66, Bruce has an insane amount of energy. When he’s playing a concert, Bruce isn’t sitting down on a stool or standing still the whole time–he’s running all throughout the arena.

Among those in attendance Sunday night was my cousin, St. X senior Max Scherch. This was Max’s second Springsteen concert, and when asked what his favorite moment was, he replied, “I really enjoyed the ending of the concert. He played a six-song encore and it was loaded with some of Bruce’s classic songs.”

Also in attendance was Senior Austin James. When asked about his favorite moment of the concert, Austin replied, “It’s a tie between 1) hearing the first note of “Born to Run” and having the Jumbotron catch me almost jumping over the railing and 2) seeing 15,000 people singing “Bobby Jean” to close the concert.” Tito then disclosed that he was moved to tears by the second moment.

Overall, this concert was the best Springsteen concert I’ve ever attended. The sound was great, Bruce was as energetic as I had ever seen him, and he played for the longest I had ever heard him play. Also noteworthy were saxophonist Jake Clemons’ solos–some of the best I have ever heard. Bruce’s heyday may have been back before my time, but his music still remains inspiring and energizing.

Below is the concert’s setlist (courtesy of http://springsteen.wickedlocal.com/):

1. Meet Me In The City
2. The Ties That Bind
3. Sherry Darling
4. Jackson Cage
5. Two Hearts
6. Independence Day
7. Hungry Heart
8. Out In The Street
9. Crush On You
10. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
11. I Wanna Marry You
12. The River
13. Point Blank
14. Cadillac Ranch
15. I’m A Rocker
16. Fade Away
17. Stolen Car
18. Ramrod
19. The Price You Pay
20. Drive All Night
21. Wreck On The Highway
22. Badlands
23. No Surrender
24. Lonesome Day
25. Because the Night
26. She’s the One
27. Human Touch
28 The Rising
29. Thunder Road
30. Born in the USA
31. Born to Run
32. Dancing in the Dark
33. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
34. Shout
35. Bobby Jean