bruce_springsteen_800_800

bruce springsteen & the e-street band at the kings hall

Sophia Devlin reviews Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band’s recent concert at the King’s Hall, Belfast on 21 July 2013

The 21st of July marked the triumphant return to Belfast of the only Boss you should ever listen to, Bruce Springsteen himself, accompanied by the legendary E Street Band. With King’s Hall sold out, the field giving way to a swaying entity of a crowd, Belfast was treated to a slightly unusual, but brilliant set list, with a real focus on the Nebraska and The River albums.

Serenading solely the more punctual members of the audience, Bruce delighted with a short pre-show set performed solo on acoustic guitar, including “Surprise, Surprise”, “Maria’s Bed”, “Growin’ Up”, a cover of Roy Orbison’s “In Your Dreams” and “This Hard Land” before ducking backstage once more to prepare for the main extravaganza yet to come.

Bounding onstage whilst loudly proclaiming his heartfelt excitement, the crowd is willed to testify to Marvin Gaye’s “Can I Get A Witness” before the band breaks into the slightly unusual choice of the Christian summer-camp favourite, “This Little Light Of Mine”.

Following up with the “The Ties That Bind”, during which Jake Clemons’ sax playing is greeted with a highly positive reception, after which Little Steven proceeds to get his fair share of the spotlight in a blistering “Jackson Cage”, only for the bar to be further raised by a particularly intense rendition of “She’s The One”, with Bruce yelling and stomping to Max Weinberg’s percussion in a manner not dissimilar to Kevin the Teenager throwing a tantrum- albeit, a highly talented and much better looking Kevin, with a real sense of showmanship.

Going on to collect requests from the crowd- which were painted on placards provided by the brilliantly named “New York City Serenade” stand- and propping them haphazardly on stage, before selecting “Reason To Believe”- of course, at his own leisure. However, once the harmonica solo began slamming against the melody, Belfast was gifted with yet another dozen reasons to believe in the group’s abilities, as if they needed any more!

Continuing with the old school rock an’ roll “Johnny 99” and the more soulful “Atlantic City”, before leading into the beautifully melancholic “Nebraska”, telling the woeful tale of a killing spree through the medium of Springsteen’s powerhouse vocals and one of his many faithful acoustics, as a collective air of appreciation and near stillness gathers amidst the masses.

The stillness doesn’t make it long past the closing bars though, and soon gives way to the tidal wave energy present in the classic “Prove It All Night”, as Nils Lofgren serves up a blistering guitar solo spinning like a man possessed, and at one stage, even playing with his teeth- all whilst performing in the Northern Irish equivalent of monsoon season, attired in a top hat and mutton chop sideburns. Someone give the man a medal already!

Next up to bat, a fist pumping hat trick, consisting of the war cry that is “We Take Care Of Our Own”, and the angst ridden, authority denouncing stomps of “Wrecking Ball” and “Death To My Hometown”.

The excitement is almost tangible amongst the spectators as the opening bars of the masterpiece that is “The River” float from the stage- the music and atmosphere that ensue could only be described as verging on other worldly.

Breaking the spell is “Fade Away”, which endeavours to mix things up and is proclaimed to be Steven’s personal favourite; and although executed brilliantly, it’s perhaps not the most stellar of song choices when taking into consideration their extensive back catalogue.

Despite this, the psychobilly swing of “Open All Night” succeeds in sweeping up the audience into a joyous frenzy, only to drop them captive into the classics: “Cadillac Ranch”, “Darlington County” and “Bobby Jean”.

Swooping upon his personally chosen guest vocalist, a small girl with no fear and a pink and white hat, “Waiting On A Sunny Day” is belted cheerfully by both parties, after which Bruce does a few laps of the front rows during “The Rising”, much to their delight and surprise, only for the main set to wind down with the stunningly sombre “Badlands” and a series of bows.

Of course, renowned for their encores. which could easily double as a standalone set list, “Rocky Ground” is the slightly repetitive opener that serves to showcase the astonishing vocals of the very talented Michelle Moore.

The crowd is truly reinvigorated to the point of reaching fever pitch by the time the truly massive anthems roll round, including the almightily patriotic “Born In The USA”, the fantastic “Born To Run” –and although every lyric has been echoed in a roar by the audience thus far, even the guitar fills are now being replicated in stereo – and Springsteen’s first real commercial hit, “Dancing In The Dark”.

By the time “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” is reached, Bruce is hopping round the stage like a highly enthusiastic boxer with something to prove, but the effect is somewhat detracted from by the wide grin of someone who is obviously truly content.

