On this date, 21 June 2003, eighteen years after the cult-declared “Stadium Breaker”-shows in 1985, where Bruce Springsteen and a crowd of 64 312 spectators made the entire venue (built on clay) sway, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band returned to Ullevi, Gothenburg, this time with the Rising Tour.
It’s Midsummer Day and most Swedish fans a bit hungover from last night’s traditional celebrations of Midsummer, one of the most important days of the year, rivaling Christmas with its festive spirit and traditions. While Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were treated to a special Midsummer menu in restaurant Sjömagasinet and birthday boy Nils Lofgren, with Swedish roots, lead the singalong of traditional Swedish summer songs, one hundred die hard fans spent their Midsummer Eve outside the venue drinking beer, eating traditional food and listening to music while queueing for a good spot.
The show opened with the title track the Rising followed by Lonesome Day. Seemingly in a very good mood Springsteen then greeted the Swedish fans in broken Swedish: “Hello Gothenburg, hi Sweden. How are you? It’s great to be back in Sweden. It is fun to see that the stadium is finished.” The setlist was a good mix of songs from the new album and old favourites. The mid section consisting of Waitin ‘On a Sunny Day, Working on the Highway, No Surrender, Worlds Apart and Badlands worked like a charm and the crowd were back jumping and singing. This time, however, the stadium reinforced with concrete pillars, stood the test and not even when Springsteen brought out the heavy artillery during the two encores, (a fantastic combination of Bobby Jean, Ramrod, Born To Run, Seven Nights to Rock, My City of Ruins, Land of Hope and Dreams, Dancing in the Dark and “the stadium breaker” Twist and Shout) did it sway. The crowd, however, were both knackered, drained and ready to drop when the show closed.
Glad Midsommar! ☀️🇸🇪🌼 Happy Midsummer!
photo cred: Peter Hemgard (?)