Bruce Springsteen @ Prudential Center Newark NJ 5.2.2012
Update: I added a link at the bottom of the page to download the entire show as mp3 audio.
And the faithful gathered that night, on the mount of the about to be christened mega-church—The Prudential Center. This was a night of firsts. Bruce Springsteen never played the Prudential Center before. But it was a mighty arena. And christened it was.
It was my first time in the city of Newark, and I lived my first thirty-eight years in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. I was born one train stop from Newark at St Elizabeth’s Hospital, but never had a need to go to Newark. Not that I can remember. Passed it many times on a NJ Transit train heading to New York, New York, just like I pictured it, skyscrapers and everything! But on this tremendous night I drove there. My Soul did not tarry.
There was great anticipation. How could there not be! I hadn’t seen Bruce Springsteen since the fiasco of a show at the Key Arena in Seattle WA in 2008. I was excited to see this show for many reasons. I hadn’t seen Bruce in New Jersey in twenty years or more? It had been sometime in the 80’s when I had seen a Bruce show with my friend Geoff Hoover. Who, by the way, generously bought me my ticket. But it was my first time seeing Bruce with two of his sons, Indiana & Texas and Marian Porges another member of the Hoover Nation.
The seats were behind the stage in a nose-bleed mezzanine section. But if there was consolation there were higher sections stage right and left. Plus the angle of the seating was so steep no one’s head would be in your line of sight. The night would prove, it didn’t really matter where you were sitting. The show was astounding! Sitting, standing, yelling, singing, screaming … it was all good!
The show started with a surprise, straight out of the gate—”No Surender”! Bruce was kicking it old school right from the start. Putting the E Street Band into high gear and zoom, we were off! I was transported to 1975 in a millisecond! And for three hours Bruce and band performed like they were still in their twenties.
Well, we bursted out of class
Had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a 3-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school
Tonight I hear the neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you’re tired and you just want to close your eyes
And follow your dreams down …
At some point in the show Bruce said, something to the effect, when you leave the show tonight your feet will hurt, your back will hurt, your hands will hurt, you throat will be hoarse and your sexual organs will be stimulated! Oh yeah baby! It was rock & roll revival at its best! With a set list like this … how could it not be! Bruce was indeed right, when I left my feet hurt, my back hurt, my hands hurt, and I was hoarse. Sexual organs stimulated? Not so much. But MAN what a night!
I scoured YouTube for every video clip I could find. Thank the universe there were a lot of people will cellphones and video cameras! With video quality from good bad to just fragments … I managed to pull the best video and present it in the order played. Enjoy! The Hoover Nation and I sure did!
Bruce brought kids up on the stage to sing and to dance, as well as wander out into the audience and to a secondary stage in the pit. Which from our seats you could not see. And once there he was crowd surfed back to the main stage. Now that takes guts and faith!
I’ve seen many Bruce shows in my time, but this one is truly one of the best I’ve ever seen. And now with all the video clips you can get an idea too.
Once again I would like to thank my friend Geoff for giving me the gift of Bruce on this tour. It was magnificent!