With the sad loss of Danny Federici, keyboard player with the E-Street band, I thought it would be a good time to remember seeing Bruce and the gang during their European tour for the album The Rising, at the Manchester Cricket Ground. What year was that now, 2003 perhaps?
I had no idea what Bruce and the band would really be like at that point in their careers, it had been a few years since I had seen them perform live on tv, and had never seen them in person before. But I couldnt miss the chance to see them in Manchester, not knowing if Bruce would ever tour again in Europe with the E-Street Band – the best way to see Springsteen live.
The one thing I didnt expect was how hardworking they all still were on stage. I expected perhaps an hour and a half set, certainly not the kind of evening long performances they produced in 80s. How wrong I was. At least 3 hours they graced the stage, with a 10 minute break in the middle, during which I suspect they were being hosed down backstage, Bruce especially. Being summer in Manchester the conditions weren’t exactly tropical, but it was a far from chilly evening.
Anyway, suffice to say they were tremendous, one of the finest live performances I have seen by any band, and so sad to think now that the one of their number is gone. Lets hope the band will continue in some form for many years. I recently watched a reformed Crowded House on their 2007 world tour, a band who lost their much loved drummer Paul Hester in 2005. Hopefully I will get the chance to see Bruce and the band in Europe again.
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