Bruce Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling 2012 review

'A very disappointing end to an otherwise excellent gig'

Photographer:Tim Cheesman

15 July 2012

After the cancellation of a big gig in Hyde Park earlier this week, due to poor weather, The Boss's followers were understandably concerned they may miss out on seeing the big man play this weekend, but after goodness only knows how many tonnes of wood-chip, and a dry spell or two later, the central London park was good to go.

62-year-old Springsteen, with his his E-Street Band behind him, still looks 'hot to trot' in a grey shirt and black waistcoat. He opens with a curious choice, the tender choice loaded with substance, 'Thunder Road', before seamlessly moving into some of his newer material, including the socio-political behemoth that is 'Wrecking Ball'. Sadly, for those jammed in like sardines anywhere other than in front of the sound-desk, the sound is hopeless. It's one of the few downsides of Hyde Park gigs, carefully repositioning yourself behind the speakers reaps rewards however.

Renowned for his three-hour long shows, the set proves very similar to his Isle of Wight Festival set, as he plays a drawn out version of 'City of Ruins' and later groups the Borns together - 'Born In The USA' and 'Born To Run', before squeezing in a heartfelt 'Glory Days' and nailing it with 'Dancing In The Dark'. There's a distinct feeling that this is all building up to something big, and low and behold - it is.

After bringing Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello out for a jaw dropping guitar solo, you'd think the collaboration element was done but then former Beatle, Paul McCartney, saunters on for a impassioned duet of 'I Saw Her Standing There'. But it's 'Twist And Shout' which really gets the crowd going, though The Boss can, and did, totally pull this one off on his own.

Sadly, the organisers take the decision to pull the plug before the song has finished, leaving a clearly frustrated Bruce to try and say his goodbyes to tens of thousands of pissed off gig goers without the aid of a microphone - a very disappointing end to an otherwise excellent gig.

Tonight Hard Rock Calling isn't just about the old Boss. There's a definite political element to the proceedings, with Tom Morello playing an early afternoon set of rousing protest songs, including a Woody Guthrie number; then there's old timer John Fogerty, who brings the party vibe with some upbeat old classics; finally Amy McDonald serenades the big man with her rendition of 'Born To Run' amidst a set of hits, including 'Mr Rock'n'Roll'.

By Laura Williams

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band Hard Rock Calling set-list:

Thunder Road
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Spirit in the Night
The Promised Land
Take 'Em As They Come
Jack of All Trades
Empty Sky
Because the Night
Johnny 99
Darlington County
Working on the Highway
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Raise Your Hand
The River
The Ghost of Tom Joad
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams
We Are Alive
Born in the U.S.A.
Born to Run
Glory Days
Dancing in the Dark
I Saw Her Standing There
Twist and Shout

Click here for our full Hard Rock Calling coverage.

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