Date: Friday 3rd June 2016
Venue: Ricoh Arena (Coventry)
It has been almost four years since I last had the pleasure of catching The Boss on stage with the legendary E Street Band. Which therefore means it has been almost four years of telling people how incredible Springsteen was when I saw him live. I can happily confirm that he was just as good if not better than I remembered.
I had to travel this time though as we weren’t lucky enough to get another gig in the North East (not that many people like to come for a gig) so ended up at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. I personally wanted to do Wembley but my dad was not up for that as he is not a big fan of London.
Anyway the emails had said that Bruce would be on stage at 6:30pm to start the show, I guessed 7pm so he decided to come on at 6:45pm instead. I absolutely love that he has no support act, just the Boss and the Band (other groups take note). I had been following the recent set lists since the tour started in Europe but really started paying attention for the UK gigs. Not that it massively matters in all honesty because he picks out signs for the crowd and they play that song. I mean once again just showing how incredible they are, how many artists and bands would actually be able to do that?
Starting by suddenly appearing on stage and sitting at the piano to start us off on an amazing 3 hour and 15 minute journey with plenty of different songs and paying tribute to The River album. This was the celebration and anniversary tour for The River. That song really is something else, certainly a song that you actually forget how good it is.
As we went on the journey I will admit that I did not know quite a few of the songs as well as I thought I did. More recognising them from a few listens to knowing all of the words off by heart. But that didn’t really matter as you get to experience the music and lyrics as we are shown just how fantastic Springsteen really is. The number of different instruments and being able to get the crowd going when he wanted to.
My only problem with standing and being probably half way back on the pitch was that at some points I couldn’t see anything at all, not even the big screens. I am not the tallest I am pretty sure any gig when you’re standing you seem to enter a new world of giants. But I knew it would come and go being able to see as people moved around. It was absolutely packed with people, maybe even too many people!
The energy you get from it all is brilliant and with Hungry Heart and Waitin’ On A Sunny Day thrown in throughout the set list it gives you a chance to sing along and dance a little. I was extremely happy that I got to hear “Born in the USA” this time as that was not in the setlist back in 2012 so that was certainly another special moment.
The big question was going to be how was he going to play Thunder Road which is one of my all time favourite songs ever. He had been playing it at different places in the gigs and I was ecstatic when I realised he was going to be keeping it for the very end. That meant a heartfelt emotional acoustic version, just the Boss and his guitar. It was a fitting end to an incredible show with plenty of great songs!
I will be returning to see Bruce and the E Street Band on the next tour that is for sure!