The artist I had always longed to experience live was Bruce Springsteen. The tales shared by those who attended his concerts and the compelling videos online made it a must-see spectacle. Unfortunately, we missed out on tickets for the Netherlands, but luckily, we secured golden circle tickets for the Vienna show. What followed was a night I will almost certainly never forget.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are a legendary American rock crew led by the iconic singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. Formed in 1972, this dynamic group has been belting out heartland rock anthems with a raw, soulful edge. The E Street Band, featuring memorable members like saxophonist Clarence Clemons and guitarist Steven Van Zandt, has been Springsteen’s musical backbone.
From the iconic Born to Run to the ultimate anthem Born in the U.S.A., their albums have become classics. Known for their electrifying live performances, this crew continues to be a force in rock ‘n’ roll, delivering passionate music that resonates with fans worldwide.
LIVE IN VIENNA
At precisely 7:05 PM, members of the E Street Band walked onto the stage one by one, with the iconic Bruce Springsteen making his entrance as the final member. The Ernst-Happel-Stadion, with its over 50K capacity, exploded with energy as the band went straight into No Surrender.
The mixture between the old, and classic songs and tunes from the latest album was great to hear. Going from Ghosts to Prove It All Night and Letter to You felt seamless. It’s hard not to already fanboy about it, my god Springsteen and his 17 people strong band sounded absolutely amazing. The level of craftsmanship and musicianship is incredible. Throughout this 2.5 hour show, there was not a single moment I felt bored. The band is so entertaining to watch and apart from Bruce you obviously have the great Little Steven that with his looks, guitars and skills will catch your eye.
We got so lucky with our spot. As Bruce fans are a bit insane by lining up days before the concert, we showed up half an hour before doors open, and we had a perfect spot about 10 rows in. Seeing the Boss this close was insane. He was up close and personal with the crowd, which was absolutely awesome.
The Promised Land, Out in the Street and Darlington County followed each other smoothly and with an incredible amount of musical passion.
LAST MAN STANDING
Being well in his 70s, Bruce Springsteen and his band (of which most could say they are near retirement age) gave it them all. Working on the Highway had a ton of onstage energy going (and a quick glimpse of yours truly on the big screen). Kitty’s Back followed, with an incredible version of Nightshift after. Being a cover of the Commodores, it really seemed to fit tonight’s band ensemble.
Mary’s Place, The River and acoustic version of Last Man Standing kept the musical spectacle going with Backstreets and an amazing version Because the Night following up.
SIMPLISTIC, BUT BOMBASTIC
Read the headline in the best possible way, when you visit a Bruce show it isn’t going to be flashy visuals, fireworks, or whatnot. No, this show is all about the music and being in the moment. You forget you are in a stadium and with the amount of interaction the band and Bruce gives with the crowd you feel like you are in a club. I know it sounds far-fetched, but it did feel like it at moments.
The pace of the show is fast, no time to rest. But whenever Bruce takes a moment to talk to the crowd, it is the story telling that makes it interesting and fun. A true entertainer. But as always it is about the songs, they tell perhaps the biggest story. She’s the One, Wrecking Ball, The Rising, Badlands and Thunder Road close the main set. A 20 song strong main set, something artists far younger sometimes already seem to struggle with.
Springsteen & The E Street Band know how to deliver a show and might have saved the best for last with the encore. Kicking it off with the mega hit and personal favourite Born to Run. An absolute banger that sounded amazing in this stadium. Got to say, it was one of the few times I felt an artist sounded great in a stadium show. Bobby Jean quickly followed, with the stadium erupting during Glory Days.
Dancing in the Dark saw the whole band getting their moment of acknowledgement as Bruce introduced each and every one of the band, with Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out closing the set.
Or did it? As the band left the stage, only Bruce Springsteen came back for one last song. An incredible acoustic performance of I’ll See You in My Dreams followed. Hearing over 50K people go silent to listen and admire was beautiful.
I’m sure you already know what I’m gonna say, but wow, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band delivered a class-act performance. Before the show, I was a bit worried that perhaps I hyped it up too much. But the opposite was true, I under hyped it. The show saw me have tears (in a good way) within the first 2 songs to extreme happiness.
I can confidently say that this show is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It had a bit of everything, incredible musicianship, hits, deeper cuts and an amazing crowd. Even crowd control was great, throwing a lot of water bottles to us in that hot summer night.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have been touring the world for decades, and to catch this iconic band live is a must. Fingers crossed, one day we manage to see them again. What I love about Springsteen is that after the show you got the opportunity to purchase the live recording of the show you visited. I purchased it, and it’s a great way to keep remembering this incredible performance and night. Together with the tour poster I purchased, I got some nice reminders of this spectacle.