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Bruce Springsteen at the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show: What did you think?

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I dunno about you guys, but when Bruce Springsteen asks me to ”put thechicken fingers down,” I put those things DOWN. Good thing, too: The Super Bowl halftime show thatfollowed was a 12-minute musical feast, no snack food necessary. The set kicked off on just the right note with ”Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” the great E Street Band creation myth. Bruce even fit in one of his trademark across-the-stage knee slides there; it might have taken a little out of him, judging by the tired note that crept into his voice when the band transitioned into “Born to Run.” But man, those two songs are still exactly what stadium rock is supposed to sound like, almost 35 years after they were recorded. Next up was a very nice “Working on a Dream,” backed by a choir. It’s a mellow number, and a new one, so of course the energy in the arena died down just a tiny bit. Still, it shot right back up when the band segued into “Glory Days” — complete with occasion-appropriate lyrical changeups. (Bruce’s old high school buddy was “a big football player” tonight, not “baseball,” and he liked to throw a “Hail Mary” instead of a “speedball.”) Some fireworks, some very funny shtick with Steven Van Zandt (“Steve, what time is it?” “IT’S BOSS TIME!”), a quick spin of Bruce’s guitar around his body, and then — over, already? Whew! 

In case you can’t tell, I thought that was one kick-ass halftime show. But how’d you like it? Chime in below, and check back here for video of the performance as soon as it’s available online.

UPDATE: Here’s some decent-quality video of Springsteen’s halftime show, in two overlapping parts. Part one is below, part two after the jump.

More on Springsteen and the Super Bowl:
Ken Tucker mulled whether Springsteen should “go rogue” at the halftime show
Listening to Springsteen’s wacky Super Bowl press conference
Mandi Bierly went over your best Super Bowl counter-programming options
Oscars snub Springsteen: WTF?
EW Gallery: Rare Springsteen Photos Unveiled

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