James Harrison’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown may have got the crowd at Tampa, Florida’s Raymond James Stadium buzzing, but [artist id=”975″]Bruce Springsteen[/artist] really put things over the top.
The Boss’ much-hyped halftime show at Super Bowl XLIII more than lived up to the advance billing, with the ageless one (seriously, how does a 59-year-old man move like that?!?!) was part preacher, part gunslinger and all showman.
Backed by his airtight E Street Band, Springsteen strode onstage to thunderous cheers, tossed his guitar to a waiting tech, then launched into a fire-and-brimstone speech that had everyone in the stadium losing their collective minds.
“For the next 12 minutes, we’re going to bring the righteous power of the E Street Band into your home!” Springsteen shouted before climbing atop a piano. “Is there anybody alive out there? Is there anybody alive out there?!?”
And hell yes, there was. Springsteen ripped into “10th Avenue Freezeout,” bending backward over his microphone stand, pyro and giant video screens firing behind him. He slapped hands with fans in front of the stage and then slid across the stage — directly into a wayward cameraman — and cracked a smile.
That led right into his classic “Born to Run,” which sent the crowd into even further hysterics, and then, backed by a full gospel choir (as he was at the “We Are One” concert last month), he performed a brief segment of “Working on a Dream,” the title track of his just-released album.
Then, stretching his 12 minutes to the max, Bruce and the Band flew into “Glory Days,” clearly reveling in the moment but aware of the time constraints.
“I think it’s quittin’ time, Steve,” Springsteen laughed to guitarist Steve Van Zandt.
Steve argued a bit, but then a referee came out and jokingly flagged the band for delay-of-game penalty.
“Steve, what time is it?” Bruce asked.
“It’s Boss time!” Van Zandt shouted.
And then, to huge applause, they wrapped up the set, and took a much-deserved bow. [url id=”http://newsroom.mtv.com/2009/02/01/why-did-bruce-springsteen-say-im-going-to-disneyland-after-super-bowl-performance/”]”I’m going to Disneyland!”[/url] Springsteen shouted before leaving the stage.
Of course, he looked like he’d rather suit up for the second half of the big game. Maybe next year …
(Head here for MTV News’ exclusive interview with Bruce Springsteen last week!)