Rupp concert proves Boss still has touch

Lexington Herald-Leader, 1992-12-18, by: Walter Tunis
Call it what you want. Call it a reaffirmation of possibly the single strongest mainstream rock artist in the business. Call it a relentless performance that possessed expert pacing and energy. But if you were one of the 13,000 fans on hand at Rupp Arena last night, you experienced all of this and more. You were in the middle of a four-hour power meeting with the Boss himself - Bruce Springsteen.

The agenda was clear: establish a new touring band, work out a truckload of new material and in the process retain a legendary reputation. The summary? Springsteen did it all. He did it all with energy to spare. And the approval rating for this final concert of Springsteen's 1992 tour? Folks, it went over the top. And that's saying something considering that the audience had to put up with the concert being postponed from Nov. 21 because of illness.

The first of the concert's two sets focused heavily on tunes from Springsteen's two newest albums, "Human Touch" and "Lucky Town." Highlights included "If I Should Fall Behind," a loving lullaby to parenthood and the future, and the jovial set-closing "Roll of the Dice." In the second set, the Boss brought out the big guns. All of his gritty, unrefined rock 'n' energy - which was presented sparingly in the first set - reached the boiling point. Springsteen offered two drastically different versions of a tarnished American dream by playing "Souls of the Departed" and the classic "Born in the USA" in succession. Topping it was a 12-minute, big-beat marathon called "Light of Day" that began with a screaming Springsteen guitar solo and ended with the Boss falling to the stage floor in a mock collapse before yelling out his famous slogan: "I'm just a prisoner of rock 'n' roll."

This was not the performance of a superstar gone soft as many had feared. It was instead a sterling showing that proved the years have neither dimmed Springsteen's intense passion for rock 'n' roll or stage performing. It proved on uncompromising terms that the Boss is still boss.



1992-12-17 Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY