The Boss is king

December 20, 2009|By Sam Sessa

A host of A-list bands hit the road this year, and nearly every one played a show in the area. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band made a triumphant return to Baltimore, playing the 1st Mariner Arena for the first time since 1973, when they opened for Chicago.

Springsteen led the band through an electric set that lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours. Frank Remesch, 1st Mariner's general manager, had tried for years to get The Boss to come back to Baltimore. When Springsteen finally returned to the old arena, in front of an audience of 14,839, Remesch said it was a religious experience.

"Can we repeat that? Probably not," Remesch said. "You only get one chance at a first kiss, and that was a first kiss. Here, he was king for a night."

Springsteen wasn't the only big name in town. R&B star Beyonce and hip-hop heavyweight Jay-Z both put on stellar shows at 1st Mariner.

FedEx Field in Landover also played host to a pair of top-notch performers. In early August, Paul McCartney toured through his unparalleled body of work, supported by a lean four-piece band. At 67, McCartney still had the boyish charm that helped woo so many fans, so many years ago. And in late September, U2 proved once again why they're one of the biggest names in rock.

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