But a 3½-hour Springsteen show circa 2012 has a decidedly different feel than those he delivered in the 1970s or '80s.

The visceral energy of long-gone youth is supplanted nowadays by the reflective, even meditative, aspects of grown-up life. That brought more multifaceted emotion to the de rigueur sing-along sections of “Thunder Road” (“It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win”) and “Badlands” (“I believe in the faith that could save me/I believe in the hope and I pray that some day it will raise me”).

The result is an experience equally and potentially more powerful than this force of nature conjured in his days of yore.

Who would have guessed?

 

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