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Live Review: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ 1st Mariner Arena (2009.11.20)

4123131752_cf4d2400c3Three songs into Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s blazing set at 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, a city that had not had a tour stop from the band in over three decades, got its catharsis. It’s customary for the crowd to sing the first verse of “Hungry Heart” at a Bruce show, but it felt especially poignant to hear this crowd, which had been passed over for so many years, sing “Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack [emphasis added].”

The next line, of course: “I went out for a ride, and I never went back.” Well, the long lost father finally returned on Friday night and offered up an incredible nearly-three-and-a-half-hour show as his penance. It was during “Hungry Heart” that Springsteen wandered out amongst his abandoned children and shook hands, took a big swig of a Miller Lite offered by a fan and belted out part of the song while walking on a partition about a third of the way into the packed crowd on the floor. He then triumphantly crowd surfed– yes, crowd surfed –back to the stage.

All was quickly forgiven.

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