By Melanie Wolfson
It’s no secret that going to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is an all-day event. It begins in the parking lot midday with beers, subs, footballs and stereos blasting songs by the Boss. People reminisce about decades of shows past and their expectations for the night ahead — and yesterday’s show on the Working on a Dream Tour at the Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia was yet another astounding performance. After scoring a pair of floor-level tickets back in February, I knew I would be in for an incredible night and, truth be told, I was left nearly speechless afterward and couldn’t think of where to begin with summarizing the show. I have narrowed my long list of reasons for why the show rocked down to five highlights, so check them out!
5. Springsteen playing the Spectrum for the final time. The Boss noted that the first arena he ever played was the Spectrum back in 1973, when he opened for Chicago. And, with the upcoming plan to tear down the venue, last night marked the final time that the Spectrum would ever host Springsteen and E Street.
4. “Streets of Philadelphia.” The gang played the song that pays homage to the city for the first time this tour, not to mention for the first time since 2003. The Philly crowd seemed pleased, and even the Jersey girl in me was moved.
3. The talented new guy on drums. Drummer Max Weinberg retired from the stage about mid-set and handed his sticks over to his son, Jay. At just 19 years old, Jay has been performing with E Street here and there since last summer and will tour with the band in Europe while Max stays behind to take on the role as bandleader when Conan O’Brien takes over “The Tonight Show” in June.
2. “London Calling.” No, the Clash didn’t appear as the latest guests to accompany Springsteen and crew onstage — instead, the Boss went into the crowd and took a number of signs fans were holding up, picking out one that read, “London Calling: did it stump E Street?” Without hesitation, Springsteen led the gang into playing the song, which was done as flawlessly as if it were the Clash themselves. (Well, minus the British accent.)
1. Bruce’s mom. During “Hungry Heart,” Springsteen made his way over to stage right, where he wrapped his arm around a little older lady who held onto the mic and sang along. Word spread through the crowd that the precious woman sporting a knit sweater and hair pulled into a neat bun was Springsteen’s mom, Adele. She looked incredibly happy and proud, but hey, if Bruce were your son, you’d be beaming too.