What’s Your Springsteen Super Bowl Halftime Set List?

Bbruceruce Springsteen has filled the biggest stadiums the world has to offer for decades now, but on Super Bowl Sunday he’ll play for the largest audience of his career.  His 12 minute halftime set could be seen by around 148 million Americans if last year’s numbers hold up … that’s big even by Jersey girl standards.  Only one problem … time.

Now I’ve seen a lot of Springsteen shows over the years, and it can take him 15 minutes just to get through a jammin’ version of Kitty’s Back … so how on earth is he gonna squeeze a healthy slice of his legendary catalog into two dozen minutes?  The simple answer is, he isn’t.  Most likely what he’ll do is place passages of some of his most evocative tunes around one or two “complete” songs.

Now that strategy may not satisfy the hard core, but that’s not who this show is for.  This set will hopefully re-ignite a music buying public that hasn’t exactly been shelling out the cash lately.  Just so you know, Rolling Stone magazine reports that after last year’s Tom Petty performance, 63,000 digital copies of Free Fallin’ sold the following week … and his 2008 tour was a smash.  Bruce is an artist, but he’s also businessman, and this is an incredible opportunity.

So, back to the crux of this blog, what will he play?  Here’s my best guess (not my dream set), but how I think Bruce will go.  Oh, yeah please share your list so we can start a parlor game that’s more fun than Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

1. Working on a Dream – it’s the title track of the new E Street Band CD that comes out a few days before the Super Bowl. Can’t think of a better launching pad for new material.

2. Radio Nowhere – mostly so he can bellow out, “Is there anybody alive out there!”  He won’t do the whole thing, but he’ll rock what he does play.

3. Hungry Heart – a taste of the old, scruffy, sing-a-long Bruce.  Again, just a slice of the song, but he’ll have everyone singin’ at the top of their lungs.

4. Land of Hope and Dreams – this is my wild card.  I know he’ll want to do something to mark the beginning of the Obama Administration, and give inspiration to people struggling through the recession.  It will be mostly the chorus, “I know this train/Dreams will not be thwarted, This train/Faith will be rewarded”  If  it happens it will be very powerful.

5. The Promised Land – for all the above reasons.  Probably the more likely choice.

6. Born To Run – c’mon it’s still his signature song, it has to be the closer.

Okay, you’re up.


4 Responses

  1. I want to hear something positive. I love Bruce, but sometimes his stuff is heavy and that’s not what we’re looking for at the Super Bowl. Dancing in the Dark or Born to Run…..both fun songs that everyone knows and loves. I live in Tampa and we’re excited about have Super Bowl XLIII in town.

  2. That sounds like a good, tight list, Mike. especially “Land of Hopes and Dreams”. I do agree with knowyourvenue to a degree, but “Land…” can be a very uplifting song.

  3. I think Candy’s Room would be a great song to play at the Super Bowl…

  4. Sorry but all oldies:
    – Thunder Road
    – Backstreets
    – Growing up
    and there’s time Jungle Land
    And more tiime Rosalita.

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