Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena - 4/27/12
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
One-two-three-four! No signs of fatigue at night two of Bruce Springsteen's run at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena; The Boss and the E Street Band turned in a three-hour, 25-song barnburner where everyone in the building knew all the words and loved every second of it.
The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, the red-headed stepchild of Southern California sporting and concert facilities, was at rare capacity again Friday night. People were still filing in at 8:40 p.m., an hour after the listed start-time, when Springsteen and the E Street Band started into "No Surrender" with the house lights still on and pretzel vendors in the aisles.
All that didn't matter because Bruce was on.
Bruce Springsteen is the most believable rock 'n' roll megastar alive. He makes you feel like a working-class hero even if you parked your BMW for $40 and then walked through serious urban blight in South Central Los Angeles to get to the show -- just a few minutes ago. He exudes that kind of authenticity. It's so magnetic that suddenly you're him, singing about shuttered factory towns, probably in Ohio, which is the gist of his most recent (17th) album, Wrecking Ball, songs from which he played early on in the set.
Tom Morello was on stage again tonight for "Death to My Hometown," "Jack of All Trades," and "Ghost of Tom Joad," which featured Morello trading verses and guitar solos with The Boss, who more than held his own against the virtuoso guitarist of Rage Against the Machine. The guitar moment of the evening may have to go to Nils Lofgren for his scorcher on
"Jack of All Trades" "Youngstown."
Any pyrotechnics were strictly of the musical variety, along with Bruce's trademark classic rock 'n' roll stage moves -- an epic 30-foot crotch-slide, a full-on backbend, and best of all, he surfed the crowd from half court back to the stage. Not too shabby for a 63-year-old; his body and his voice showed no signs of fatigue. To start his encore, he featured the acoustic ballad "Rocky Ground," with his voice as pure as when the set opened 180 minutes before.
Throughout, the enthusiasm never waned, on stage and in the seats. Even songs played thousands of times over three decades ("Born To Run," "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Dancing In The Dark") shook the girders. But more impressively, fans knew the the lyrics and the right time to fist-pump (it's a Jersey thing) during the new songs. There was an emotional salute to recently passed saxophonist Clarence Clemons, and Bruce tricked his longtime guitar tech to come on stage so he could congratulate him on his 1,000th concert.