Among the delights awaiting users of the Springsteen Special Collection is the discovery of information largely ignored through the years for one reason or another.  The following are a few of the golden nuggets contained in the Special Collection.


The Freehold Transcript (New Jersey – various dates 1960-61)

Before he joined The Castiles in 1965, Bruce Springsteen first came to the attention of his hometown newspaper as one of the boys of summer on the Little League baseball diamonds in Freehold, NJ.  During the 1960 baseball season, he played sparingly for the Phillies in the Colonial League, going one for three with a run while playing third base against the Hawks, zero for two and a run while in left field against the Tigers, and one for one as the right fielder in a thrilling win over the Eagles.

In 1961, Springsteen played for the Indians in the American League, a team which won 20 games without a loss in league play, a Freehold record.  Riding  high, the Indians carried their winning streak into the Freehold World Series  against the Cardinals from the National League, and suddenly went from the  thrill of victory to the agony of defeat, losing 8-7 in an extra inning nail biter.

Was Springsteen a big baseball player back in Little League?  Despite his induction years later into the Little League Hall of Fame, the answer is  no, not really.  His manager, Fred Rowe, used Bruce in various field positions; and inserted him at the top, or sometimes the bottom, of the hitting line-up as the situation seemed to dictate.

(POST-SCRIPT:  What is it about Bruce’s last name?   First, it was misspelled in the birth notice published in the Asbury Park Press (9/24/49).  Then, in his own hometown, it was misspelled twice in the baseball coverage.  The June 30, 1960 issue of The  Freehold Transcript said the kid playing second base was named “Springston.”   Likewise, in the July 28, 1960 paper, it was “Springstein” playing right field.)


Autumn 1967 to Spring 1968

In her introduction to Racing In The Street, The Bruce Springsteen Reader, June Skinner Sawyers paid tribute to Springsteen’s extraordinary facility for growth.  “The person who created the dazzling wordplay of Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. differs greatly from the person who, years later, penned the largely somber songs of The Rising – separated by time, certainly, but also by vast degrees of maturity and worldly experience.”

Evidence of Springsteen’s growth curve can also be measured against fifteen songs written between Springsteen’s 18th and 19th birthdays, photocopies of which are contained in the Special Collection.  The lyrical imagery in these songs derived both from everyday life – “Death Of A Good Man” recounts the passing of a World War II veteran in stark journalistic terms – and Springsteen’s ambitious exploring of his own sympathies and passions.   On “Slum Sentiments,” for example, he gave early voice to his affinity for society’s misfits:

             “broken ladys on street corners with plate glass eyes/
              frozen babies wake the morning with a cry…”
            “when all has vanished there still the hobo will sleep/
             for his bed is the gutter and the only home he knows is the street”



Chicago Tribune (1/26/73)

Bruce Springsteen’s first performances in Chicago came during a five night stand at the Quiet Knight, where he and the E Street Band opened for The Persuasions (a cappella, from Bedford-Stuyvesant).  Here’s the review from opening night Jan. 24, 1973.

“Bruce Springsteen is the engrossing opening act, coming to us direct from Asbury Park, N.J.  Singer-songwriter Springsteen has borrowed some of his characters from neighborhoods bordering Dylan’s “Desolation Row” and some of his vocal approach from Van Morrison, though he has also lent his own original stamp to both his songs and style.  At first, he accompanied himself on guitar, sharing the stage with an  accordion player.  Later he brought up the rest of the band, a rhythm-and-blues based group that includes at one time or another drums, piano, sax, electric guitar, flute and tuba.”


Los Angeles Times (3/3/73)

The first review of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in the Los Angeles Times was from Santa Monica where the band opened for Blood, Sweat and Tears.  It read:  “The opening performer, rock singer Bruce Springsteen, was entertaining despite the fact that he violated nearly every rule of good singing. Springsteen, who played piano and guitar, and was  accompanied by a capable quartet, charmed his audience with his merry, clownish manners and his wacky songs.  The high point of his set was a comically tuneless rendition of the Beach Boys’ classic, “Fun, Fun, Fun”.”


