Rocker Bruce Springsteen dances with his mother, Adele, during "Dancing In the Dark" on Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Philadelphia. (Photo via NJ.com)
Seeing the E Street Band live must be checked off an avid concert-goers check list. And despite the loss of Clarence Clemons last June, the band hasn’t sounded any better than it has this year.
With new life breathed into the E Street Band, the backing musicians for rock legend Bruce Springsteen, they were set to bring down the walls of the Wells Fargo Center with their “Wrecking Ball” Tour.
Springsteen opened up with three of the first four songs off the new album, sprinkling in the “Born to Run” classic “Night” carefully in between “Wrecking Ball” and “Death of My Hometown.”
During “Wrecking Ball,” which is about the late Giants Stadium and growing up a New York football fan, the crowd booed mercilessly when Springsteen mentioned the Meadowlands and sang the line “and the Giants play the game.”
“Night,” the first song to feature The Big Man’s nephew Jake Clemons, was one of five songs played for the first time on this young tour. Clemons was on fire the whole show, keeping his uncle’s body of work well and alive during classic songs such as “Thunder Road,” “Kitty’s Back” and “Born to Run.”
Young Clemons’ playing wasn’t the only way The Big Man was kept a live all night.
Artist: Billy Joel Date: March 7, 2006 Venue: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA Setlist
I was very impressionable musically when I was a child and it has continued even today. My father would play Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sam Butera, Louis Prima, Bobby Daren, Dean Martin and countless other performers of that era all the time when I was little. But there was one artist who stood out the most at that very impressionable age, opening up endless doors for me musically, playing the biggest role in my life.
Billy Joel has been an important musician throughout my life. When I was five, his “River of Dreams” album was released and the cassette tape containing that album grabbed my very young ears. We also had a cassette tape of the third volume of Joel’s greatest hits, containing songs such as “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” “A Matter of Trust” and “Baby Grand” (the latest featuring the late great Ray Charles).
Within the next two years, I would listen to those two cassette tapes practically every night as I would fall asleep, with that tradition of listening to music as I sleep still holding strong today. In first grade, I took up piano thanks to wanting to play just like Joel. I still do today, playing all of his songs and singing them on my free time to keep me sane from the stress and bull shit I deal with on a daily basis.
That’s why March 7, 2006 is a date I will never forget. It was the first time I saw the Piano Man live and it was in the home venue of one of my favorite sports teams.