Bruce Springsteen turned 63 today, and he managed to pull off one of the biggest birthday celebrations in music history. When the big moment happened, he was on stage, rocking out MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Would anyone expect Bruce to be anywhere else? I have to say, I've kept track (or attended) so many Springsteen shows over the decades, but this was one of the more unusual shows ever. Why? Because it lasted until nearly 2 a.m..!In case you're thinking that Bruce Springsteen played a six-hour concert, no, he didn't. The show, which was slated to start around 8 p.m. (give or take), didn't actually begin until nearly 10:30 p.m. A weather delay prompted officials at MetLife Stadium to evacuate everyone who was already seated. Those with general admission floor tickets, particularly those in the "pit" area, were asked to line up in the concourses. As a nasty little storm passed, everyone was allowed back in and things really cranked up.
Bruce Springsteen didn't put on an abbreviated show because of the delay. On the contrary, he ripped through a 33-song, marathon concert that featured so many highlights it's impossible to name them all. Fans who were there? You were extremely fortunate.
My personal favorite choice was "Into the Fire," a song from Springsteen's brilliant album The Rising. Bruce dedicated the song to Rich Nappi, a New York City firefighter who died in the line of duty last April.
Rich was a great guy; we'd hung out with him at Springsteen tailgates many times. It was a moving tribute to a wonderful person.
Shortly after midnight, Bruce Springsteen busted out a rousing version of "In the Midnight Hour," and the show ended with Bruce bringing his mom, Adele, up on stage, and then cutting into a huge birthday cake as the crowd serenaded the Boss with "Happy Birthday." The final song was "Twist and Shout." Happy, happy birthday Mr. Springsteen!