By the third song, Bruce Springsteen had already lept into the audience, singing while on his back, being supported by a wave of fans as he was transported through the audience and back to the stage. It took a remarkably short period of time for "the boss" to whip the audience into a fevered pitch as he plunged into "Out in the Street". His performance only got more interesting, intense and fascinating from there.
During one period in the show, it was as though you were in a baptist church in the south , listening to a charismatic preacher delivering a sermon from the pulpit. Springsteen talked about ghosts and spirits of loved ones, how he was convinced they were in the room, and how he knew because he could "hear it in your (the audience's) voices" - who had been singing along with the songs at every turn. Complete with "sermon gestures" and other forms of symbolism , Springsteen seized the "congregation" and took them to an almost hypnotic state.
Moving from what seemed to almost be a spiritual experience, he played his new songs and classics, proving that the new stuff belonged right alongside the classics. The intensity of the delivery was unmistakably "Bruce". Wrecking Ball, Jack of all Trades and others songs were delivered with such intensity that the transference of emotion to the audience was seamless.
Dancing with audience members, having children from the audience sing with him on stage, then hoisting them up on his shoulders, were all a spontaneous and natural part of the show. Taking hand made signs from audience members and propping them on stage throughout the show, allowed Bruce an audience driven intro to songs he performed. Even toward the end of the show, when he fell up the stairs en route to the stage, Bruce laughed at himself sat down and kept blasting out the music.
And blasting out he did. Playing primarily his infamous Fender Telecaster guitar, often times hoisting it behind him while he interacted with the audience, Springsteen and band pulled no punches. His vocals were blistering, packed with emotion and completely unreserved. Unlike many other artists who will often times take a lower octave note or the harmony note, in a difficult part of a song, Springsteen took no such exits and hit the notes as originally written. And certainly he didn't need the autotune crutch.
The band raged with, as Springsteen put it "new, old and very old faces" in it. Jake Clemons, nephew of the late great "Big Man" Clarence Clemons, did a respectable job in filling in his uncle's shoes and playing sax.
As is customary for Bruce, he played a long encore, including songs such as Dancing in the Dark, Born to Run, Rosalita and Tenth Avenue Freeze Out with the house lights on. The audience embraced it all, often times in a trance or in a frenzy, doing the wave, jumping up and down, dancing or otherwise finding themselves unable to keep still from the sheer energy of the performance.
The night was magical. Staff at the event did a great job of delivering such a significant event and Hamiltonians who attended, we are sure, will forever remember- as the crowd referred to him, "Bruuuuuuceeee"