The Diamondback (University of Maryland – 5/7/73)

The Globe and Mail (Toronto – 8/28/85)

NRC Handelsblad (The Netherlands – 5/29/09)

Headline writers are a repetitive lot.  Consider, for example, the hundreds  upon hundreds of Springsteen articles headlined “The Boss Is Back”.  Yet every once in a while, a headline full of “wow” makes it into print.  Here are three:

(1) The best known of Springsteen’s 19 early shows in the Washington D.C.  area was also the first — on April 28, 1973 at the University of Maryland in  College Park.  Oft-told is how the E Street Band opened for a crowd of approximately 6,000 waiting to hear Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, and how because Berry traveled solo, Bruce and the boys served as Berry’s backup band, without the benefit of rehearsals or sound check.  The concert resulted in one of the greatest newspaper headlines in Springsteen history, published in the student newspaper, The Diamondback:  “Berry Lee Lewisteen.”

(2) When the Born in the U.S.A. tour arrived in Toronto, reporter Liam Lacey  wrote:   “There’s a good reason why people write theological papers on Bruce Springsteen, why politicians praise him, and why a whole stadium full of people walking away from his marathon shows feel better than if they had been working out and living right for a year.  Monday night’s first of two shows at the Canadian National Exhibition Stadium was another confirmation that he simply delivers a more joyful, more intense, longer and more varied performance, tells better stories and acts better than anyone you’ve ever seen in one evening.”  The headline, to match, read: “Bruce Makes Fans Happy To Be Alive.”

(3)  The Dutch broad-sheet daily NRC Handelsblad used the following poetic  metaphor to headline its pre-Pinkpop analysis of Bruce Springsteen’s relevance  in times of crisis: “Regen in de wasstraat” which translates into the lyrical “Rain at the Carwash.”


Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY – 6/14/73)

The brief summer tour of 1973 when the E Street Band opened for Chicago was far from the band’s happiest (advertisements for some venues didn’t even list Springsteen’s appearance).  Audiences were clearly there for Chicago, and that included reporter Bob Dalke, who wrote this about the seven-song E Street opener in Binghamton, NY:

“The five-member band had a strong, but uninspired, guitar section and a sax player who could occasionally honk his horn.  The audience seemed to like the group, although it was obvious who they were there to hear.”

The Evening Press of Binghamton was slightly kinder.  Reporter Dave Bourdon  wrote that the band “thumped through a 45-minute set which, although  musically cluttered and distorted at times, was long on enthusiasm and set the  tone for the night.”


Niagara Index (Niagra University – 3/30/73)
The Scarlet (Clark University – 10/10/74)
Galleon (yearbook of Seton Hall University – 1975-76 school year)
The Rutgers Daily Targum (10/13/76)
The Review (St. Vincent College – 3/17/77)
Daily Princetonian (11/7/78)

Between the fall of 1968 and early winter of 1978, Springsteen played 156 collegiate concerts, shows which dramatically expanded both the size and the demographics of his fan base.  Yes, there were incidents – floor damage to the Princeton gymnasium, a money dispute at Penn State, damage to a venue door at Ohio University.  Some shows were hastily arranged; some hastily cancelled owing to poor ticket sales.  Sound and lighting in campus venues was spotty.  Yet by and large, these shows  captivated campus crowds and sent student reviewers to their thesauruses in  search of appropriate superlatives.

Today, those reviews are the only  history we have of many campus shows.  Some concerts, sadly, were never reviewed.  The Springsteen Special Collection contains reviews of 78 college shows, as told by student reporters.  This is a sampler:

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, LEWINGTON, NY.  (3/24/73) – “It was near midnight on the 24th of March, a small caravan of people looking stunned, dazed, and  gasping for breath, proceeded out of NU’s Student Center.  They were put into that condition by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, who, three hours before, engulfed the stage and at the same time sent a tingling sensation through one’s spine as a warning that a  storm was a brewin’.”  (Carl Ehmann.)

CLARK UNIVERSITY, WORCESTER, MA.  (10/6/74) – “‘Controlled energy’ –  that’s how I would describe Bruce Springsteen’s performance.  On stage, silhouetted dramatically by green light, the slight man became a magician, deftly manipulating his band, his body, us, his audience.  When he jerked his hips to the left and to the right, a double-barreled drum rolls and flashes of purple and red light occurred simultaneously, radiating to us in a wave of total sensuality; when his voice dropped to a husky, caressing whisper, we held our collective breath and rose with him to the crescendo on Clarence Clemons’ ethereal sax.”  (Ruth Polsky.)

