Springsteen show was excellent last night. Great performance and setlist. I last heard "Trapped" live at the Capital Centre on the "Other Band" Tour in August 1992, so that one was nice to hear with the full band. I don't listen to Tracks or Greetings very often but it was nice to hear "Seaside" and "Does This Bus Stop," just like two years ago it was a surprise to hear "Blinded by the Light." The ovation on "Tenth Avenue" was moving. Just went on and on. Perfect show-closer on this tour. The sound was a lot better than some other Verizon Center shows. I think part of that is highly dependent on where you sit. For a McCartney show about 10 years ago we were in the upper level corner, around Section 404, and we could barely make out his introductions to the songs due to poor acoustics. My wife said she had some trouble with the intros last night, but I didn't (other than the annoyance caused by the chatterbox behind us, of course). I thought there seemed to be less of the "bouncing" or "echo" effect you sometimes get at an arena show and that the sound wasn't nearly as muddy. Also, everybody's mentioned the addition of the horns and how they flesh out the sound, and I agree with that, but the thing we both noted that we enjoyed were the steel drums.
Only downside for us was some of the people in the crowd around us marred the experience, but that's not something anyone can control. We were in 110. Guy next to me was quite tall (I'm just over 6 feet) and rather fat and I kept having to duck around him to try to see the stage. Plus, he smelled foul—I think he hadn't used deodorant—and he was one of the people who raises his arms above his head to applaud. Ugh. At least he only did the annoying "mobile phone videographer" bit once at the beginning. (I almost pulled out my phone to take a picture and post online saying "Don't be this guy," but ultimately said "Why bother" because the people who need to see that sort of thing wouldn't ever see that sort of comment online.) My wife had the seat to my left and she's short, so I was doing my damndest not to block her view of the stage, but she said afterwards that basically she could only see the left side of the stage (Soozie/Nils/Bruce). Same guy also announced quite loudly "TIME FOR A BEER RUN" during "The Promise" (one song I'd never heard live and had long wanted to).
Before the show we discovered to our surprise that four of my wife's work colleagues were in the row behind us a few seats over (four women)....proved annoying when it turned out that two would-be Romeos had the two seats to their left (immediately behind us) and spent the whole show hitting on my wife's colleagues. The guy immediately behind us just wouldn't shut the freak up for even 30 seconds....I came damn close to blowing up at him when he kept talking loudly during "My City of Ruins." Plus he was spitting dip into a cup and I kept feeling like he was going to spill it. The guy was doing everything he could to get in that woman's pants, but she didn't leave with him at the end of the show....
I suppose my worst crowd experience remains Billy Joel and Elton John at Nationals Park two or three years ago. We were on the floor and some of the crowd were demanding that people remain seated, to the point of calling ushers to demand that people be told to sit (the ushers, to their credit, refused to do so). I also recall back in April of 1992 I won free tickets, 12th row on the floor, to a Bryan Adams concert in Roanoke and the arena staff insisted that we remain seated or else be ejected. So those two remain the worst crowd experiences.
But it's a shame that our memory of last night's show is likely to be tarnished for a long time by the unpleasant crowd experience.