Bruce Springsteen: Live at The Isle of Wight Festival

IoW The Boss Sunday

Springsteen at The Isle of Wight Festival 2012
Picture Copyright Every Record Tells A Story

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band live at The Isle of Wight Festival

“So this is your idea of a summer’s day?” (it rained all last night and whilst gloriously sunny, it is barely 20c) Bruce asks, looking at the crowd pityingly. “We came by plane, car and f-ing boat to get here” he proclaims, seemingly incredulous that he had to travel on a boat. The crowd  are surprisingly sympathetic to Bruce’s travails considering the vast majority had a nightmare journey on the previous Thursday through torrential rain, mud, five hour ferry rides / coach trips / car journeys and goodness knows what else. “I was on the beach yesterday and people were actually swimming in the sea! I couldn’t believe it!”

It’s almost de rigeur to wax lyrical about Springsteen’s legendary live shows. Until now I’d never witnessed it myself but can now confirm that, judging by yesterday’s show, if anything those reports are understated.

Opening with a triple whammy of Badlands, No Surrender and We Take Care of Our Own, Springsteen took the Isle of Wight Festival by the scruff of its neck and showed all the preceding acts Who’s Boss. Spending almost as much time amongst / in front of the crowd as he did onstage Bruce tore through a three hour set with plenty of songs from 2012’s Wrecking Ball album and five songs from Born In The USA.

Short of getting Courtney Cox to leap onstage to dance during Dancing in the Dark, there was little more he could have done. As it was, that honour fell to someone else in the crowd who gave Bruce her very fetching hat to wear…

Dancing in the Dark IoW

You don’t get this with Courtney Cox….
Bruce enjoys a new hat…

On a night when England were playing Italy in Euro 2012, fans were occasionally checking their iPhones for the scores. As Italy missed a penalty, the opening chords of Born To Run rang out, and for ten minutes or so even the most die-hard fans forgot about the football. England lost, but no-one really cared. They had just witnessed a phenomenon.

“I heard there were going to be fireworks. I’m not going until I’ve seen the fireworks” proclaimed Bruce at the finale. On cue, he took us through a Ferris Bueller-style Twist and Shout.

What shines out for me with Springsteen is the man’s honesty and sincerity. These principles meant Springsteen shelved an album (The Promise), the making of which is the subject of a recent documentary. The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town is a superb film and well worth checking out for its archive footage and story of the making of a classic album. Funny how all the headliners this year have been the subjects of documentaries recently.

Great set, great night. The perfect end to a very muddy, occasionally sunny and always high quality 2012 Isle of Wight festival.

Springsteen returns to the UK to play Hard Rock Calling at Hyde Park on 14th July.

See more from The 2012 Isle of Wight Festival here

Record #62: Bruce Springsteen – We Take Care of Our Own

Categories: Live Reviews, Rock Music

Tags: , , , , , , ,

19 replies

  1. Springsteen concerts are wonderful things. I’m seeing him at Wrigley Field in Chicago this fall. That day can’t come soom enough. Glad you enjoyed the show.


  2. I’ve been following Springsteen around for 30 years and these latest shows on this tour have been some of the most amazing, moving and extraordinary concerts I’ve ever seen from he and the E Street Band. Though Clarence and Danny are missed greatly, it is nice to see the family keep creating great music. Thanks for your post!


  3. They don’t call him The Boss for nothing! He’s just fabulous. Would LOVE to see him again! 🙂


  4. I’ve seen Bruce several times but this concert was amazing! He more than made up for the ordeal we went through to get there. By the way thats us waving the welsh flag!!!


  5. Springsteen is a force of nature. I’m jealous that you got to wade through all the mud and weather, and get treated to three hours of the glory that is Bruce and the E Street Band.


  6. I’ve had the chance to see the Boss three times in the last few years: once on the We Shall Overcome tour (which was amazing), and a couple times supporting various albums since then (once when he did the entirety of Born to Run during the show). He’s probably the hardest-working guy in rock and roll when he gets up on that stage.


  7. I’m not surprised you enjoyed yourself. The Boss brings it every single night. Nobody ever leaves the stadium thinking they got ripped off, or that the band didn’t play long enough. I’ve seen him play for three hours. Nowadays, I’m lucky to hear a headliner play for 90 minutes. Two hours is a bonus! Heck, sometimes it’s too much to expect a band to appear on time for their set! I can remember a time during one of Springsteen’s shows, Regine and Win from Arcade Fire appeared on stage to do a couple songs with him. I think Win had an accordion on him. My father was overjoyed, because he thought the band were going to play some of the Pete Seeger songs together. I had to tell him that it was Arcade Fire, the biggest Canadian music export at the time. They did a great rendition of “Keep the car running”.

    I can count on one hand the number of bands I’ve seen who have played three hours or more. Rush and The Cure immediately come to mind.

    Springsteen and the E street band are still the hardest working band out there.

    Liked by 1 person


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