By Hannah Taheri
Some 17,000 concertgoers stepped lively into Climate Pledge Arena Monday night, stoked to witness Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band make their highly-anticipated return to Seattle, a city that effectively popularized “The Boss” on the West Coast.
Generations of fans arrived on a cold and rainy night in Seattle, many rocking iconic Springsteen-inspired leather jackets and blue jeans. Even Climate Pledge Arena staff sported Arena-branded versions of the singer’s iconic red bandana.
@ClimateArena @springsteen Been listening with her grandparents for 20 years. Tonight she gets to Dance in the Dark with Bruuuuuuuuce! pic.twitter.com/fcG45q2HxC— Tammi Booth (@makandjaxmommy) February 28, 2023
The energy in the bowl heightened as each and every seat in the arena filled with eager fans. With every seat in the arena filled, the house lights finally dimmed while the crowd lit up with cheers and, for some, a few tears of amazement. The Boss back in town. Members of E Street Band began taking the stage one by one, illuminated by beams of white light behind them.
Following the entrance of E Street Band guitarist, Steven Van Zandt, Springsteen himself. The house lights shot back up as Bruce planted his feet on center stage, guitar in his hand and signature rugged grin on his face. Time seemed to stop as the crowd jumped in joyous waves before he introduced his 1984 hit, “No Surrender,” with a “1,2,3,4” that has never sounded cooler, goose bumps in every direction.
And “surrender” the Boss and E Street did not. For three hours straight, Springsteen and his bandmates commanded the stage with their array of musical talents and undeniable stage presence. There was no intermission, no break, no more than a minute or two total for them to catch their breath throughout the 28-song set list. This show, this band, this man, and this crowd collided to create a caliber of visceral and wondrous musical connection you only get the chance to feel a few times in life if you’re lucky.
The first portion of the show featured more 2000s melodies like “Ghosts,” “Wrecking Ball” and “Burnin’ Train,” while the encore set was full of know-every-word tracks such as “Thunder Road” “Born to Run,” and “Glory Days,” the latter no doubt allowing fans of all ages the carefree opportunity to relive their own.
Ironically, during the wildly popular “Dancing in the Dark,” the house lights remained on while fans of all ages danced like no one was watching. Even the arena staffers could be spotted moving their hands and feet to the fan favorite.
“Are you ready to go home?!” Springsteen yelled to the crowd nearing the three-hour mark. “NO!” cried thousands of voices right back, not missing a beat. The electricity in the room was supercharged when Springsteen danced off the main stage and onto the floor for an extended version of “10th Avenue Freeze.”
Pointing at different sections of the arena while extending his microphone in front of him, he gave fans all over the building a chance to feel seen as they echoed his lyrics back to him. Although it seemed everyone could’ve continued the party well into the night, the show did eventually come to an end after 180-plus minutes of pure entertainment. The Boss and the Band took a well-deserved bow and thanked the sold-out sea of fans for their over the years before making their exit.
Springsteen’s first Seattle appearance – and local fans’ long-time allegiance – goes all the way back to October 1975, his “Born to Run” album just released and the same week appearing on the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazines. Seattleites were happy to spread the word, then and now.
This show is off the charts outstanding. @ClimateArena @springsteen @StevieVanZandt— Ann Johnson (@ajohnsocyber) February 28, 2023
We know this city and region will be buzzing about The Boss’ first Climate Pledge Arena visit for years, heck, decades to come. We’ll be living in the Land of Hopes and Dreams until their next return under our historic landmark roof.
Check out photos from the show here.