Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band closed out their 2014 North American tour with a two-night stand at the Mohegan Sun Arena this past weekend. As the Boss took the stage in Uncasville, CT on Sunday, he asked the audience how they fared at the venue’s neighboring casino. “If you didn’t lose your money, you wouldn’t be here,” he joked before opening a bottle of champagne and pouring it into the crowd. Kicking off the performance with “Roll of the Dice” and “Leap of Faith,” the evening’s song choices seemed to be inspired by the highs of a lucky break and the fortitude you need when it all runs out.
After launching into a cover of Van Halen’s 1983 single “Jump,” Bruce searched the venue for signs bearing track titles spanning his decades-long career. Out of the sea of posters – some outfitted with neon lights and women’s undergarments – he plucked one from a seven-year-old named Autumn and launched into her request, a rousing rendition of “Santa Clause Is Comin’ to Town.” He also selected a sign for “Seven Angels,” a rarity from the 1998 “Tracks” box set that had never been played live before by the E Street Band.
The Connecticut performances marked the first time Steven Van Zandt was able to join the High Hopes Tour after fulfilling his acting obligations for the Netflix show “Lilyhammer.” Meanwhile, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who stood in for the veteran musician for prior U.S. dates, continued to flank Bruce on the final night, contributing vocals for “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and playing his guitar with his teeth during “High Hopes.” Die-hard fans were also treated to a series of classic hits, including “The Rising,” “Badlands” and “Born to Run.” During “Dancing in the Dark,” the Boss plucked Little Steven’s wife Maureen from the crowd to join him for a twirl onstage.
Before capping off his epic run, Springsteen delivered a heartfelt message to the sold-out crowd: “I want to thank all the four million-plus people that have seen us on the Wrecking Ball/High Hopes tour. They made this simply one of the greatest musical stretches of our lives.” For the evening’s final song, the rocker sat down behind a pump organ and played the quietly urgent “Dream Baby Dream,” a Suicide cover from his latest album. Bruce then stood before the crowd, dropped to his knees and repeated the final strains of the song under a lone spotlight from the empty stage.