Bruce Springsteen’s wrecking ball tour crashed into the Bryce Jordan center Thursday with the power and vigor that The Boss never fails to deliver during one of his tours.
Springsteen is one of those rare performers who never seems to be off his game and whose age has had virtually no effect on him physically and performance wise. He gave his all throughout the entire concert, his energy never dwindling. The concert was every bit as exciting in the beginning as it was towards the end.
From the way Springsteen performs you would think he was 23, rather than 63. This is the reason why he is one of the most successful artists of all time. It is why he is just as popular today as he was 30 and 40 years ago.
After delaying the start of the concert for almost an hour due to technical difficulties regarding the tickets, Penn State was ready for Bruce Springsteen and the energy was palpable in the audience before he even stepped on stage.
When he did take the stage, he was met with a roar of noise from the packed crowd which was filled with both college-age kids and those from generation before them, demonstrating his mass appeal. The Boss opened the three hour concert with a song performed specially for this concert; Lion’s Den.
His set list included crowd-pleasing hits such as Dancing in the Dark- where he brought a group of girls onstage to dance with him- Born to Run, Rosalita, Badlands, and a number of songs from his latest album Wrecking Ball including Shackled and Drawn, Death to my Hometown, Wrecking Ball, and We Take Care of Our Own, just to name a few.
Deeply missed by both the audience and Springsteen was the E-Street band’s former saxophone player Clarence Clemons. Clemons’ legacy was kept alive by the presence of his nephew Jake, who took over on the saxophone and is joining The Boss on stage for the entirety of his Wrecking Ball tour. Absent from the stage was Springsteen’s wife Patti who he informed the audience was with their daughter, Olympian Jessica Springsteen.
Rather surprisingly Springsteen did not get political, mentioning nothing about the upcoming election. One of the more heartfelt and melancholy moments of the night came when he spoke about hurricane Sandy. He spoke to the audience with the words “We’re here tonight with a little bit of sadness in our hearts because we’re a band you cannot separate from the Jersey Shore.”
He expressed hope that everything would be rebuilt quickly and thanked the governor of New Jersey for taking good care of the citizens. During the song My City of Ruins the crowd went quiet in a moment of silence for loved ones that people have lost and those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
At the end of the concert, Springsteen showed a short video montage of Clarence Clemons while singing Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, which seemed like it was going to be the last song of the night.
But seeing a sign with a song request on it, he changed his mind, gathering his band together to do the rarely performed, highly energetic number “Shout” before walking off the stage to the sounds of a crowd cheering wildly. Springsteen has proved once again exactly the reason why he is referred to as “The Boss.”