Banish any thoughts from your skull that The Boss is too old to rock. The Bruce Springsteen show on Friday night at Denver's Pepsi Center was as solid as any I've seen, going back to 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town tour. From the opening tune "Badlands" through to "Glory Days" some three hours later, Springsteen and the E Street Band chugged along like a massive locomotive of sound. The E Street Band has never sounded better and Bruce's voice has never been in finer form. The guy is like fine wine: he just gets better and better with age.
During the show he paused to gather some song request placards from audience members in "the pit" in front of the stage and played a few old, rare live nuggets like the 'E Street Shuffle' and "Prove It All Night." Of course, there was "Born to Run," "Thunder Road," "Rosalita," and "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" from days gone by, as well as a healthy smattering of new tunes such as a gorgeous version of "The Wrestler," "Working on a Dream" and the cinematic saga of "Outlaw Pete." Rarities like "Seeds" and Stephen Foster's "Hard Times" dovetailed beautifully with powerful tunes like "The Rising," "Youngstown" and "The Promised Land." By the time my favorite Springsteen song came around -- The Land of Hope and Dreams -- there were tears in my eyes and joy in my heart.
The great rock 'n' roll writer Dave Marsh said something I find very insightful about The Boss: He said that, unlike most rock "stars," it's Bruce Springsteen's goal to share his power with his audience. He feeds off of live audiences and gives back, with interest. And in the process Springsteen empowers his fans to stand a little taller, dance a little harder, and sing a little louder.
Although I've never had the pleasure of meeting him, Bruce Springsteen is still the most honorable man I've ever "known." He works his tail off, cares about his fans, and puts on the best rock 'n' roll revival you'll ever witness. Don't miss him if he comes to your town.