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Concert review: Bruce Springsteen at the Spectrum last night

There are Springsteen fans, and there are Springsteen fanatics. Baltimore Sun sports guru Ron Fritz has seen Bruce Springsteen 12 or 15 times. I don't know if I'd call him a fanatic, but he's definitely more than a casual fan of the Boss.

Fritz saw Springsteen last night in Philly. Here are his thoughts:

Get ready Baltimore, the Boss is coming and he's bringing a smokin' hot E Street Band with him.

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Bruce Springsteen, scheduled to play 1st Mariner Arena on Nov. 20, played the second of four shows in Philadelphia last night at The Spectrum.

He played for about 2 hours and 45 minutes, 15 minutes shorter than the first night in Philly, but got the old building rocking right from the start with "Thundercrack," followed by "The Ties That Bind" and "What Love Can Do."

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The band was so good, right off the bat, that it was like seeing the Ravens run their 2-minute offense to start the game and have everything perfectly in sync ...

Bruce let the house sing "Hungry Heart" while he body surfed from the middle of the general admission pit back up to the stage. He seemed to enjoy being passed around.

He's been playing whole albums on this tour and Tuesday night it was "Born to Run." On Wednesday, it was "Darkness on the Edge of Town," and it could not have been finer. Bruce and the band ripped into "Badlands" and "Adam Raised a Cain," but for me the highlights of the "Darkness" set were the three in a row of "Candy's Room," "Racing in the Street" and "Promised Land." The version of "Racing" was beautiful, led by Roy Bittan's amazing piano work. One thing that the "Darkness" set reinforced is what great musicians these guys are. Bruce, Roy and Max particularly stood out. Folks around me also thought the version of  "Darkness" was terrific.

Following the "Darkness" set and "Waiting on a Dream" and "Sherry Darling," the band, including the Biggest Man Alive, Clarence Clemons, roared through a four-song arc of "Human Touch," "Long Walk Home," "The Rising" and "Born to Run." Patti Scialfa, who did not play with the band Tuesday, was terrific with Bruce on "Human Touch."

Bruce opened the encores with "Ramrod," which is just a fun song, and ended with "Rosalita." In truth, it left me wanting more. But as with every Bruce show, you can't expect to hear everything. He hasn't played Baltimore since 1973, so let's hope he has something special planned.

As he sang in "Rosalita,":

"So hold tight baby, 'cause don't you know daddy's comin'."

I can't wait.

(Photo by Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Daily News)

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