Published On: Tue, Feb 14th, 2023

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL on Feb 7th, 2023

The crowd was ready. At 745pm., lights went down and one by one they entered the stage. It was my first Bruce Springsteen show and I was eager to experience what makes Bruce and the E Street Band one of longest and most “cult like” followed music bands. I had recently watched a Netflix movie inspired by Bruce’s music based on an experience of a Pakistani teenager living in Luton, England, in 1987. The story is based on the true experience of a British Journalist and loyal fan named “Sarfraz Manzoor” who apparently has seen “The Boss” in concert more than 150 times. After seeing the movie, it made this moment even more intriguing.

Once the entire group took place on stage with Bruce being last, I hear the crowd howling to a sound I couldn’t really identify, I said to myself, it sounds like they are booing?? I then asked someone seating behind me and he said, “no they are yelling…Bruuuuucee”. Again this was my first time seeing Bruce live, in my defense its definitely not a common sound to hear at a concert.

As each member took their place on stage, It was a nice surprise to see Ms. Patti Scialfa, a.k.a. Bruce’s wife, with guitar in hand being part of the show. The E Street Band is composed of 17 members, “Best Band on the Planet”, they are a tight talented group with whom Bruce enjoys sharing the spotlight.

The set list covered 28 songs with “No Surrender” opening the show. Wearing black pants and a fitted black tee, Bruce seemed incredibly fit. I have to say, 73 looks really good on him.

In between songs, Bruce took some time for a long chat with the audience, sharing about his first band from the time when he was 15, he joked about previous band titles and also talked about an emotional time from when he lost his friend and band mate George Theiss who died in 2018. “at 15 I joined my first real rock and roll band and we lasted for 3 years which for teenagers is incredible”.

After sharing something about one of his early bands being named after a shampoo, he continued; “Then you cut forward 50 years, and on a summer’s day I found myself standing at the side of George’s death bed and he fought one cancer for the past years of his life, as hard as he could, and now he had just a few days to live and his passing would leave me as the last living member of that first band. So that will give you pause to think, it’s like you are standing on the tracks with a white hot light of an incoming train bearing down on you. It brings a certain clarity, a thought, a purpose that you may not have previously experienced. I went home and George passed way a few days later, and about a week or so later, I wrote this song; it’s just about the jobs we chose and the passion that we follow as children and how at 15 its all tomorrow and tomorrow and now I am 73, it makes you realize how important it is to live right now…this is “Last Man Standing”. That moment undoubtedly touched the audience.

Bruce displays a genuine expression of someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. He works hard on stage and truly enjoys collaborating and performing with others in the band. His trademark smile brings fans to appeal for a hand touch and closer connection.

Bruce’s stage presence and stamina brings magic to fans of all ages. The lucky fans in the pit area didn’t’ take a rest. That was even more evident during “Born to Run” with the entire crowd dancing and bouncing in a choreographic sequence. 

The show ended with the performance of “Rosalita”, “Glory Days’, “Dancing in the Dark”, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and “I’ll See You in My Dreams”. The Boss with nothing to prove, still made sure that fans would not be disappointed.

The Tour will continue throughout the United States before heading to Europe in April.

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