But if you were fine with the fact that one of rock 'n' roll's legendary concert performers was wailing on guitar and vocals, backed expertly by his pals and the venerable
There'd be no "
The Boss' soft whistling on "Two for The Road," and heavy harmonica work on "Kingdom of Days" silenced a respectful crowd of 2,300 basking in the opportunity to hear an elite arena rocker performing in an intimate setting. Without prompting, fans erupted in cheers once Springsteen cranked up the vocal intensity for the final part of "Kingdom of Days."
Jokingly introducing himself as Grushecky's opening act, Springsteen then welcomed on stage the Houserockers, which immediately lived up to their name on their locally referencing "
Springsteen reclaimed the spotlight again for the seventh song, his "Adam Raised a Cain," which like many of the picks to follow included a stretched out, blue-collar jam. Springsteen and Grushecky sang and shouted into the same mic on "Never Be Enough Time," from Grushecky's 1995's "American Babylon" album produced by Springsteen.
"Racing in the Street" got the full-throttle treatment with Springsteen practically punching his guitar strings with each downward thrust. The band forged "Pumping Iron" into its requisite sweaty workout, as fans danced along. Seeing Springsteen grinding away with a grin on Grushecky's classic
Springsteen, in a white dress shirt with rolled up sleeves, was more reserved than usual when addressing the crowd, not doing much if any of that lively mid-song banter where he preaches about the healing powers of music.
He let the music do the talking Thursday, though his amusing gestures and wryly delivered vocals helped land punchlines about sucking in your gut and having gray hair sprout from your ears on "I Still Look Good for 60," which Grushecky wrote a few years ago as a birthday present to Springsteen.
"I still look damn good for 60," the now-64-year-old Jersey rocker sang with playful boastfulness, earning an affirmative cheer from many female fans.
Meanwhile, the Houserockers mustered an
Regional guitar-slaying stalwart
Then it was Springsteen's turn to ignite six-string sparks, strumming a train-like noise followed by his absolute shredding on "Light of Day."
The Houserockers left the stage as Springsteen soloed again acoustically on "The Wall," a newer song about two late-'60s Jersey contemporaries who died in the Vietnam War. Given the night's surroundings, at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall for the start of
But although the stage was set for a glorious finish, with an epic fan-favorite -- say "
Maybe Friday night's show featured more of the hits. If you attend that show, give us a report in the comments section for this review.
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