Springsteen Wins Big in Vegas

Photo by Leonard Brattoli.

On Friday, March 22, the T-Mobile Arena located next to Park MGM hosted the second stop for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s international tour.

For this special night without the Golden Knights, the hockey stadium cracked the ice with an impressively large stage for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. While far from the first musical act at the T-Mobile Arena, Springsteen’s show was a stellar moment in the singer’s storied career which has spanned over 50 years, led to the production of 21 albums and created many fans across the country and world.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the last time Bruce Springsteen played in Las Vegas was in 2002. In a city like Las Vegas, music fans often get to see their favorite artists when they do a residency at a Strip casino. Springsteen’s show was a rare opportunity not only for Las Vegas locals, but especially for UNLV students who may not have been alive to see Springsteen the last time he was in town. 

Springsteen, honored with the nickname “The Boss,” led a show that captured the classic nature of rock concerts by having a reserved showing. Unlike many other arena headliners, Springsteen’s show was fairly conservative in production. It boasted a two-tier stage, three screens and a captive audience. In Las Vegas, it would be expected that a concert employs much greater theatrics, such as U2’s tenure at the newly opened Sphere. Yet this simple setup had large dividends. Springsteen is known best as a classic rocker credited with creating great American hits such as “Born In The USA” and “Glory Days.” Much like these ever-loved songs, the concert itself played into classical elements of the shows’ long past. 

Thanks to the seating layout of the T-Mobile Arena, nearly every seat had a direct line of sight to the stage. Unlike many other modern shows, instead of having the screen depict abstract computer-generated imagery, they were instead reserved for close up shots of the band. This allowed even the furthest seats to see their icons up close. It also helped to show the camaraderie of the band, a notable element of the E Street Band. 

Steven Van Zandt, who shreds on guitar with a semblance of his signature Sopranos’ scowl, is Springsteen’s long time friend. The two often shared the mic during the show, with knowledgeable fans being clued into because Springsteen could be heard saying “Come on Steve!” before the two began singing together. The same happened with saxophone player Jake Clemons, who took on the role after the passing of his uncle Clarence Clemons. Other members of the band present were Roy Bittan on keyboards and accordion, Nils Lofgren with guitar and mandolin, Patti Scialfa with guitar, Garry Tallent on bass and Max Weinberg on the drums.

Various songs from Springsteen’s catalog were played throughout the night. Like a radio station with incomparable taste, the band played hit after hit, like “Hungry Heart,” “Dancing in the Dark” and “The Rising.” Just when fans thought the show had concluded for the night, all of the T-Mobile Arena house lights came back on and the performers emerged again to play what is arguably their most iconic song, “Born to Run.” 

Emily Gunning, a realtor located in Henderson, attended the concert, saying, “Great concert whether you’re new to ‘the Boss’ or a seasoned follower like me. Bruce and the E Street Band are hard to top” Her husband Sean Gunning commented, “Bruce rocked the night away doing both oldies and newer songs. He’s still on top of his game, and his band is the best in the business.”
Bruce Springsteen’s visit to the T-Mobile was just the start of a new 2024 tour. The band will visit various other US cities until it jumps across the Atlantic for a show in Cardiff, Wales that kicks off the European leg of the tour.  If you want to see Springsteen and the E Street Band in person, you can buy tickets for a later show on the tour’s official site. Springsteen’s music is also available on all major music streaming sites.


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