Bruce Springsteen - Honda Center - December 4, 2012
But elsewhere Springsteen songs have quite a large number of sexy lines, and much of the night was spent catering to his base -- late thirty and fortysomething women in makeup and denim -- by singing lyrics directly into their eyes. His female fans serenaded him with elaborately designed tagboard signs, which sometimes served as song requests. But after his third pass or so through the crowd, sometime during the encore when he took his place on the riser at the center of the stadium, that's when the women who love him most got to get a good grab of him, running their hands, flat, up and down his jeans and reaching as high as was tasteful. Springsteen earns his fettuccine alfredo by putting on a good flirt, and there's nothing crass about it because the men too can understand the appeal of some over-the-pants Bruce petting.
On a somber-er note he talked about how after 25 years in the dumps Asbury Park had finally come back, before Hurricane Sandy messed things up, and there was also a Clarence Clemons video retrospective. Sure, we didn't get to hear the one about Bruce's tough relationship with his dad, who really, really wanted him to cut his hair (prick) but when he learned his son wasn't drafted for Vietnam because he failed the physical he was glad. And there were no politics. But there was plenty of our-own-taking-care-of; "The Ghost of Tom Joad" as a power anthem, "10th Avenue Freeze Out" and "Darkness on the Edge of Town," as well as during the "Born to Run" solo when he bent over and let dozens of fans' hands run across his strings. Also: "Spirit In the Night," "Dancing in the Dark," and of course "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
As the final song, "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," wound down the lights had already been on for about five minutes and it was getting toward midnight. It had become one of those three and a half hour shows -- one of those greatest shows you've ever seen shows. But even though folks were exhausted and scampering out Bruce wasn't quite done. And so he saw every player and backup singer off the stage, all 17 of them, one by one, even sharing another awkward hug with Tom Morello. It was just another worknight in another place that doesn't mean a whole lot to him, but he didn't want it to end. He was deathly serious; after all, no one comes to Orange County during rush hour if they're not that.
Critical bias: During "We Take Care of Our Own" I wanted to celebrate Obama's victory, but as a former New Jersey guy all I could think about was Chris Christie.