Bruce Springsteen is back, and he brought plenty of friends

The E Street Band had company onstage at the Wells Fargo.
RIKARD LARMA/METRO

When Bruce Springsteen first crossed the river and played his first show around Philly — October 1972 in West Chester, opening for Cheech and Chong — he showed up with a four-man band that didn’t even have a name yet. Wednesday night, he hit the stage at the Wells Fargo Center with an army of musicians 17 strong: the core E Street Band, two backing singers, a percussionist and a five-piece horn section.

The expanded band is thrilling and brings a normally exciting Springsteen set to new heights of intensity. The horn section gives heft and muscle to both new material like “Death to My Hometown” and old favorites, even tearing through late saxophonist Clarence Clemons’ short “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” solo in unison. Everett Bradley’s extra percussion plays off Max Weinberg’s drums nicely, and the two even treated the crowd to a drum battle toward the end of “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?”

With a larger band, though, comes more room for something to go wrong. There were a few points in the night where a song almost went off the rails, though it isn’t clear if this was because of musician error or sound issues with the band’s monitors. Out in the crowd, there were certainly sound system problems, and harsh spikes of feedback — a rarity at Springsteen shows — cropped up here and there throughout the night.

Highlights from Wednesday’s show

“Seaside Bar Song”
A Bo Diddley-inspired rager, it’s the best tune anyone ever cut from an album.

“Atlantic City”

Last heard in Philadelphia in 2005, it made a welcome return.

“Easy Money”
This heel-stomper from the new album tips its hat to both Pete Seeger’s fiddles and Tom Waits’ big beats.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.