SETON HALL UNIVERSITY, SOUTH ORANGE, NJ. (12/11/75) – “Atomic energy.  The only way one could justly describe Bruce Springsteen’s timeless performance.  The man was fascinating, mushrooming with energy right through his fourth encore –  amazing … They loved him.  His fatigues, leather jacket, T-shirt and goppoline, modeled like no one else could.  The kicked-out, beat up, punk against society was there in all his glamour.”  (Steve Marcopoto.)

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ.  (10/12/76) – “Bruce and the E Streeters were at their Jersey best.  Opening the two and a half hour performance with “Night”, off the Born to Run album, they performed with such cohesion, and such confidence, that any ‘hype’ critics would be silenced immediately.  Yes,  there is truth to the rumor ‘you can’t really appreciate Bruce until you see  him live.’  The band debuted tunes from their forthcoming albums, while throwing in some old rock ‘n’ roll standards just to boot. While such favorites like “Rendezvous” and “Something in the Night”, both on the new album, were tremendously received.”  (John Wooding.)

ST. VINCENT COLLEGE, LATROBE, PA. (3/11/77) – “Asbury Park wasn’t in New  Jersey last Friday night.  Instead, Bruce Springsteen and his band brought it to Kennedy Gymnasium and WOWed a sellout crowd of over 3,000 people…Springsteen’s band deserved much of the credit for the show’s success, as did the four-horn backup.  However, Clarence Clemons deserves special notice as he almost stole the show with some great tenor sax solos and a stage presence that rivaled that of Springsteen.”   (Bernie Coppolino.)

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, NJ.  (11/1/78) – “As much as can be said about the other members of the band, the secret to the success of Springsteen’s shows lies in the man himself.  The intensity he displays on stage is compelling; he sings as if he were living every word, and the feeling is infectious.  Projecting complete sincerity, he delivers his vocals with the assurance of one who knows that he has something important to say, someone who has ‘been there and back.’  Thus, when he moans in seeming anguish at the end of “Backstreets,” each member of the audience can feel the sympathetic pain.  Or when he raises his fist in defiance during the chorus of “Promised Land,” hundreds in the crowd raise their fists, too, not in imitation but in agreement””  (Jon Healey.)


The Houston Post (3/9/74)

After a 31-hour train trip into Texas, Bruce Springsteen told interviewer Bob Claypool about being a captive audience to a religious fanatic.  “There’s always one crazy lady  on every train, right?” Springsteen said.  “We had one who was ruining everyone’s trip. She thought my drummer was Jesus, and all kinds of stuff.  She asked me where I’m from, and I tell her – Asbury Park, New Jersey.  She says, ‘That’s just where I’m going.’  Later, she asks what I do, and I tell her ‘I play.’  But she thought I said ‘I pray,’ so she’s yelling at me, ‘WHAT’S THE PRAYER?, WHAT’S THE PRAYER?’  It was wild.”


The Grinnell Magazine (Grinnel, IA – Fall 2005)

Thirty years after the E Street Band performed at Grinnell College in Iowa, the College published a richly detailed article entitled “The East Street Shuffle, 30 Years After the ‘Springsteen Invasion.'”  Tucked into the fascinating recollections of Sept. 20, 1975 was the story of how a Grinnell student, Gordon Edelstein, wondered what Springsteen intended to do for dinner, so he called the band’s motel, asked for Bruce, and someone picks up the phone.

The voice on the phone said:   “Hold on a second.  Bruce, it’s for you.”   Edelstein thought:  “Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.”  Seconds later, a muttered voice  said:  “Hello.”  Edelstein said:  “Hi my name is Gordon Edelstein and I go  to Grinnell College where you are playing tonight and we really really love your music, I mean we are so into your music and I wonder if you want to come  over for dinner before the concert or something like for some spaghetti or  something.”  And Springsteen said: “That’s really nice of you.  Hold on a second …  Hey, any of you guys wanna get some spaghetti at some kid’s house before the  sound check?”  After a moment, Springsteen again on the phone: “Sorry man, that’s really nice of you, but we’ve got the sound check and then it’s like gonna be too late, but  thanks.”  To which Edelstein said:  “That’s OK.  Hey, just thought I would ask.”


Asbury Park Press (10/26/75)

William Starsinic, who was Bruce Springsteen’s music teacher at Freehold Regional High School, told the Asbury Park Press that Springsteen was very solitary and not especially interested in his music class.  “He always carried his guitar  around in the halls, and every once in a while he’d sit down in the corner and  play for hours,” Starsinic said. “I don’t think too many people knew him well.  I don’t remember him having a lot of friends.”

