Springsteen concert at the ACC in Toronto

I go to maybe one concert a year. For the second time in less than a week I was back at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. This time, it was to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

The concert was amazing—better than the Van Halen reunion I saw a few nights before. The crowd was much more enthusiastic and the atmosphere was electric. Not many bands can release a new album and have an entire arena singing the new songs, word for word.

The show was a sonic barrage of E Street sound that was thundering but balanced enough that it didn’t wash out the harmonies of Little Steven or Patti Scialfa. The music lasted about 140 minutes and just kept coming. Max Weinberg would play drum rolls between songs while Springsteen and other band members quickly changed guitars before launching into another song.

The band was dressed in black which I didn’t really notice until they took a bow at the end. Maybe this was a reflection of America’s ‘dark times’ that Springsteen keeps referring to in recent interviews. His latest album, Magic is anti-war and has been called unpatriotic by a lot of critics. In a recent interview on 60 Minutes, Bruce had this say in response to the negative press:

When people think of the American identity, they don’t think of torture. They don’t think of illegal wiretapping. They don’t think of voter suppression. They don’t think of no habeas corpus. No right to a lawyer … you know. Those are things that are anti-American.

Politics aside, the concert was fabulous. 58-year-old Springsteen didn’t do his famous knee slide across the stage and sax player Clarence Clemons rested on a chair between songs but the music was excellent. Springsteen’s voice sounded pitch-perfect. The band sounded crisp and even managed to create some dynamics in the songs—not everything was played with the sound turned up to 11 on the amps.


The complete set list for the Toronto show is on brucespringsteen.net and there is some video of the Ottawa show from Sunday night. Oh, and if you look closely on the left side of the screen you’ll see my brother Drew in the front row. I don’t how he does it but he always has great seats.

Posted in Music at 9:37 AM