Springsteen Plays Olympic-Sized Set At Hard Rock Calling
REVIEW: The Boss brings the Glory Days to East London...
After playing Hard Rock Calling last summer at the event's previous home Hyde Park, this year Bruce Springsteen followed the festival east to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for its inaugural weekend of shows.
The new site location still had the air of a building site about it - despite the astroturf - but benefited greatly from less restrictive volume limitations, meaning the Boss' three hour rock'n'roll marathon sounded suitably powered up.
Backed by the seemingly ever-expanding E Street Band, Bruce kicked off with Shackled And Drawn and a rousing romp through Badlands.
After obliging crowd requests for Johnny 99 and Reason To Believe and a subdued take on Atlantic City, The Boss announced to a delighted crowd that he'd be playing his biggest album, Born In The USA, in full.
Glory Days and No Surrender proved particular highlights, with Bruce even bringing his sister and 87 year-old mother onstage during Dancing In The Dark.
Moves such as these, along with hoisting a young girl out of the crowds to sing Waitin' On A Sunny Day from atop his shoulders, would appear forced and saccharin if any other performer attempted them, but somehow Springsteen pulls it off.
It may be the strength of his material, the chops of his band or just that - perhaps unusually for a rock star of his stature - he appears to be genuinely enjoying what he's doing, but either way Springsteen's enthusiasm and warmth are hard to resist, and as he followed a belting trio of Jungleland, Born To Run and Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out with a solo My Lucky Day, it was hard to think of anywhere more special to be.
Gavin Cullen @mtvuknews
Shackled and Drawn
Prove It All Night
Reason to Believe
Death to My Hometown
Born in the U.S.A.
Working on the Highway
I'm on Fire
I'm Goin' Down
Dancing in the Dark
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Light of Day
Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
My Lucky Day