5 songs Bruce will probably play

By Kirstin Buick
28 October 2013

The Boss is on his way to SA. Here are five songs he’s likely to play when he’s here in January.

Tired of the bland bubblegum pop trotted out by the likes of Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry? In January Bruce Springsteen will be jetting in with the E Street Band to give South Africa a taste of his iconic brand of rock n’ roll and show why he’s the Boss. Here are five tracks he’s likely to perform:

1. Born To Run

He’s sung this over 1 300 times since 1974. Composed when he was a struggling 24-year-old singer-songwriter, it’s regarded as one of the most iconic anthems in the history of rock. “I wanted it to sound enormous, to grab you by your throat and insist that you take that ride, insist that you pay attention – not just to the music, but to life, to being alive," he later revealed. It does all of that and more, which is why he’s still singing it almost 40 years later. On most occasions when he performs it the house lights are turned fully on and fans sing along throughout the song.

2. Badlands

Since 1978 he’s sung it over 1 000 times, which means it’s unlikely he’ll forget his words! The song off his Darkness on the Edge of Town album, tells the story of a man down on his luck and angry at the world, who dreams of a better life.

3. The Promised Land

This one also looks likely to make it onto his SA playlist as to date he’s performed it over 1 000 times. The track, also from his Darkness on the Edge of Town album is about a guy down on his luck who works in a garage by day and at night drives around dreaming of a better life. In previous performances, Springsteen has played a harmonica solo at the beginning and end of the song.

4. Thunder Road

This was the opening track on his Born to Run album, and was a regular feature in his concerts until the ’90s when Bruce abruptly stopped performing it. He started singing it again in 1999 and since then the track has clocked up over 1 000 performances. The song, about a young woman named Mary, her boyfriend and their “last chance to make it real” is regarded as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

5. Born in the USA

This is the one that will get fans up and dancing. One of Springsteen’s best-know songs, it’s about the negative effects of the Vietnam War on Americans although it’s often misunderstood to be a patriotic anthem. Bruce has performed it almost 700 times and South Africans will be hoping he’ll belt it out when he’s on tour here in January.


Bruce Springsteen will perform at Cape Town’s Belville Velodrome on 28 and 29 January and at FNB Stadium in Joburg on 1 February. Tickets will go on sale at Computicket from Friday.

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