Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band returned to Hyde Park to perform an electrifying set to a 65,000 strong crowd.
‘The Boss’ ran through a set peppered with old classics and some newer tunes during an epic three hour concert.
After his last appearance in the park 11 years ago was cut short for running past a curfew, the show on Thursday 6 May proved the 73-year-old still has what it takes.
Support acts set the tone
Supporting acts The Chicks and Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls set the tone with rousing tunes for the audience.
Frank Turner’s set breathed energy into the crowd which had gathered early for Springsteen’s appearance.
Being himself a fan of the headline act, Turner quipped: “This is such a big deal for me.
“My plan for the rest of the day is to not get drunk and show off my Bruce Springsteen tattoo backstage.”
Then followed The Chicks who delivered some country music on stage, showing off the three-piece’s excellent harmonies.
However, it was clear most had turned out just for Springsteen as the audience swelled just before his set.
The headline act
Springsteen began with a thunderous rendition of the 1984 song, No Surrender, which featured a poignant acknowledgement of current global events.
During the opening number, E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt’s guitar was emblazoned with the colours of the Ukraine flag.
The poignancy continued in his next song, Ghosts, an ode to those who are no longer with us.
As the performance got fully underway an unexpected treat was an E Street Band version of the Commodores’ hit Nightshift.
Other highlights included the breathless Wrecking Ball as well as classics Born to Run and Thunder Road.
By this time, darkness had begun to set in Springsteen and Van Zandt joked they didn’t care if the plug was pulled on the show, just like 11 years ago.
Despite this, there was time for an emotional rendition of Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.
This song has particular significance as the lyrics recall the early days of the E Street Band.
The lyric ‘When the change was made uptown and the big man joined the band’ is a reference to former saxophonist Clarence Clemons who died in 2011.
To close, Springsteen then took to the stage alone for a lullaby-esque rendition of I’ll See You In My Dreams.
The Boss wins over Hyde Park crowd
You didn’t have to look far into the crowd to see someone belting out the lyrics along with whatever song was being performed.
However, there were some more fair-weather fans who had turned out for a day of fun and music rather than for The Boss himself.
Harriet, Clare and Alice, who admitted they weren’t big Springsteen fans before the gig, seemed to have been won over.
Another who enjoyed the performance was Allison Thomas, a self-confessed Springsteen fan from Staffordshire.
Thomas said: “I saw him about six weeks ago at Villa Park in Birmingham and again it was amazing.
“His music, everything about him onstage and the atmosphere.”
Although, for those who knew Springsteen’s back catalogue a little better there were a few tongue-in-cheek comments they had for his set.
The full setlist from Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band’s June 6 performance can be found here.
All image and video credits: Sam Leech