There have always been legendary stories about Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band playing concerts that lasted more than four hours in the early days of their career. In actual fact, they’d never hit the four hour mark… until this week.
After going way past three hours on many of their shows on their current tour for Wrecking Ball, Springsteen & The E Street Band’s show yesterday (July 31) at Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland, clocked in at four hours and five minutes. And that didn’t even include the five-song solo acoustic set Springsteen did earlier in the day.
Springsteen shocked the audience by taking the stage at 6:15 pm, well before the show’s scheduled start time. He played a couple of rare tracks on his acoustic guitar — “I’ll Work For Your Love” (from his 2007 album Magic) and “Leap Of Faith” (from 1992′s Lucky Town) followed by earlier songs “No Surrender,” “For You” and “Blinded By The Light”). After that, he thanked the audience and spent about 10 minutes shaking hands with audience members.
The main set kicked off a few hours later and featured a number of rarities, starting with the opening number, a cover of John Fogerty’s solo classic “Rockin’ All Over The World.” Also in the setlist: his cover of Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher,” his legendary “Detroit Medley” and “I Don’t Want To Go Home” (a song that Little Steven wrote for Southside Johnny’s debut album).
One song that didn’t make the setlist was “Jungleland,” which made its tour premiere at the previous show, on July 28 at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden. Considered late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons’ signature song, Springsteen hadn’t performed it since Clemons’ death last year. Clemons’ nephew, Jake Clemons — who has been part of the horn section on this tour — played the song’s iconic sax solo.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have a few days off before kicking off their U.S. tour August 14 at Fenway Park in Boston.
(note Bruce Springsteen posted on his website to his European fans)
– Brian Ives, CBS Local