Concert Review: Moncton, New Brunswick (Canada): August 26, 2012
Brucetapes is proud to present it’s first guest blog post:
Moncton concert review by Angela Cullen:
“Are you ready for the function in Moncton?” So came the rallying cry as the house-rockin’, earth-shakin’, legendary E Street Band stormed the stage at Magnetic Hill, blasting full throttle into back-to-back classics No Surrender and Working on the Highway.
“Well, Moncton, you’re pretty lively up here,” grinned the Boss, a point quickly proven when the crowd took over the vocals on Hungry Heart, kicking off a 30,000-strong singalong that would last all night.
Before delivering a haunting rendition of City of Ruins, Bruce shared his impressions of the area, quipping that he’d “heard you get rain up here sometimes,” a cheeky reference to torrential downpours that had turned the site into a muddy mire for the final U2 360 show in July 2011. Springsteen discussed his newfound fascination with New Brunswick tourist attraction Magnetic Hill (or, as he renamed it, ‘Magnet Hill’). Like Gravity Hill near his boyhood home in New Jersey, a car parked at the bottom of Magnetic Hill will slowly be drawn back up to the top. He reminisced over his memories of Gravity Hill – “The only place in the world (like it) … except for ONE other!” he added, as the crowd roared its delight.
The three-hour, ten-minute, energy-filled concert gave all of the E Streeters a chance to shine, both during the band intros and after Bruce collected requests from the audience. The spotlight was on Nils as he wailed out a blistering solo during Because the Night. Spinning in continuous circles, he racked the intensity up higher and higher until the crowd was ready to swoon for reasons that had little to do with the humid summer night.
Towards the end of audience request Pay Me My Money Down – “it’s a really good song if we don’t f*ck it up,” Bruce joked – the horn section joined the Boss at the front of the stage to close the Seeger tune on a joyful, rollicking note.
A sign from the audience proclaimed “I love Soozie and Darlington County,” which led to a jubilant rendition that started out riffing on the Stones’ Honky Tonk Women and was further pumped up by Soozie Tyrell’s exquisite, energetic fiddle playing.
In typical Bruce fashion, he amped things up to a fever pitch from there, leading the crowd into a ‘Huh, Yeah’ call and repeat intro to a foot-stomping Shackled and Drawn. Taking to the piano for a solo performance of If I Should Fall Behind, Springsteen noted that the song had been requested by a fan who’d been to 270 shows – “making up for the rest of you,” he teased the crowd, most of whom had earlier confessed to being E Street show novices. After a moving River – closed with beautiful falsetto crooning – and a stirring, triumphant Rising, the joyful notes of Badlands danced exuberantly over the air and had anyone who was still seated jumping to their feet to dance, clap and sing along.
A brief rest, then the band charged back for a thrilling six-song encore that saw Bruce draw not one but two women on stage to dance in the dark before he mock-collapsed, exhausted, onto the stage. Thankfully, Stevie was able to revive him in time for E Street to break out a boisterous Tenth Avenue Freeze-out. “This is the important part,” the Boss said solemnly, as the band grew still and screens flanking the stage filled with images of the fondly remembered Big Man, drawing thunderous applause and sustained cheers from the crowd. As the song wound down, Springsteen called out, “One more for Moncton!”prompting the band to crank out the intro to Twist and Shout. Bruce made room for the show’s two opening acts, Canadian artists The Trews and Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, on the marathon jam that had the former farmer’s-field-turned-Papal-Mass Site truly rocking and shaking from end to end.
As the final notes drifted out over the crowd and a never-ending chorus of “Broooooooce” filled the night, Springsteen lifted his guitar in salute. Calling out, “Thank you, Moncton! We’re coming back!” Bruce and the band slowly made their way off the stage. It’s safe to say that they made thousands of new fans that night… Fans who are counting on the band to make good on their promise to pay a return visit to their “new favourite place.”
Working on the Highway
We Take Care of Our Own
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Spirit in the Night
Pay Me My Money Down
Jack of All Trades
Because the Night
Darlington County (Honky Tonk Women intro)
Shackled and Drawn (Huh, Yeah intro)
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
If I Should Fall Behind
* * *
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Twist and Shout (with The Trews and Tom Cochrane & Red Rider)