Finishing with a frenetic rendition of “Shout!”, interspersed with the band’s respective names and the massive crowd’s roared appreciation, Springsteen departs with a final triumphant cry of “I’m just a prisoner- of rock and roll!” Quite so, it would seem, especially if the multitude of raised fists and lung-wrenching whoops are anything to go by.

Finally, last but not least, as “This Little Light Of Mine” is relived one last time by the entire band, Bruce is eventually left alone on stage to deliver a heart stopping, solitary acoustic rendition of “Thunder Road”. He then departs, with no pyrotechnics or overdrawn fanfare, leaving the audience to drift off into the dark, a little dazed after experiencing almost three hours of solid, beautifully crafted music, but mostly incredulous that they just got to see what was truly the live show of a lifetime.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

This entry was posted on August 16th, 2013 at 11:58 am by Desima

Leave a Reply




Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • Race Director, Mervyn Whtye called in this morning ahead of our next exhibition NW200 Faces & Places which opens on Friday 22 September. This exhibition features photographs of riders, spectators, stewards and fans of the North West 200 races during the years 1977-1987. Photographs are courtesy of the Coleraine Chronicle & Constitution archives. #NW200 #NorthWest200 #NWMotorcycling #nw200facesandplaces #ballymoneymuseum #causewaycoastandglens #causewaycoastandglensboroughcouncil #localhistory

    roevalleyarts: "Race Director, Mervyn Whtye called in this morning ahead of our next exhibition NW200 Faces & Places which opens on Friday 22 September. This exhibition features photographs of riders, spectators, stewards and fans of the North West 200 races during the years 1977-1987. Photographs are courtesy of the Coleraine Chronicle & Constitution archives. #NW200 #NorthWest200 #NWMotorcycling #nw200facesandplaces #ballymoneymuseum #causewaycoastandglens #causewaycoastandglensboroughcouncil #localhistory"
    11
    0
  • Our exhibition of stunning baskets by Louise McLean of @atlanticcraftni opens this afternoon and continues to 23 September! Louise is one of the foremost basket makers in Ireland and we're delighted that she's based on the #northcoast #causewaycoast and we're not only showcasing fabulous artistry but also supporting a locally based maker as part of #augcraft17 #baskets #craft #make #irishcraft #basketry #traditionalskills #contemporarycraft #louisemclean #atlanticcraftni #roevalleyarts #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #augustcraftmonth #inspire #inspiredbylandscapes #coastal #coastalart @augustcraftmonth @craftnipics

    roevalleyarts: "Our exhibition of stunning baskets by Louise McLean of @atlanticcraftni opens this afternoon and continues to 23 September! Louise is one of the foremost basket makers in Ireland and we're delighted that she's based on the #northcoast #causewaycoast and we're not only showcasing fabulous artistry but also supporting a locally based maker as part of #augcraft17 
#baskets #craft #make #irishcraft #basketry #traditionalskills #contemporarycraft #louisemclean #atlanticcraftni #roevalleyarts #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #augustcraftmonth #inspire #inspiredbylandscapes #coastal #coastalart @augustcraftmonth @craftnipics"
    38
    3
  • Thanks to all who came to the launch of our two new exhibitions yesterday - 'As I See It' by Jim Holmes & 'Colourvision' by Ingrid McLaughlin continue in our Keady & Broighter galleries until 29 July!! ✨#limavady #roevalleyarts #exhibition #art #artexhibition #causewaycoast #causewaycoastandglens #northernireland

    roevalleyarts: "Thanks to all who came to the launch of our two new exhibitions yesterday - 'As I See It' by Jim Holmes & 'Colourvision' by Ingrid McLaughlin continue in our Keady & Broighter galleries until 29 July!! ✨#limavady #roevalleyarts #exhibition #art #artexhibition #causewaycoast #causewaycoastandglens #northernireland"
    18
    0
  • Our new #summer #eventsguides are fresh off the printing press! Pop in to pick one up or email us at information@rvacc.co.uk to get one emailed or posted direct! #augustchildrensmonth #limavady #arts #artscentre #northernireland #owenoneill #clydebuilttheatre #quantumtheatre #banyantheatre #pucapuppets #familyfilms #atlanticcraft #augustcraftmonth2017

    roevalleyarts: "Our new #summer #eventsguides are fresh off the printing press! Pop in to pick one up or email us at information@rvacc.co.uk to get one emailed or posted direct! #augustchildrensmonth #limavady #arts #artscentre #northernireland #owenoneill #clydebuilttheatre #quantumtheatre #banyantheatre #pucapuppets #familyfilms #atlanticcraft #augustcraftmonth2017"
    12
    0
  • The fantastic folk group Lore perform alongside the fabulous Niamh McGlinchey this Saturday 24 June, 8pm. Candlelight, BYO - sure, what more could you want to polish off your week! #lore #niamhmcglinchey #folk #country #concert #livemusic #livemusicni #northernireland #limavady #roevalleyarts #countyderry #june #music #chill #weekendvibes #weekendfun #byo

