Saturday, February 18, 2023

In Concert: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, MO on 2/18/2023

image from

The E Street Band:

  • Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
  • Roy Bittan (piano, synthesizer, accordion)
  • Nils Lofgren (guitar, background vocals)
  • Patti Scialfa (background vocals, acoustic guitar, tambourine)
  • Garry Tallent (bass, background vocals)
  • Steven Van Zandt (guitar, background vocals)
  • Max Weinberg (drums)

Additional Players:

  • Anthony Almonte (percussion, congos, bongos, backing vocals)
  • Jake Clemons (saxophone, percussion, background vocals) – missed Kansas City show because of Covid-19
  • Barry Danielan (trumpet, percussion)
  • Charles Giordano (organ, accordion, electronic glockenspiel)
  • Ed Manion (saxophone, percussion)
  • Ozzie Melendez (trombone, percussion)
  • Curt Ramm (trumpet, percussion)
  • Soozie Tyrell (violin, acoustic guitar, percussion, background vocals)
  • Ada Dyer, Curtis King Jr., Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore (backing vocals, percussion)


This is my second time to see Bruce Springsteen live. The first time was in 2000. You can click here to read about that show. It’s worth noting that the two shows had seven songs in common: “Badlands,” “Born to Run,” “Candy’s Room,” “Out in the Street,” “The Promised Land,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” and “Thunder Road.” Those songs are all from 1980 or earlier. Fourteen of the songs in the 2023 were from those same years.

“Last Man Standing” and show closer “I’ll See You in My Dreams” were both from Springsteen’s most recent studio album of new material, 2020’s Letter to You. He also dipped into his 2022 R&B covers album Only the Strong Survive with a performance of the Commodores 1985 hit “Night Shift.”

live from Dallas, 2/10/2023

Those comprised three of only seven songs in the show which are new since the show I attended in 2000. Understandably the setlist relied on the classics, but I’ve been such a follower of The Boss that I would have been content with a show that leaned largely on his 21st century material. Singles such as “We Take Care of Our Own” and “Radio Nowhere” are strong latter-day rockers that would have worked well and, while I certainly didn’t expect them, I would have loved hearing some of my favorite album cuts like “Empty Sky,” “Sundown,” and “Rocky Ground.”

live from Orlando, 2023

Of course, the crowd favorites were understandably concert staples such as “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road.” The songs that best showcased Springsteen and the band’s showmanship, however, were the more obscure album cuts – most notably “Kitty’s Back” and “The E Street Shuffle.” Both songs were originally on Springsteen’s 1973 sophomore album The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle. Their appearances in the setlist showed Springsteen’s faith in even the deepest corners of his catalog. His faith wasn’t misplaced – those songs let the band cut lose with extended, crowd-pleasing jams that left me convinced Springsteen could put together an entire setlist of his least familiar material and still leave fans satisfied.

live from Atlanta, 2/3/2023

There were also touching tributes to some of Springsteen’s former bandmates. During “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” there were photos of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, Springsteen’s longtime bandmate and friend who died in 2011. He introduced the song “Last Man Standing” with a history into his first experiences in rock bands, including playing in the Castilles in the mid-‘60s with George Theiss. He died in 2018 which left Springsteen the “last man standing” from the Castilles.

Click here to see other concerts I’ve attended.

The Set List:

1. No Surrender 8
2. Ghosts 21
3. Prove It All Night 5
4. Letter to You 21
5. The Promised Land 5
6. Out in the Street 6
7. Candy’s Room 5
8. Kitty’s Back 2
9. Night Shift 22
10. The E Street Shuffle 2
11. Johnny 99 7
12. Last Man Standing 21
13. Backstreets 3
14. Because the Night 4
15. She’s the One 3
16. Wrecking Ball 18
17. The Rising 13
18. Badlands 5
19. Thunder Road 3
20. Born to Run 3
21. Rosalita 2
22. Glory Days 8
23. Dancing in the Dark 8
24. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out 3
25. I’ll See You in My Dreams 21


1 Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)
2 The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle (1973)
3 Born to Run (1975)
4 The Promise (archives, 1976-78)
5 Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
6 The River (1980)
7 Nebraska (1982)
8 Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
9 Tunnel of Love (1987)
10 Human Touch (1992)
11 Lucky Town (1992)
12 The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995)
13 The Rising (2002)
14 Devils & Dust (2005)
15 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (covers, 2006)
16 Magic (2007)
17 Working on a Dream (2009)
18 Wrecking Ball (2012)
19 High Hopes (2014)
20 Western Stars (2019)
21 Letter to You (2020)
22 Only the Strong Survive (2023)

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 2/19/2023.


  1. A sold-out packed house in Kansas City on a Saturday night and they get the shortest setlist of the tour.

    1. Are you really complaining about a nearly-3-hour show with 25 songs?