Nonetheless, after listening to Springsteen’s albums, Starsinic said that in his professional opinion, “he’s an exceptional talent.”


The Red Bank Daily Register (New Jersey – 11/21/75)

In “Old haunts still lure rock star Springsteen,” reporter Linda Ellis wrote that:

(1)  Springsteen took Christian Confraternity Doctrine classes while at St. Rose of Lima School in Freehold.  These after-school classes were intended to prepare children for Confession, Holy Communion, and Confirmation.

(2) Carl “Tinker” West, who managed Steel Mill into the 1970s, taught Springsteen how to drive on the band’s cross-country trip to California in January 1970.

(3) Ann Campbell, vice chairman of the New Jersey Democratic Party, was quoted as saying Springsteen played gratis at George McGovern for President  fundraisers in 1968.

(4) Springsteen was said to have baby-sat for Danny Federici’s newborn son in the early ‘70s, sitting by the crib and playing his guitar.

The Tennessean (Nashville – 4/28/76)
“Nashville came face to face with the future of rock ‘n’ roll yesterday – and only one person, a record store employee, recognized him,” reported Eve Zibart for The Tennessean. “Springsteen had already had a rough day: coming in yesterday morning from Chattanooga, the band traveled some 50 miles before realizing that the drummer (Ernest “Boom” Carter) had been left behind.”


Rock Music Awards program (9/15/77)

On Sept. 15, 1977, the legendary recording and television producer Don Kirshner staged his third annual Rock Music Awards at the Hollywood Palladium.  The show, broadcast nationally on NBC, featured awards in 15 categories  as voted by rock writers, critics and disc jockeys. Bruce Springsteen was nominated for  best song composer.  The other nominees were Stevie Wonder for “I Wish” and “Sir Duke,” Rod Stewart for “Tonight’s the Night,” and the Felder-Henley-Fred song writing  trio for the Eagles’ “Hotel California.”  All four compositions were penned in 1976.  Strangely enough, Bruce was nominated for “Blinded By The Light,” written in 1972 and recorded in 1973. In the awards ceremony program, there is no explanation for why a 1972 composition won in 1977 against four 1976 songs, but it may have had something to do with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s cover of “Blinded” which was released in 1977.

Springsteen also received a nomination for best male vocalist along with Daryl Hall, John Oates, Boz Scaggs, Rod Stewart and the eventual winner, Stevie Wonder.


The Washington Post (9/6/81)

On the evening of Aug. 6, 1981, Springsteen stunned the crowd in Washington D.C. by joining Robbie Thompson, his old pal from Steel Mill, on stage at The Bayou, a small club in Georgetown.  Before the show, Springsteen ate at Joe and Mo’s, a trendy DC restaurant.   Recalling the evening a month later, The Washington Post noted that prices at the restaurant were “more expensive than most restaurants in Springsteen’s New Jersey,” and when asked by the owners to autograph an album cover, Bruce wrote: “I thought it was a diner.”


Zig Zag  (6/1/81)

Melody Maker (4/17/93)

Melody Maker (4/22/95)

The Brits don’t mess around.  Not one bit.  If they like you, they say so.  If  they have a problem with your work, look out. Here are three examples on both sides of the coin.

(1) Many journalists have tried to put the excitement of a live Springsteen  show into proper context.  In Zig Zag, following the June 1, 1981 show at Wembley Arena, Kris Needs summed it up like this: “Only a person with a heart of   sun-dried bison excrement could fail to have been moved by The Bruce  Springsteen Extravaganza.”

(2)  Melody Maker reviewer David Bennun wasn’t especially fond of the  “Lucky Town” (live) single.  Here is his entire review: “AH-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Ur-hur-ha-ha (snurf)! Hee-hee-hee!  Heh! Heh. Snurk. Heh. Snark. Snore.”

(3) Compared to Bennun, Melody Maker reviewer Everett True was positively  wordy in his review of the “Secret Garden” single, which he liked  (maybe).  Again, this is the entire review:  “It’s not a “Born In The  U.S.A.” Thank God.  It’s not a “Pink Cadillac,” either.  Thank God.  And it’s most assuredly not a “Hungry Heart.” Thank God.”


Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, PA – 6/23/84)

One of Springsteen’s most unexpected performances took place June 21, 1984 at The Village, a small club in Lancaster, PA., in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country.  Down through time, the show has been portrayed as the E Street Band’s last tune-up before the start of the BITUSA tour, but that begs the question – why Lancaster?

As reporter Jon Ferguson told it, the E Street Band drove to Lancaster from tour rehearsals in Lititz, PA., and took in a set by the Sharks, the only band scheduled to play that night.  Around midnight, the Sharks “cut their last set short and curtly announced that the next person on the stage would be Springsteen … and when Springsteen and his band raced onto the stage a few minutes later, picked up the Sharks’ instruments and ripped into a roaring version of “Out in the Street,” the Village exploded… His fans exultantly screamed his name, clapped until hands were raw, sang along when Springsteen dipped the microphone into the crowd and punched their fists in the air in celebration.  People stared in disbelief and threw their arms around each other as they watched this rock ‘n’ roll fantasy unfold.”  For the crowd of 200 at The Village, Ferguson wrote, “nothing can compare to what happened early Friday  morning.  You had to keep pinching yourself to make sure it was real.”


The Ring (12/84)

In 1984, Randy Gordon edited The Ring, a monthly magazine self-described as “The Bible of Boxing.”   Gordon was among the uninitiated when it came to Springsteen, having never been to a show until one of his friends told him that in concert, Springsteen “is a dynamo.  He’s probably in better shape than most of  the coke-head athletes in the world today.”

So Gordon packed up the car, drove 120 miles and took in the Sept. 7, 1984 Born in The U.S.A. show in Hartford, CT., the 31-song show that included “Rave On” in honor of Buddy Holly’s birthday.  “The $16 I paid for a ticket was a ripoff,” wrote Gordon afterwards. “Only, it was the promoter who got ripped off.  Charging me only $16 for the most incredible concert I’ve ever seen was like handing me the ticket for free … I saw a physical and mental performance which far surpassed anything I’ve seen in years …Springsteen is a champion.”


The Greensboro News & Record (North Carolina – 1/19/85)

When a private club in downtown Greensboro booked a hot musical group called the Del Fuegos, it expected to draw a crowd.  It didn’t expect what happened next.

As told by The Greensboro News & Record, Bruce Springsteen showed up at The Rhinoceros club with Nils Lofgren, surprising about 100 patrons.  He drank  beer, shot pool and performed “Hang on Sloopy” and “Stand by Me.”

“The place was the craziest I’ve ever seen,” said Pete Clary, Greensboro lawyer and Thursday night bouncer at the club.  “People were hanging from the rafters.  The owner doesn’t usually allow that, but I looked around and saw the owner standing on the bar, so I guess the rules were suspended for a while.”


Japan Times (Japan – 4/85)

On April 10, 1985, the E Street Band opened their first tour of Japan with a 27-song set at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Olympic Pool.  It was a breathtaking experience  for the Japanese, and especially for one reviewer who penned this review:

“Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band rocked the hyperboloidal rafters off the Yoyogi Olympic Pool all Wednesday night long in the opening show of their first Japan tour to an absolutely hyped-to-the-hilt house rocking on their feet through two electromagnetic sets and two hell-rocking encores with the thousands shouting along the lyrics with the New Jersey band from the opening zazen-vaporing “Born in The USA” to a raw-rocking “Twist and Shout” finale in four-part audience harmony, as the  Brucer boogied and stomped across the stage and up the piano, slinked in step  with the rest of the octet, warned us of time’s winged chariot while pointing  out how Big Man Clarence Clemens (sic)  has ‘maintained his youthful beauty,’  dedicated “My Home Town” (sic) to a madding Tokyo crowd in Japanese – they went  crackers over that one – and seduced a woman from the frenetic multitudes to  rock with him on stage only to carry her off after she fainted, crescendoing  the bonzo Tokyoites from one climax of pure rock energy to the next and the  next and the next, this preacher of rock ‘n’ roll spinning yarn and singing his hungry heart out about tough times, feeling good, cars and girls and cars and  girls, this cool rockin’ daddy from the USA.”


The Sun (UK – 5/30/85)

If you’re hooked on little known factoids, here’s one for the ages.  In  its rundown of  “20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Boss,”  The Sun put this at Number 15: “Bruce used to be a member of a wild teenage  gang called The Greasers who spent all their time fighting a rival gang called  The Surfers.”  The Sun quoted Springsteen allegedly explaining: “We were all no-hopers.”

