Bruce Springsteen rocks the Rock | Review, Photos

From the moment heavy rain drops began falling in time with Max Weinberg's opening drum roll, only to evaporate moments later under the unrelenting friction of the E Street Shuffle, it was clear The Boss and his band would have the rock on a string.

An ominously white-typefaced red baseball cap in aisle five – which turned out to be nothing more incendiary than a memento from a long forgotten sporting event, albeit one ill-advisedly chosen for the occasion – notwithstanding, Springsteen was quick to offer an undisguised rebuke to his commander in chief in the form of a stirring rendition of American Land with Muslims emphatically joining the blacks, Irish, Italians and Jews docking at Ellis Island.

Several well-received classics, hand-chosen by Springsteen from placards held up by the lucky few, and what felt like the blink of an eye later – and as if to drive home the point in case anyone was still wondering – The Boss said Because The Night and it was night.

At this point no one would have begrudged the ageing rocker a cup of tea and a good lie down, but the sprightly 67-year-old launched into what would eventually become an almost three-hour set of joyous, full-throttle rock and roll, complete with a tandem "ass shaking" in which "little Stevie" Van Zandt more than held his own, even if the venue's camera lingered slightly longer on the gluteus talents of his headlining dance partner.

By the third hour the feeling in the air was such that it threatened to tear the rock from its foundations when Springsteen's loyal "consigliere" hinted his boss may have really left the building for good this time, before the great man returned for a triumphant final act featuring crowd favourites Born to Run and a haunting, pared-back solo version of Thunder Road.

Despite the clear deference shown to Van Zandt, from both bandleader and crowd, it was Jake Clemons, nephew of the late Clarence, and guitarist Nils Lofgren who supplied the musical heroics with the latter providing the blistering guitar solo on the previously acoustic Youngstown and the young saxophonist finding himself on the receiving end of more than a few indecent proposals from adoring fans.

Anyone still wondering why a man who claims to have "never worked an honest day in my life" and who could easily have slipped into comfortable retirement by now would shed so much sweat in the name of rock and roll, wondered no more as it became apparent just how much fun he and his friends still have on stage, an infection which quickly spreads to every man, woman and child privileged enough to share the experience with them.

It may seem churlish at this point, but lest I be accused of writing an entirely uncritical review – Nothing off High Hopes, Bruce? Come on.

Seriously though, from one scared and lonely rider to another, thanks, for everything – even if we are just dancing in the dark.