Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Atlanta

Bruce Springsteen in Atlanta: I’ve seen countless Springsteen shows in all the various configurations over 30 years and this show was, hands down, the most emotional. I was a chocolate mess.

Going in, I thought it would be very different: solemn, something missing, large gaps in the music where Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici would have been – they were missed, to be sure, those long, elegant sax lines and organ runs. I got used to Danny missing on the last tour, but when the “Big Man” passed away, I didn’t think that it would be possible to fill those shoes. Gladly, the E Street Band and Bruce Springsteen, are soldiering on amidst great loss. It is different, and they are honoring, and giving the audience the release they need by the roll call in “My City of Ruins” and then a penultimate moment during “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” when the big man joined the band. Here, the entire band stops the music and the crowd erupts into a sort of cosmic call and shout, screaming as loud as we can so that others might hear. I’m hoping that the audience’s engagement is helping the band along during what has to be a bittersweet experience on this tour. Now, a whole town is up on stage marshaling the community that is The E Street Nation to continue down the road despite obstacles and loss. I believe they are saying, “gather your loved ones close, celebrate them, move on and have as much fun and joy as you possibly can until it’s your turn.”

I’m looking forward to Los Angeles and the shows after. My thanks and love to John for making Atlanta happen, and the many hours I spend listening to the live concerts I have. The shot above was taken during “The Rising.”