TULSA - Boss-mania broke out in the BOK Tuesday night the moment the arena
lights went down and Bruce Springsteen stepped into the colored spots and
boomed, “Is anybody alive out there?”
At first it sounded like the crowd was booing, but the faithful were
actually howling “Bruuuce,” thousands of voices strong, and rock’s
black-clad, blue-collar hero responded by kicking into the hard-times
Heartland anthem “Badlands,” getting a standing cheer in return.
Brandishing his Fender Telecaster skyward like a fearless flag bearer,
Springsteen led the 11-piece powerhouse E Street Band through a rollicking
version of his wild and wooley cowboy fantasy “Outlaw Pete,” while scenes
of Monument Valley flashed on a long, wide video screen behind the band,
and a black-Stetson-wearing bossman strolled out onto a crowd-level runway
amid the upraised hands of fans.
His anthemic “Out On the Street” ode to the working man stepping out with
this baby after hours was followed by the yearning, lower key “Working on a
Dream,” the title song from his latest album, bringing to mind that
Springsteen is still the deeply soulful, singing spokesman for every
searching and hopeful person born in the age of rock ‘n’ roll.
Still looking muscular and full of bar-room band machismo as he nears the
60 turn, Springsteen had Baby Boomers and X and Y gen-ers alike dancing in
the aisles to such tunes as the locomotive “Johnny 99,” and swaying in
sweet melancholy bliss to the sweet dirge-like anti-war lament,