Bruce Springsteen utterly demolished Giant’s Stadium last Friday night — the final event before the venue is actually torn down. He opened with a new song, “Wrecking Ball,” which clearly set the tone for the night to follow. “Take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got, bring on your wrecking ball!” he called, and the roar of the crowd joined his defiant shout. If the last concert at a venue can be seen as a funeral service, Springsteen was going to make damn sure that Giant’s Stadium got a raucous wake.
To that end, he burned through 31 songs in three-and-a-half hours, including the entirety of “Born In the U.S.A.” (the album) and a healthy mix of songs old and new. He dove into the crowd during “Hungry Heart,” pulled someone from the crowd onto the stage later in the show, and let a young girl held by her father sing the last chorus of “Waiting On A Sunny Day.” His performance was deeply generous, both to the audience and the music. Like anyone saying goodbye, Springsteen wanted to make it all last.
At the end of the concert, a series of explosions hurtled fireworks high above the stage. Through the smoke filling the stadium came the words of “Jersey Girl,” played slow: “I know a place where the dancing’s free/Now baby won’t you come with me/’cause down the shore everything’s all right/You and your baby on a Saturday night/Nothing matters in this whole wide world/When you’re in love with a Jersey girl.” Through the rubble of the fireworks, with the wrecking ball looming, Springsteen’s American prayers sped Giant’s Stadium out into the night.