Best Concert of the Past 12 Months (Touring)
Bruce Springsteen at Xcel Energy Center
No one has higher expectations for a Bruce Springsteen performance than Bruce Springsteen. He can't actually watch himself sing, strum his Telecaster, slide across the stage on his knees, and belt out harmonies with Little Steven, but the guy has an obsessive streak when it comes to the fine details of pleasing his fans. A 90-minute show would be adequate, and give him the ability to rest his 63-year-old bones, but Bruce went for twice that long each night at the Xcel in November, and he used his time wisely. The shows were filled with raw emotion following Hurricane Sandy's destruction of the East Coast, and the pageantry of songs like "Atlantic City" and "My City of Ruins" was palpably heightened. It was already a given that the streets leading to the venue would be ceremonially renamed to honor the two shows, but after the mix of working-class pride, grit, sweat, and E Street shuffle that was exhibited, our hearts made it a permanent change.