The Boss rocks the Arena to its core
The Boss rocks the Arena to its core

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band came in like a wrecking ball at his first ever Perth concert - but not the Miley Cyrus kind.

The Boss rocked Perth Arena to its year-old foundations last night at the first of three epic gigs in what was incredibly his WA debut after a half-century as a professional musician.

"Hello Perth, it's great to be in the most remotest place on Earth," Springsteen, 64, said before the 17-piece E Street Band tore into the rowdy Frankie Fell In Love off chart-topping latest album High Hopes.

PICTURE GALLERY

The title track of that release was an early highlight and featured a solo from Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, plus serious blasting from the five-piece horn section.

The E Streeters meant business, boasting four guitarists - Springsteen, Morello, long-time member Nils Lofgren and everfaithful lieutenant Steven Van Zandt.

The High Hopes material dominated early on, with a glorious cover of Brisbane punk-rockers the Saints' Just Like Fire Would elevated by Soozie Tyrell's violin.

Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

The first classic was 1978 favorite Badlands, with Springsteen tearing a lead break from his battered Fender and Jake Clemons stepping up for a sax solo.

The Boss threw away the guitar to serenade the crowd with 1980 hit Hungry Heart.

We sang back to the super-fit superstar as he crowd-surfed from a walkway out in the audience back to the stage. He later took time out to enjoy a beer.

Few rockers of his stature would trust their fans so implicitly, but the love between this beer-chugging, blue-collar hero and his minions is mutual - even if they chant his name like cows with hairlips.

"Broooooce," many of the 14,000-plus punters mooed in unison between songs.

A "double shot" of numbers from 1973 album The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle stretched a little too long, especially an epic version of Kitty’s Back - the song is seven minutes in the first place.

The performer Rolling Stone magazine rightly ranks as the best in the world didn’t let the show drift, swinging 2012 rockers Wrecking Ball and the Celtic-flavoured Death In My Home Town into action to build to another climax.

The Boss continued to jump around eras of his remarkable career; performing solemn 1981 ballad The River before leaping back to the current E Street period for American Skin (41 Shots).

Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Because the Night, a hit for Patti Smith, was so powerful you felt internal organs shifting as Lofgren tore through a killer solo.

The first cut off his biggest album, 1984’s Born in the USA came nearly two hours in with Working on the Highway.

The staging was simple but who needs bells and whistles when you've got a indefatigable frontman plus the unstoppable E Street Band - a supergroup to end all supergroups.

Fans with tickets to Friday or Saturdays shows should not expect a repeat of last night.

During a pre-show press conference, Springsteen said he likes to change the set list from show to show to keep fans happy and band on their toes.

“On any given night, even if you’ve seen many, many shows, there’s going to be a moment where I surprise you,” he said.

The only sure bet is Bruce and his band will give you a marathon concert.

The blue-collar musician said he started out playing five 55-minute sets a night at bars in his native New Jersey, so playing for three hours or more comes second nature to him.

The West Australian

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