Por eso le llaman el Boss: Bruce Springsteen, Estadio Olímpico Sevilla

apologies for the extreme awfulness of my mobile’s camera

Let me start by saying this: if you’re looking for an unbiased review of last night’s Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concert at the Estadio Olímpico in Sevilla, go somewhere else. He could have played twenty minutes and done only songs from Human Touch and I would’ve still thought it was a great show. As it is, the three-hour concert featured old hits and new favourites. The show began just after 9pm with “Badlands,” (click to watch a video) and then two of the highlights from Springsteen’s latest album, “We Take Care of Our Own” and the title track, “Wrecking Ball.” The stage was simple, apart from the different levels to accommodate the numerous members of the E Street Band, and the effects mostly took the form of spotlights and the platforms in the crowd Springsteen often ran to for parts of songs.

After “Ties that Bind” and “Death to My Hometown,” Springsteen said that the next song was about losing people, and so there was no surprise when, during “My City of Ruins,” he did his roll-call and (after a moment of looking for “Patti… something” before telling the audience his wife was at home) he mentioned that someone was missing. It was his first tribute to the late, great Clarence Clemons during the night, but it wasn’t his last—during the encore the E Street Band preformed “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” and “When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band,” the music stopped for a montage of clips of Clemons onstage. The Big Man was definitely missed onstage (where his nephew Jake was one of five brass musicians aiding in sax duty) as well as in the audience; I saw several signs paying tribute to him.

Bruce took a hat off someone in the crowd

The set list was full of songs designed to make the audience sing, like “Out in the Street” and “Waiting on a Sunny Day”—on the latter, Bruce brought a little Spanish girl from the audience up on stage to sing the chorus with him—but of course there were some more political numbers as well. Before “Jack of All Trades,” Springsteen compared Spain’s current economic crisis to the U.S.’s, saying (in Jersey-accented Spanish) that he knew many people here as well as there had lost their jobs and their homes. However, there were plenty of lighthearted moments as well, like when there was no sound for part of “Darlington County” because someone had given Bruce a hand puppet and he was holding it to the microphone.

Springsteen and the ESB played eight numbers from latest album “Wrecking Ball,” but there were songs from throughout his career as well, like “Candy’s Room,” “She’s the One,” and “The Promised Land.” “The Rising” especially meant a lot to me because when I was in sixth grade one of my teachers played the album while we were assigned to draw proposals for a 9/11 memorial—I’m sure I had heard Springsteen’s music before, but it was the first time I really knew who it was and liked it. Then it was time for the encore, featuring Michelle Moore on “Rocky Ground” (the rapped verse sounds less strange live than it does on the album), “I’m Goin’ Down” as requested by somebody holding up a sign, and “Dancing in the Dark,” where Springsteen once again pulled a child up on stage and danced with her. Oh yeah, and “Born to Run,” “Bobby Jean,” and the aforementioned “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” making the encore one of the highlights of the show. The entire audience was on its feet and dancing.


Looking back at previous tour setlists, he’s played “No Surrender” and “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” at several shows, and I would’ve loved to hear either of those live, but on the other hand I prefer the Sevilla setlist to either of his Philadelphia shows, which are what I would have seen if I were back in the U.S. (with the exception of “Thunder Road,” because, well, who wouldn’t want to hear “Thunder Road”?), so I’m okay with that. And as I said at the start, it wouldn’t matter much to me what he played or how he played it; I’ve been wanting semi-desperately to see Bruce Springsteen in concert for years, so I knew I was going to love it. I did find it slightly amusing that I found the most Philadelphia-related event possible to go to as one of my last activities in Spain (I’m going home at the end of the week), but it was clear from the enthusiasm (and noise) of the crowd that the Spaniards love the Boss just as much, and it was really an incredible show.

Side note: Very impressed by Sevilla’s public transport system (apart from the metro). After the concert there were five or six C1 and C2 buses right outside, waiting for concertgoers to line up and ride them back into the city.

Full set list:

We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Ties that Bind
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Out in the Street
Jack of All Trades
Darlington County
Candy’s Room
She’s the One
Shackled and Drawn
Waiting on a Sunny Day
Promised Land
Apollo Medley
Because the Night
The Rising
Lonesome Day
We are Alive
Land of Hope and Dreams


Rocky Ground
I’m Goin’ Down
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Bobby Jean
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out


1 thought on “Por eso le llaman el Boss: Bruce Springsteen, Estadio Olímpico Sevilla”

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