Hail to the Boss! April 8, 2009Posted by Matt in concerts.
Tags: BOK Center, Bruce Springsteen, concert, set list, Tulsa, video
I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my 31 years, but one performer that I had never been able to catch live was one of my favorites, Bruce Springsteen. So, when the opportunity came up several weeks ago to procure tickets to his show in Tulsa, I quickly jumped at it and secured four cheap(ish) tickets soon after they went on sale.
Yesterday morning I began my voyage across the Natural State, taking time to pick up two fellow Springsteen lovers, ME and Randy, along the way. The conversation was filled with spirited excitement for the full 4+ hours we spent together in my little Corolla journeying to our destination at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. Upon our arrival, fellow blogger and Oklahoma native Scott Freeman aided us in parking the car and soon we entered the arena filled with anticipation for what would surely be a great night.
When I purchased the tickets, we had all agreed on getting the least expensive ones, so I logged on to the website as soon as they went on sale with the hopes of grabbing the best available seats. At the time, our upper deck, side-view seats seemed like the best we could get, considering the price constraints we had placed upon ourselves, but as we tracked down our place in the arena yesterday evening, it soon became apparent that these seats may not be what we expected. To our surprise, there was a large black curtain covering the entire section where our seats were located, completely blocking any view of the stage. Grabbing the nearest usher, ME, our senior Springsteen-ite, proceeded to vent our frustrations concerning our situation upon him. The usher was prepared, though, and quickly produced four new tickets for us on the lower level. We made our way down a flight of stairs and began the search for our new seats, walking closer and closer to the stage as we searched for the row. That was when we discovered, to our great surprise, that these new seats were located in the sixth row, just to the side of the stage.
Around 8:00 the arena went dark and the anticipation built to a vertitable fever in the crowd of thousands as Bruce and the band hit the stage. As the lights came up again, the familiar strains of “Badlands” filled the arena and the teeming masses went wild. The main set was high-energy and filled with high points, from the epic “Outlaw Pete” to “Youngstown” (a gem from the oft-overlooked Ghost of Tom Joad album), to a crowd-pleasing “I’m On Fire.” After grabbing several signs from audience members, Springsteen chose an audience request, the great “I’m Going Down” from the Born in the USA album. It was incredible to see the nearly 60 year old star of the show leap about the stage and pull moves that few my age could actually do. During “Waiting on a Sunny Day” I vividly recall him coming to our side of the stage and looking at the audience, seeming to peer straight into the eyes of everyone of us as he sang through much of the song. The final two songs before the end of the set, “The Rising” and the classic “Born to Run” brought the crowd to their feet in a way that few performers, regardless of age, can do. As he and the band retreated from the stage for a brief respite, the frenzied crowd continued to cheer “BRUCE,” cajoling them to return to the stage for an encore performance.
The band soon resumed their positions on the stage and galloped through six more numbers – Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times,” “Rosalita,” a spirited singalong in “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” an uplifting double shot of “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “American Land,” and another of their best-known tunes, “Dancing in the Dark.”
In all it was an excellent show and Bruce Springsteen again proved himself to be the consummate performer and crowd favorite. Even after 35 years, it is amazing to see just how much work the man puts into his craft, giving it his all every night to please the fans. It was quite an experience.
Below is the entire setlist:
Out In The Street
Working on A Dream
I’m On Fire
Working On The Highway
I’m Goin’ Down
Waiting On A Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Kingdom Of Days
Born To Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Land Of Hope And Dreams
Dancing In The Dark
And here’s a video of Dancing in the Dark from the show. If you look closely, you can spot us to the right side of the stage using ME’s blue shirt and orange hat as a reference point.
And here’s I’m On Fire