For the fifth and final night at Giants Stadium, Bruce Springsteen took things back to 1984 with a full performance of Born in the USA. The Boss’s biggest commercial success, Born in the USA was certified Diamond by the RIAA, indicating sales of more than ten million units. The twelve-track LP spawned seven top ten singles, transforming the already-successful Springsteen into a 1980s American icon.
As he did on the each of the previous four nights at Giants Stadium dates (please read inTuneMusic’s review of The Boss’s first night for more information), Springsteen began the night with “Wrecking Ball”. Darkness on the Edge of Town leadoff “Badlands” followed, engaging the entire crowd with its enormous chorus. A strong performance of “Spirit in the Night”, from Springsteen’s debut album, followed before the lights were cut and the eerie opening notes of “Outlaw Pete” quieted the crowd.
“Hungry Heart”, the lone song from The River was a full-stadium singalong–it had to be, with Springsteen crowdsurfing as the the audience sang every word. Recent single “Working on a Dream” was also warmly received, but it was the pounding synthesizer of “Born in the USA” (the first song ever performed by Springsteen and the E-Street Band at the Meadowlands in 1985) that took the crowd to a new level. With passionate cries, the song’s chorus found Springsteen and indeed all of Giants Stadium shouting, “I was born in the USA, I was born in the USA!”
With a massive performance from the E-Street Band, Springsteen plowed through Born in the USA. “I’m on Fire” was especially haunting, and songs like “Cover Me”, “No Surrender”, “Glory Days”, and “Dancing in the Dark” are some of The Boss’s singles–the crowd reacted wildly to each. Following “My Hometown”, Springsteen and the E-Street Band took a bow.
The band returned with Tunnel of Love‘s “Touger Than the Rest” and a few cuts from the normally under-represented Magic (“Last to Die”, “Long Walk Home”). Title tracks “The Rising” and “Born to Run” finished the band’s scheduled set and the Boss took requests, resulting in “The Last Time” by The Rolling Stones and Moon Mullican’s “Seven Nights to Rock”.
The last goodbye to Giants Stadium and its packed house was in the form of a Tom Waits cover, “Jersey Girl”. The song’s final words, “nothing matters in this whole wide world, when you’re in love with a jersey girl”, echoed through the stands as Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band said their final farewell. The full set:
Spirit in the Night
Working on a Dream
Born in the USA
Working on the Highway
I’m on Fire
I’m Goin’ Down
Dancing in the Dark
Tougher Than the Rest
The Promised Land
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Born to Run
Raise Your Hand (Eddie Floyd cover)
The Last Time (The Rolling Stones cover)
Waiting on a Sunny Day
Seven Nights To Rock (Moon Mullican cover)
Jersey Girl (Tom Waits cover)
The final night at Giants Stadium was bittersweet, not only in its farewells but also its song selection. The night found The Boss ending with a cover–perhaps not the best way to close the House that Bruce Built. With the excitement and hype surrounding the event, a slightly longer setlist or perhaps some surprises along the way would have proved incredibly rewarding.
Still, Springsteen sounded great, and it’s hard to pick apart a setlist filled with so many great songs. The Boss’s tour with the E-Street Band continues into the end of November, with local stops in Philadelphia and New York City along the way.
inTuneMusic is very interested in any submissions/corrections from this event including photographs, setlists, and audio/video. Please contact us, you will receive complete credit for any submission.