Springsteen plays 'Nebraska' for Nebraska - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
article photo
article photo
article photo
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the CenturyLink Center Omaha on Thursday.(MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD)
article photo
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the CenturyLink Center Omaha on Thursday.(MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD)
article photo
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the CenturyLink Center Omaha on Thursday.(MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD)
article photo
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the CenturyLink Center Omaha on Thursday.(MATT MILLER/THE WORLD-HERALD)


CONCERT REVIEW

Springsteen plays 'Nebraska' for Nebraska
By Kevin Coffey
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER


Click here to view a photo showcase of The Boss' concert on Thursday.

***

Fans ripped into popcorn bags, high-fived friends and downed some pre-show beers to help them through the pre-show buzz.

SETLIST

Reason to Believe
Johnny 99
Atlantic City
Hungry Heart
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Does This Bus Go Stop at 82nd Street?
Sherry Darling
Lost in the Flood
State Trooper
Trapped
Open All Night
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Raise Your Hand
Highway Patrolman
Backstreets
Badlands
Land of Hope and Dreams
ENCORE
Thunder Road
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

As they took their seats Thursday night, they waved at friends and texted their section numbers to coordinate mid-concert meet-ups. Though people were excited to meet up with their pals, Bruce Springsteen riveted them to their seats.

I don't think anyone left.

Springsteen, like a righteous reverend at a rock 'n' roll megachurch, kept everyone enthralled whether he played a spiritual song (“My City of Ruins”), celebratory song (“Dancing in the Dark”), protest song (“We Take Care of Our Own”) or power song (“Born to Run”).

Even after three hours and six minutes of this whirlwind, Springsteen, the E Street Band and the gathered audience of more than 12,000 had enough energy to keep going another hour at least. The audience would have been all for it, especially after the band played so many songs from “Nebraska.”

Fans held signs for “Badlands,” “Born to Run” and “Sherry Darling,” but Springsteen hit the stage with “Reason to Believe,” “Johnny 99” and “Atlantic City,” three tunes from his 1982 album named after our state.

Later in the show, he played even more from the album including “State Trooper,” “Open All Night” and “Highway Patrolman.”

In the end, the band played more songs from “Nebraska” (six) than from Springsteen's latest album, “Wrecking Ball” (five).

Springsteen's knows how to keep an audience enthralled. It was one of the best show's I've seen, even better than his 2008 show here.

Both new and old tunes were welcomed by the fans. Whether it was one of his new protest tunes such as “Death to My Hometown” or a late-'70s track such as “Badlands,” fans threw themselves into the music to dance and sing.

“The E Street Band is back in Nebraska tonight. We are here on a mission. That's right,” Springsteen said before performing an 18-minute version of “My City of Ruins.” “We ain't leavin' until your hands hurt, until your voice is gone, until your feet hurt, until your back's killin' ya and until your sexual organs are stimulated. That's our job. We take it seriously.”

The audience ate it up and cheered wildly. More held up signs for requests, including a 10-year-old boy who wanted to hear “Badlands.”

“The future is secure,” Springsteen said, pointing at the boy.

Later, he invited a young girl onstage, and she sang “Waitin' on a Sunny Day” before the Boss put her on his shoulders. He invited one man from Australia to dance with him as well as a woman to dance with drummer Max Weinberg (her giant sign made such a request).

Springsteen ran into the audience a few times to perform on a small stage farther out in the crowd. Once, during “Hungry Heart,” he dove into the audience and crowd-surfed back to the main stage.

Even though he almost never stopped moving, Springsteen was on top of his game singing and playing guitar. He shredded out a solo on “Lost in the Flood” and played lead guitar on “State Trooper” right after.

The E Street Band, at 16 members strong, was incredibly versatile as well and obliged all of Springsteen's audibles, including the strangest of all: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

The Boss spotted a funny sign with an image of himself (circa the late '70s) in a Santa Claus hat. He took the sign from the fan, who threw a Santa hat on the stage. Eventually, he put it on and the band played the band's rocking version of the tune.

It was a bit out of season, but the audience loved it and screamed for more. There's a reason people keep coming back to see the veteran rocker.

“Thank you, Nebraska, for a great night,” Springsteen said as he took his final bow. “We love you!”

Contact the writer:
402-444-1557, kevin.coffey@owh.com
twitter.com/owhmusicguy

Contact the writer: Kevin Coffey

kevin.coffey@owh.com    |   402-444-1557    |  

Kevin covers music, whether it's pop, indie or punk, through artist interviews, reviews and trend stories. He also occasionally covers other entertainment, including video games and comic books.

Read more stories by Kevin


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

A person close to the family has confirmed reports that that Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died. He was 87.


Nebraska's best bloody Mary is in a city that's not Omaha or Lincoln
Nebraska's best bloody Mary is in a city that's not Omaha or Lincoln

From the department of statewide food contests ...


Hanging out with the Omaha Rollergirls before a big match
Hanging out with the Omaha Rollergirls before a big match

When was the last time you took in some live, rough and rowdy female roller derby? Yeah, I figured it’s been awhile.


Midtown bar will open in new location Friday
Midtown bar will open in new location Friday

Midtown's Sullivan's Bar is set to open in its new location on Friday.


UNL students make dancing robot drones
UNL students make dancing robot drones

The idea is to converge disciplines without literally colliding on stage


For two full weeks, Omaha venues will overflow with indie rock shows
For two full weeks, Omaha venues will overflow with indie rock shows

Gather your tickets, call in late to work, and get yourself to the club. For the next couple of weeks, a surprising number of awesome indie rock shows hit Omaha venues. We're already wondering how we're gonna get enough sleep.


Dining notes: More Easter dining specials
Dining notes: More Easter dining specials

Two Midtown Crossing restaurants have Easter specials.


Nightlife notes: Storz beer is being served again
Nightlife notes: Storz beer is being served again

Storz Triumph Lager is back on the market after a brief hiatus.


The 15 best Record Store Day releases for 2014
The 15 best Record Store Day releases for 2014

On Saturday, more than 500 exclusive vinyl (and some CD and cassette) releases will hit the shelves at your favorite independent record stores for Record Store Day.


A baseball player was (falsely) convinced a teammate was deaf
A baseball player was (falsely) convinced a teammate was deaf

When it was it was finally revealed to Jeff Francoeur that Jorge Reyes wasn’t deaf, everyone had some good laughs.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved