ruce Springsteen led thousands of adoring fans in a rapturous chorus of “Let it rain” as the skies opened during his headline gig in Hyde Park.
The US rocker proved he is still The Boss despite intermittent downpours as he delivered a three-hour journey through his back catalogue in front of a rapturous crowd spanning from young babies to pensioners.
Fans euphorically joined in on the call to “Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain,” during hit Mary’s Place as the weather dutifully complied.
But the temporary bad weather was quickly forgotten as 73-year-old Springsteen and The E Street Band delivered hit after hit, including crowd pleasers Born To Run, Dancing In The Dark, No Surrender, The Rising and Badlands, as well as songs from more recent albums, including Nightshift, Ghosts and Last Man Standing.
He spent much of the show interacting with fans at the front of the crowd, delighting one young child when he gave her his harmonica.
The show was Springsteen’s second at British Summer Time (BST) in Hyde Park, after a storming set on Thursday.
As in Thursday’s show, he took a brief pause from his relentless musicianship to reminisce about joining his first band in the mid 1960s alongside his school friend George Theiss, who had hired the teenage guitarist into The Castiles.
He also reflected on sitting beside Theiss as he lay dying from cancer 50 years later, saying: “I realised his passing would leave me the last living member of that first small group of guys who got together so many years before that.”
He added: “Death gives you pause to think, it brings a certain clarity of thought, of experience. Death’s final and lasting gift to the living is an expanded vision of this life itself. It was George’s gift to me when he died, he left me with this.”
He then launched into Last Man Standing from his 2020 album Letter To You.
The set also included renditions of Because The Night – a song Springsteen wrote and gave to Patti Smith in 1977 but has reclaimed as his own – and Twist And Shout – a cheeky nod to the song he was playing with Sir Paul McCartney in Hyde Park in 2012 when they overshot the curfew and the power was cut.
At the end of the marathon show, Springsteen saw his band off the stage, exchanging hugs and back slaps with each member, before he sat alone in a spotlight with his guitar and harmonica, to perform an acoustic rendition of I’ll See You In My Dreams.
It was a fitting and emotional end to his final show in the UK on his 2023 world tour.
BST has also featured headline gigs from the likes of Pink, Billy Joel and Take That.
Lana Del Rey will close out the festival in Hyde Park on Sunday.