After the trek into the Magnetic Hill concert grounds last summer to see the closing date of U2’s 360 tour, I vowed never to make that trek again, due in part to the resounding feeling of “Meh” that the headliner left me with, coupled with the shitty weather. However the moment that they announced 2012’s headliner would be Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, I knew I was headed back with bells on.
Initial targets of 70,000 attendees were hesitantly slashed to a modest (yet incredibly comfortable) 30,000 concert goers. Those who had the fortune of attending The Boss’s first visit to Magnet Hill [his words, not mine] were treated to a special night of music. For a fella whose career & catalogue spans 4 decades and is over 60 (you’d never have known it from his performance in Moncton), he put on one hell of a show. He didn’t need to rely on a spectacle of a stage, instead he focused on his wealth of material both new and old, even stopping to take requests from the audience members who had made signs.
The setlist was comprised of heavy dose of Springsteen’s latest “Wrecking Ball”, but the crowd was treated to some of his classics such as “Thunder Road”, “Dancing in the Dark”, “Hungry Heart” and fan-favorite “Glory Days”. He played for a little over 3 hours and had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. It was also a treat to see long time E-Street members such Steven “Little Steven” Van Zant, Max Weinberg, Niles Lofgren perform alongside Bruce. We were also treated to a heartfelt tribute to Clarence “Big Man” Clemmons who recently passed away, but filling that void on Saxophone is Clemmons’ nephew Jacob who proved he is more than up to the task.
All in all, it was a special night of music in Moncton. I’m ecstatic that I am able to cross Springsteen off of my Bucket List, but while this was my first Springsteen show, it certainly won’t be my last.