Published 8:39 AM EDT Aug 31, 2016
They did it again.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band set another new band record for their longest U.S. concert with four hours of rock ‘n’ roll at the Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford on Tuesday, Aug,. 30.
The concert beat, by one minute, the previous record the band set of 3:59 on Thursday, Aug. 25 at MetLife. A concert at the stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 23 was 3:52 long, and it had also set a record.
MORE: Springsteen sets own U.S. record at MetLife
“We want to thank you for showing us such a great time, these have just been three of the most enjoyable shows we’ve done up here at the Meadowlands,” said Springsteen, 66, at the close of the show to the full house. “Thank you for your support of so many years of our music. It’s always great to come home.”
Springsteen then asked if there were any Jersey girls in the audience, and then performed “Jersey Girl” to close the show a few minutes after midnight.
Early on from the stage on Tuesday, Springsteen promised a setlist full of songs not played at the previous two shows at MetLife. That certainly was the case as multiple tracks from the first two albums, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” and “The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle” were performed. The songs crackled with energy and radiated a freshness, despite being more than 40 years old. “Kitty’s Back,” from “The Wild and the Innocent,” seemed to take the evening up a gear or two with band members trading off on solos and Springsteen showing off some of the best guitar chops in rock ‘n’ roll.
Part of the of the magic of the evening was the interplay between the musicians of the E Street Band. Pianist Roy Bittan’s star was especially bright on Tuesday as he sparkled on the jazzy riff of “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City.” During other points of the evening, Steven Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren delivered several nifty, and stylistically different, guitar solos; Soozie Tyrell sawed some sweet riffs on violin; Charlie Giordano’s solos popped; Patti Scialfa brought a richness to the backing vocals; Max Weinberg was power and precision on drums and the whole thing would not have sounded the same without Garry Tallent on bass. His playing is a force that propels the big ship to the heights it goes.
MORE: Springsteen on Asbury Park: My ‘renaissance’ town
The place where it went during “Jungleland,” was hair raising, thanks to Jake Clemons, who delivered a full voiced saxophone solo that recalled his late uncle, Clarence Clemons, but also staked a claim of his own on the song. Springsteen hugged him mid-song after the solo.
There was a lot of joy and laughs on Tuesday. Springsteen grabbed a few fedoras from the audience members, put them on and mugged for the camera. He also hit an impressive double biceps pose and also grabbed a couple of beers from audience members early in the show.
“I’ll be with you in a minute,” Springsteen said.
The visuals of band members on the three giant screens on stage were striking and the sound was crisp and exacting.
If there was notion that the Springsteen concerts in Jersey had become a bit rote, and that Jersey audiences had become a bit complacent toward the experience, that has changed. These three shows, and especially Tuesday’s show, dispel that notion. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are a hit around the world, but there’s nothing like seeing them in Jersey.
Chris Jordan: [email protected]
Tuesday, Aug. 30 setlist
1. New York City Serenade
2. Blinded by the Light
3. Does This Bus Stop on 82nd Street?
4. It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City
5. Spirit in the Night
6. Summertime Blues
7. 4th of July, Asbruy Park (Sandy)
8. Kitty’s Back
9. Incident on 57th Street
10. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
11. Pretty Flamingo
12. Atlantic City
13. I’m Goin’ Down
14. Darlington County
15. Working On The Highway
16. Downbound Train
17. I’m On Fire
18. Hungry Heart
19. Out In The Street
20. Living Proof
21. Candy’s Room
22. She’s The One
23. Because The Night
24. The Rising
26. Secret Garden
28. Born To Run
29. Dancing In The Dark
30. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
31. Twist And Shout
32. Glory Days
34. Jersey Girl