GENOA, Italy -- Bruce Springsteen saluted his Italian heritage by
dancing with his mother, the former Adele Zirilli, and his aunt during a
concert here Friday night with his re-formed E Street Band.
"Tonight, for the first time in Italy, not the Three Tenors, but the
Three Accordionists," Springsteen joked in broken Italian during the
midshow introduction of the band that typically comes onstage during
"Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" (
href="http://www.sonicnet.com/artists/clip.cgi?track=%7Eq- XXXXXX%2F0034048_0102_00_0002.ra">RealAudio excerpt
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Born to Run.
While guitarist Steve Van Zandt improvised the theme from the movie "The
Godfather," guitarist Nils Lofgren and keyboardists Danny Federici and
Roy Bittan donned accordions and played an authentic Italian tarantella
-- a traditional Italian dance piece in 6/8 time -- as the Boss danced
with his two relatives.
Springsteen's tense relations with his father, Douglas Springsteen, who
died last year, informed many of his songs, particularly "Independence
Day," from 1980's The River. But his relationship with his mother
seldom was an obvious source of inspiration. One notable exception was
"The Wish," a tune Springsteen dedicated to his mother and recorded in
1990 during the Human Touch/Lucky Town sessions. It
surfaced on last year's four-CD box set, Tracks.
Springsteen's show at the Ferrari Stadium, home of the two local soccer
teams, was one of the first stadium dates of his reunion tour with his
longtime bandmates that began in April in Barcelona, Spain.
It attracted almost 30,000 people, but that wasn't enough to sell out
the 35,000-capacity venue. The New Jersey native is enormously popular
in Italy, but he had played three arena dates in Milan and Bologna six
weeks before. Springsteen was so pleased by the Italian audiences'
enthusiasm that he wanted to come back and play one more date, according
to local promoters.
When, a half-hour into the show, a duet between saxophonist Clarence
Clemons and Springsteen on harmonica turned into a reworked version of
The River's title track (
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as if almost everyone in the stadium was singing along.
"I'd already seen him in Milan in April, so I quite knew what to expect
from the show," Alessandro Ragni, 29, said. "Still, I wouldn't miss him
for any reason."
Springsteen turned the setlist into a marathon of sing-along anthems,
changing the pace only a few times. Dressed in a short-sleeved gray
shirt and black pants, he frequently ran from one end of the long stage
to the other. The band -- which also included drummer Max Weinberg,
bassist Garry Tallent and Springsteen's wife, Patty Scialfa, on backing
vocals -- sounded tight, after more than two months on tour.
Springsteen's final European date is June 27 in Oslo, Norway. From July
15 to Aug. 16, the Boss and his E Streeters will play a 15-night stand
at the Continental Airlines arena in East Rutherford, N.J. Ticket sales
for those sold-out shows set a record when 300,000 tickets were sold in
13 hours. Tickets for shows in Boston and Detroit went on sale Saturday.
Chicago shows are scheduled for late September.