Bruce Springsteen

Super Bowl Boss: Half Time

Photo Credit: David J. Phillip (AP Photo)
Photo Credit: David J. Phillip (AP Photo)

First of all, may I take a moment for a self-congratulatory look at my set list prediction for Bruce’s half-time show? This was my Twitter to the world at 8:42am yesterday morning:

I called 3 out of 4, in the correct order, mind you (and no, I didn’t have any advance notice!). He didn’t end with “Twist & Shout”. Instead, he opened with “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”. But golly, that’s a mighty fine prediction…

So, my hometown Arizona Cardinals couldn’t pull it off against the Steelers, though they sure made it close. Thanks to Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald for giving us an opportunity to jump up and down for a few minutes in the second half. By that time, the Fat Tire had run dry, and we had raided the ladies supply of Strawberry Daiquiris. We were convinced that the red drink was the good luck charm. Turns out we were wrong.

Bruce and the band’s half-time performance was as intense as I expected. It was fun to see Bruce pull out all the tricks from an E Street Show and condense them into a dozen minutes: Working the crowd. The running stage slide. Right into the camera. We saw Bruce hang on to the mic stand for one of his lean-backs (a move that had a co-worker of mine wondering for a moment if he was stuck, and needed the Big Man to help him back up). We got the leap on to the piano and the guitar swing-around. And how about the opening silhouette shot, as Bruce and Clarence brought the Born to Run era back to life? Nice.

Sure, I enjoyed the hell out of seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform at the Super Bowl. How could I not? But at the same time, a lot of my focus was spent wondering how others might be perceiving the performance – sort of how I felt the last couple years watching Petty and Prince. These are three of my absolute favorites, after all. Each of them legendary live performers whom I’ve had the privilege of seeing many many times. I know what to expect.  So most of my energy is spent thinking about how they’re playing out to the biggest audience of their careers. What Joe Six-Pack is thinking… What the people around me in the room are thinking. It doesn’t make a difference, of course, but that’s how I’m wired to watch my favorites at the Super Bowl.

What it also did was get me even more pumped for 10am this morning, when tickets went on sale for the Boss’s Phoenix date – Friday, April 3rd at Arena in Glendale. I secured my GA-Floor ticket, and will be taking a vacation day, planting my butt out at the arena nice and early, and working my way into the pit, as close to the stage as I can get.

It was a thrill watching the Boss give it to the world for 12 minutes. But it’ll be even better watching 160-180 minutes in person. There’s nothing like it, people. If you’re one of the people who was intrigued and entertained by the E Street Band: Super Bowl Edition, do yourself a very big favor and catch them in your town on this tour.

Life’s too short not to.


See some other Super Bowl thoughts from some friend of Ickmusic:

And this just in…

The Boss and Phish to headline Bonnaroo in June. Looks like it’s time for that RV trip to Tennessee… Holy flippin’ poopy pants.


  • Brian

    Hi Pete, it’s Brian from the currently dormant Small/Stupid. Nice write up on the halftime show. I just heard Bruce being interviewed by Dave Marsh on E Street Radio. I think his exact words were that he was “dodged-a-bullet-giddy” over the whole thing. That’s kind of how I felt! I don’t even remember anything from the 3rd quarter I was so stoked over the whole thing. It just could not have been any cooler.

    Hope your doing well and I’m glad you’re diggin’ the Gaslight Anthem. They’re new faves of mine.

  • Brian

    Well, the LA Sports Arena shows hopefully. I’m really curious to hear the new material live. It’s so *produced*, and I thought the really *produced* material from Magic (Girls…Clothes) didn’t necessarily translate as well as it should have. So it’ll be interesting.

    As for Small/Stupid, we’ll see. I wrote so many posts that I never published. After Bongo died I totally lost enthusiasm for it, to be honest. But I kind of miss it, and lots of folks seem to as well.

    Are you going to try to get out here for the LA shows?

  • Cove

    Great review, Pete. I think the halftime show was awesome.

    I was trying to head to your town for Springsteen’s show, but I too was a victim of the Tickmaster fiasco. I was shut out for tickets in Glendale!

  • Pete

    Nope, Phoenix will most likely be my only show of this leg. I know what you mean about Brendan O’Brien’s production methods. He pours it on thick man! Regarding the blog – if the music inspires you to write about it, you always have a place to do it. It’ll be there for you when you decide to bang on that keyboard and click Publish again…

  • Brian

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no BO’B hater. I think one thing he doesn’t get enough credit for is getting BS to *sing*, as opposed to bellow or use that nasally twang. But for whatever reason, songs like “Livin’ In The Future” just didn’t work well live. Other stuff that should’ve worked, like “You’ll Be Coming Down” never really became part of the show. So I’m just curious to see how an album which almost entirely made up of that sound will play live.

    Come to think of it, I wish BO’B would’ve been around for Ghost Of TJ. My sense is that he would’ve had the stones to tell Bruce “You know, half of this aren’t so much songs as atonal short stories.” That could’ve been a really great record if it had all been up to the level of, say, Youngstown or Across The Border.

    Anyhoo, good time to be a Bruce fan…

  • whiteray

    Nice post! For what it matters, my tickets for the St. Paul show in May came in the mail yesterday. We’re in the front row of the uppermost section in the arena, but at least we’re gonna be there. Actually, I had similar seats for McCartney a few years ago, and they were fine. I am so looking forward to this!

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