LIVE: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band @ the Times Union Center, 5/13/14

May 15th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
(photo by Martin Benjamin)

(photo by Martin Benjamin)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Martin Benjamin

Additional photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

“Are you ready to be transformed, Albany?,” Bruce Springsteen shouted in full preacher mode. He had just led his sprawling, 16-piece E Street Band through a rousing rendition of the party-in-the-face-of-despair anthem “Mary’s Place,” an hour into his nearly three-hour concert at the Times Union Center on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t a rhetorical question…

Of course, by then most of the fans at the sold-out concert had already experienced a transformative moment or two. Maybe it was when he simply shouted, “Guitar!,” in the middle of the opening INXS cover “Don’t Change,” and Nils Lofgren and Tom Morello both stepped forward to join Springsteen as a choreographed, front-line guitar army. Maybe it was at the end of “No Surrender” when Springsteen turned his back on the audience and raised his guitar up high over his head, shaking a ferocious blast of feedback from it. Maybe it was “Badlands,” the first full-blown, Church of Rock & Roll sing-along of the night. Of course, it wasn’t the last…

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LIVE: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band @ the Times Union Center, 4/16/12

April 19th, 2012, 4:00 pm by Sara
Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson
See more of Kirsten’s photos from this show here.

“People need to miss Clarence,” Bruce Springsteen told Rolling Stone magazine recently about his decision to keep the long-running E Street Band going despite the loss of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, one of its most popular members.

When Springsteen brought his Wrecking Ball tour and expanded E Street Band (with a new five-piece horn section) to the sold-out Times Union Center on Monday night, it was clear he was walking a line between carrying on without Clemons and late keyboardist Danny Federici while also honoring their memory.

The most visible testament to fallen bandmates came at the end of the three-hour show during “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” when Springsteen paused at the line referencing his former sideman: “And the Big Man joined the band.”

The video screen flashed a montage of the saxman to cheers from the crowd, while Clemons’ horn-playing nephew Jake – who’s taken over in part for his uncle – looked up reverently at the rafters.

The emotional tenor was just right: part eulogy, part celebration. For every downside with Springsteen, you could say there’s an upside, too.

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