Tuesday, July 29, 2008

E Street offspring join Giants Stadium jubilation

by Jay Lustig
The Newark Star-Ledger
Tuesday July 29, 2008, 2:57 PM

Bruce Springsteen holds the microphone out to the crowd during Sunday night's concert at Giants Stadium.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Where: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford. When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday. How much: $65, $95. Call (201) 507-8900 or visit ticketmaster.com.
It was E Street Family Night at Giants Stadium on Monday.

Drummer Max Weinberg's 18-year-old son Jay substituted for his father on "Born to Run," pounding the skins with authority as the elder Weinberg watched from the side of the stage. Bruce Springsteen's 16-year-old daughter, Jessica, danced onstage during the show-closing "Twist and Shout," and even took a little rock-star leap at the end. Also, Springsteen led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday To You" to his wife, E Street Band member Patti Scialfa. She turned 55 yesterday.

This was the second of three shows that Springsteen and the band will be presenting at Giants Stadium this week, and though it was slightly longer than Sunday's show, it still lasted more than three hours and featured 28 songs.

Sunday's show was better overall; the band was sharper, and played with more drive. But Monday's show still had some priceless moments, particularly in the encores.

Nils Lofgren
- photograph by A.M. Saddler

The "Detroit Medley," featuring segments of songs like "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Devil With the Blue Dress On," was explosive. Singer-songwriter Jesse Malin and Dave Bielanko of the band Marah -- two younger musicians Springsteen has befriended and worked with -- helped out on the final, celebratory "Twist and Shout."

It was good to hear "Born To Run" -- a song Springsteen has played at virtually every E Street show of the last 33 years -- in slightly different form. With Jay leading the way, the band took it at a faster clip than usual, and this was enough to give it a fresh feel. Coming right after that, "Glory Days" -- a song about looking back at your youth -- seemed particularly relevant.

The setlist changed considerably from Night One to Night Two: Half of the songs were not played on Sunday. Among these were the show-opening "Out in the Street," "Drive All Night," "She's the One," "Two Hearts," "Hungry Heart," "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City," "Sherry Darling" and "Thunder Road."

"Because the Night" featured dynamic playing and equally dynamic acrobatics from guitarist Nils Lofgren, who did a somersault and turned in circles as he played. The evening's biggest surprise was "Held Up Without a Gun," a fast, short, almost punkish 1980 B-side that bears a resemblance to another 1980 Springsteen song, "Crush On You." Springsteen has only performed this song at two other concerts.

Springsteen also got his biggest laugh of the night before this song, which includes a reference to high gas prices. "I want to dedicate this to what it cost you guys to drive here," he said.

Here is the setlist from Monday's show:

- photograph by A.M. Saddler

"Out in the Street"
"Radio Nowhere"
"No Surrender"
"Two Hearts"
"The Promised Land"
"Hungry Heart"
"Summertime Blues"
"Tunnel of Love"
"Held Up Without a Gun"
"It's Hard to be a Saint In the City"
"Sherry Darling"
"Waitin' on a Sunny Day"
"Because the Night"
"She's the One"
"Livin' in the Future"
"Mary's Place"
"Drive All Night"
"The Rising"
"Last to Die"
"Long Walk Home"


"Girls in Their Summer Clothes"
"Thunder Road"
"Detroit Medley"
"Born to Run"
"Glory Days"
"American Land"
"Twist and Shout"

Jay Lustig may be reached at jlustig@starledger.com or (973) 392-5850.

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