"The Boss" needs no introduction, but the E Street Band are the backing musicians who helped to turn Springsteen into a legend. The old line-up, including Roy Bittan (piano), Nils Lofgren (guitar) and Clarence Clemons (saxophone), is back for the first time in 12 years, and began the British leg of their European tour in Manchester on Saturday.
What Has Changed?
Not much. Springsteen's recent solo output has tended towards the folksy, but put him in a stadium with his old band and they will belt out rock which refuses to compromise.
How Is It Playing?
"The street-operatic splendour of the E Street Band remains undimmed even after more than a decade in mothballs, with the two keyboard players studding the songs with majestic ostinatos and triumphant bells while Springsteen works on a grittier level entirely." Andy Gill, The Independent.
"The band attacked the music with uncomplicated force. Choice of songs, pacing and execution were impeccable. At just under three hours, this wasn't the longest Springsteen show on record, but it must have been one of the most emotionally intense." Adam Sweeting, The Guardian.
Live rock music at its best is a celebratory, communal, life-affirming experience, and this show proved.that no-one does it better." David Cheal, The Daily Telegraph.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play the NIA, Birmingham (0121 200 2222) on 18 May, and four dates at Earl's Court, London (0171-373 8141) on 18, 19, 21 and 23 May.