    roevalleyarts: "The fantastic folk group Lore perform alongside the fabulous Niamh McGlinchey this Saturday 24 June, 8pm. Candlelight, BYO - sure, what more could you want to polish off your week! #lore #niamhmcglinchey #folk #country #concert #livemusic #livemusicni #northernireland #limavady #roevalleyarts #countyderry #june #music #chill #weekendvibes #weekendfun #byo"
    16
    1
  • We attended the @artscouncilni literature & traditional music seminars today at the #seamusheaneyhomeplace in #bellaghy Fabulous heartfelt exhibition of the poet's life and work. Wonderful friendly staff. Will be back! #seamusheaney #powerofwords #literature #poetry #poetrycommunity #irishliterature #irishpoet #artscentre #literature #ireland #northernireland

    roevalleyarts: "We attended the @artscouncilni literature & traditional music seminars today at the #seamusheaneyhomeplace in #bellaghy 
Fabulous heartfelt exhibition of the poet's life and work. Wonderful friendly staff. Will be back! #seamusheaney #powerofwords #literature #poetry #poetrycommunity #irishliterature #irishpoet #artscentre #literature #ireland #northernireland"
    30
    1
  • We recently visited the #eleanorwheeler #exhibition at the #femcwilliam #gallery in #countydown We love Eleanor's nature inspired sculpture and also the recreated #studio of the #sculptor #femcwilliam - seeing his #tools and #workshop is just wonderful. As is the #planting and #flowers and #greenery in the #sculpturegardens #ceramics #ceramicsculpture #outdoors #sculpture #artistsoninstagram #inspiration #specialplace #culture #irishart #irishartist

    roevalleyarts: "We recently visited the #eleanorwheeler #exhibition at the #femcwilliam #gallery in #countydown 
We love Eleanor's nature inspired sculpture and also the recreated #studio of the  #sculptor #femcwilliam - seeing his #tools and #workshop is just wonderful. As is the #planting and #flowers and #greenery in the #sculpturegardens 
#ceramics #ceramicsculpture #outdoors #sculpture #artistsoninstagram #inspiration #specialplace #culture #irishart #irishartist"
    29
    2
  • Experiments in the dark... @caakeproject artist Bronagh Corr McNicholl facilitates a Cyanotype print workshop to accompany the #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on display. #printmaking #workshop #community #learning #inspiration #galleryeducation #create #limavady #roevalleyarts #experiment

    roevalleyarts: "Experiments in the dark... @caakeproject artist Bronagh Corr McNicholl facilitates a Cyanotype print workshop to accompany the #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on display. 
#printmaking #workshop #community #learning #inspiration #galleryeducation #create #limavady #roevalleyarts #experiment"
    19
    0
  • Artist Sandra Robinson kindly facilitated a Painting Pathways Out Of Landscapes workshop to coincide with the @caakeproject #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on show. The group experimented with texture and form to create brilliant, vivid abstract landscapes inspired by the exhibition. #caake #workshop #learning #community #create #experiment #expression #exploretocreate #limavady #roevalleyarts #engage #galleryeducation #northernireland

    roevalleyarts: "Artist Sandra Robinson kindly facilitated a Painting Pathways Out Of Landscapes workshop to coincide with the @caakeproject #readingsinpassage #exhibition currently on show. The group experimented with texture and form to create brilliant, vivid abstract landscapes inspired by the exhibition. 
#caake #workshop #learning #community #create #experiment #expression #exploretocreate #limavady #roevalleyarts #engage #galleryeducation #northernireland"
    21
    1
  • We LOVE ❤️ these fab tote bags made by our Connecting Creatively group last Thursday night. Inspired by our #louisebourgeois #exhibition currently on show, the Connecting Creatively course aims to help adults explore expressing themselves and their emotions creatively in a supportive and intimate group setting. Perfectly apt for Louise Bourgeois whose #emotional #life dominated her creative work. #learning #community #create #inspiration #internationalartist #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #galleryeducation #bringingarttolight #theangrycat

    roevalleyarts: "We LOVE ❤️ these fab tote bags made by our Connecting Creatively group last Thursday night. Inspired by our #louisebourgeois #exhibition currently on show, the Connecting Creatively course aims to help adults explore expressing themselves and their emotions creatively in a supportive and intimate group setting. Perfectly apt for Louise Bourgeois whose #emotional #life  dominated her creative work. 
#learning #community #create #inspiration #internationalartist #northernireland #limavady #exhibition #galleryeducation #bringingarttolight #theangrycat"
    22
    0