MANCHESTER, Tenn. — For Bruce Springsteen, having the word legendary used to describe one of his concerts is as commonplace as an encore.
He somehow managed to do it again last night at Bonnaroo. Playing only the second festival ever with the E Street Band, The Boss used the opportunity to showcase the power of music during hard times, a theme he maintained throughout the show.
He opened with “Badlands” and included “Jersey Girl,” "Thunder Road," "The Rising," "10th Avenue Freeze Out" and “Youngstown” in his three-hour set. He also had the huge main stage reconfigured by Bonnaroo to allow him to enter the crowd, which he did numerous times.
It’s been a good year for Springsteen, this being his third high-profile gig. He also did half time at the Super Bowl and played at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Earlier in the evening, Elvis Costello did an acoustic set, accompanied at times by Allen Toussaint. The highlight for me was “Watching the Detectives.”
The highlight of night/morning for those who stuck it might have been the marathon set by Moe. They started an hour or two after midnight and rapped up around 5:30 this morning. There is nothing like waking up to live music and roaring crowds.
As we headed across Centeroo in search of our morning coffee, sleepy eyed but smiling people were heading to their campsites to sleep and get ready for tonight’s music, which includes Snoop Dogg and Phish, who will be doing their second set of the weekend.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...