Here’s another one, this from The San Diego Union of July 2, 1978.  It  identified the name of Springsteen’s fourth album as “Stranger on the Edge  of Town.”

And another: reviewing the 10 biggest shows ever on their campus, the Penn State University Alumni Association website ( 2/24/09) credited Bruce with three major hit albums: Born in the U.S.A., The River, and The Nylon Curtain.


Welcomat (Philadelphia – 2/25/87)

In the early 1980s, Philadelphia writer and editor Dan Rottenberg took over a neighborhood weekly called Welcomat and transformed it into something unique — a paper that published nothing but opinion pieces.  Anybody could write for the Welcomat, on any subject.  If Rottenberg liked it, he’d buy it and the essay would reach 85,000 well educated, affluent Philadelphia readers.

On Feb. 25, 1987, Welcomat published side-by-side Springsteen articles that were, in essence, a debate between freelance writers Dan DeLuca and Len Lear. (DeLuca went on to become the music critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he wrote frequently about Springsteen, while Lear’s later writings focused on food and Philadelphia area restaurants.)

DeLuca wrote how “Springsteen’s (political) vision has slowly but steadily grown.  The newer songs are richer in the small details of everyday life, more nuanced in their characterizations and more directed in their anger.”  In his cover of Edwin Starr’s “War” for example, “Springsteen names no names, and he does not try to make decisions when he talks of ‘blind faith in your leaders’ while the MTV screen mixes images of carnage in Vietnam with clips of the Contras training in Central America.”  As the song ends, DeLuca wrote, “the camera reveals a kitchen scene in which a draft-age boy had earlier been sitting watching television news footage with his father.  Now the chair is empty, only the father remains.  Some kids will watch and think to themselves, ‘Hey, that could happen to me.’ And that’s good for something.”

Lear’s slam piece claimed that “piety has begun to collect around Springsteen’s curly head like fog around a valley of tears … the mist has gotten so dense that a realistic view of Springsteen has been all but obliterated.” Springsteen, said Lear, “‘sings’ like a man yelling in a drunken stupor for the New York Giants to score a touchdown.  There is no redeeming plaintiveness or charm or harmonic elegance or angst or subtlety.”  As for lyrics, Lear variously described them as “unintelligible” and “indecipherable,” best left “to those with an ample supply of earplugs and aspirin.”


Prince Williams Journal (Virginia – 2/22/89)

It’s Friday night, you’re sitting at your neighborhood McDonald’s, and who’s the last person you expect to run into?  You guessed it, and if you’re Michele McCarry, 5, Matthew Pisciotta, 10, and their mothers, you can be forgiven for making a commotion.

According to the Prince Williams Journal, Bruce Springsteen pulled into a Manassas, VA., McDonalds in a metallic blue Corvette, spent some time in the parking lot talking to a group of teenagers, and signed autographs on napkins for Michele, Matthew and their moms while Patti Scialfa was in line for food.

Greg Devine, McDonald’s hamburger flipper, said the women made quite a commotion and when he went to investigate, he saw Bruce getting into his car.  “He gave the thumbs-up sign.  After that, we were going nuts.”


Hartford Courant (Connecticut – 5/9/00)

Just what do teenagers who dominate the music audience today think about Bruce Springsteen’s stage show?

To gauge the reaction of at least one local teen, editors of the Hartford Courant sent Glastonbury High School senior Laura Passero, whose taste usually ran more to the teen pop groups, to review the May 7, 2000 show at the Hartford Civic Center.  Afterwards, she wrote: “He doesn’t need fancy choreography like ‘N Sync or Britney Spears, nor does he need to lift his shirt to obtain screams like LFO. All Bruce Springsteen needs to enliven the crowd is to appear on stage…When things started to get hot and sweaty, he didn’t retreat to the side to get a towel, he continued to perform for the anxious crowd. This is one of the few concerts where the music is the most appreciated thing on stage… At 50, he also proved he has more energy than the teen groups half his age, especially when he jumped from the top of the piano and landed  without falling.  The audience for the concert was a big contrast to teenybopper shows. This concert was for the parents, young and old, dragging their reluctant children out for a night of classic fun.”

That said, however, Passero also noted that “for most of the teens who attended, the main points of interest were two members of the E Street Band: drummer Max Weinberg, whose side job is music director for ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien,’ and Steve Van Zandt, who has a recurring role on the hit HBO show The Sopranos.”