Bruce Springsteen at the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show: What did you think?

I dunno about you guys, but when Bruce Springsteen asks me to ”put thechicken fingers down,” I put those things DOWN. Good thing, too: The Super Bowl halftime show thatfollowed was a 12-minute musical feast, no snack food necessary. The set kicked off on just the right note with ”Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” the great E Street Band creation myth. Bruce even fit in one of his trademark across-the-stage knee slides there; it might have taken a little out of him, judging by the tired note that crept into his voice when the band transitioned into "Born to Run." But man, those two songs are still exactly what stadium rock is supposed to sound like, almost 35 years after they were recorded. Next up was a very nice "Working on a Dream," backed by a choir. It’s a mellow number, and a new one, so of course the energy in the arena died down just a tiny bit. Still, it shot right back up when the band segued into "Glory Days" — complete with occasion-appropriate lyrical changeups. (Bruce’s old high school buddy was "a big football player" tonight, not "baseball," and he liked to throw a "Hail Mary" instead of a "speedball.") Some fireworks, some very funny shtick with Steven Van Zandt ("Steve, what time is it?" "IT’S BOSS TIME!"), a quick spin of Bruce’s guitar around his body, and then — over, already? Whew! 

In case you can’t tell, I thought that was one kick-ass halftime show. But how’d you like it? Chime in below, and check back here for video of the performance as soon as it’s available online.

UPDATE: Here’s some decent-quality video of Springsteen’s halftime show, in two overlapping parts. Part one is below, part two after the jump.

More on Springsteen and the Super Bowl:
Ken Tucker mulled whether Springsteen should "go rogue" at the halftime show
Listening to Springsteen’s wacky Super Bowl press conference
Mandi Bierly went over your best Super Bowl counter-programming options
Oscars snub Springsteen: WTF?
EW Gallery: Rare Springsteen Photos Unveiled

Comments (394 total) Add your comment
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  • C.

    Kick-ass half-time show! I lOVE BRUCE!!!!!

  • ericalina

    wahoo! that was 12 minutes of a bruce concert, not a halftime show! fantastic. i just hope bruce didn’t break the cameraman’s nose when he slid/crashed into the lens!

  • It was kick-ass

    but why no “dancing in the dark” or “badlands”? still, you gotta love bruce.

  • Tee

    I hated it!! John Mellencamp would have been better.

  • jennab

    Dug it! Have seen him live…nice, little mini-show…Patty looked lovely…great to see Steve now that Sopranos are gone. Bravo!!

  • Malcom

    Couldn’t stand it. It’s like when they had Elton John play at the 100th Harley Davidson Anniversary.

  • matt h

    horrible. 30 minutes of my life wasted when I could have been doing ANYTHING else…

  • Mary Anne

    Best half-time show ever! More than I expected, with the Boss and the band all looking good and sounding great. Hope the knees are OK though . . . .

  • deke

    Absolutely amazing. I would have preferred a 12 minute game and a 4 hour Bruce concert. He and the band are still the best!!!

  • Sally in Chicago


  • Lwall

    I thought it was very good (U2 was better) but this was very good. Energetic.

  • Gemma

    It was awesome!! Good song choices, and i agree it was a mini Springsteen concert, but thats ok, cos the crowd loved it!
    There are so many awesome songs, spose he had to fit in one from the new album hey….

  • Monica242

    Absolutely amazing!!! Showing the kids these days what REAL rock n roll is.

  • to matt h

    i’m not sure in what world 12 minutes translates into 30, but thanks for watching.

  • Lucy

    I thought the half time show was great. I have no strong feelings about Springsteen one way or another, but as far half time shows go, it was full of energy and he had me interested. Prince’s half time show is still #1 in my book, but this one is up there too.

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