Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Perform Three Songs at Hall of Fame Induction [Video]
Being the troopers they are, however, the group ran through three songs, beginning with, appropriately, the calling card ‘E Street Shuffle.’ The always-rambunctious tune had extra pep thanks to the talents of original drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, who joined the group to add exuberance on a second kit next to current drummer “Mighty” Max Weinberg.
Springsteen then pulled out a harmonica -— always a good sign — and told a slightly risque Clarence Clemons joke before steering the band into ‘The River.’ The E Street Band’s ability to play off one another stood out in this song, with Roy Bittan‘s piano and Stevie Van Zandt‘s acoustic guitar setting the stage for a brooding Springsteen vocal turn, which included lower-register harmonies with wife Patti Scialfa.
But the highlight of the mini-set had to be an incredible version of ‘Kitty’s Back,’ from ‘The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.’ A flashback to their bar-band days, the song gave individual players a chance to strut their stuff with solos that possessed more than a little bit of extra oomph tonight.
Among the highlights: founding keyboardist David Sancious — whose residence on Belmar, New Jersey’s E Street gave the band its name — going to church on the organ with Springsteen egging him on. The five-piece horn section, featuring Clemons’ nephew Jake Clemons, added some soul flair straight out of a classic Chicago album. And Nils Lofgren contributed a dependably cutting solo.
Even Springsteen coaxed out several toothy electric guitar solos throughout the song, as it finally coalesced and crescendoed into a stew of soul, blues and rock & roll as only the E Street Band can unleash.