A triumphant end to the festival
Bruce Springsteen - Live At The Isle Of Wight 2012

It’s not easy to compete with the English football team but if there’s one person who can draw your eyes away from the dreary football, it’s the boss. As England were about to end their hopes of a Euro 2012 win, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were the triumphant end to this year’s Isle of Wight festival.

Known for his extra long sets – his recent concert in Madrid broke the record at three hours and forty minutes. Tonight, he narrows it down to a respectable two hours and forty five minutes. The fact that the organisers allowed him to play for so long in comparison to the other headliners shows the calibre of Bruce and the band. It was a major milestone for an island that is usually plays host to coach trips of people not far off Bruce’s age.

He starts out with ‘Badlands’ and then goes into some tracks off his latest album ‘Wrecking Ball’ which has a more political feel to it which explores the hard times the US and the UK are going through at the moment.

For some people, they might have got a little bored, but tonight there’s not a yawn in sight. The whole crowd are on their feet dancing along to some of The Boss’ greatest songs such as ‘Atlantic City’ and ‘Out in the Street’ both of which prompt sing and clap along.

The boss seems to be in a playful mood tonight going beyond his usual high fives. During ‘Waitin’ on a Sunny Day’ he passes his microphone to a young fan at the front and allows him to sing the chorus and even gets the crowd going. Bruce later on jokes about having to get in a car, a plane and a fuckin’ boat to get to play. The grin on his face proves just how excited he is to be here.

If the first half of the show isn’t enough, the encore is jammed full of hits to console everyone after England’s defeat. ‘Born in the USA’ gets an incredible reception with people waving American flags. The Boss doesn’t even need to sing along. Perfection.

If that wasn’t enough the crowd are then treated to ‘Glory Days’ and ‘Dancing in the Dark’ back-to-back. And in true ‘Dancing in the Dark fashion, he brings a woman wearing a cat hat onstage picking her up and lifting her over the barrier. He cheekily wears her hat grinning as everyone woops and cheers.

Ending with ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze Out’, the crowd think the show has come to a close until Bruce and the band remind us that we were expecting fireworks. Telling the crowd the band are going to go into a folk song and then playing ‘Twist and Shout’,the fireworks suddenly appear as the whole crowd jump and sing along to the chorus. A great ending to a fantastic and lively set. It’s hard to believe The Boss is 62 years old. Now where is he playing next?

Words by Sophie Williams
Photo by Andy Sturmey
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