Hard Rock Calling 2009

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Having spent Friday afternoon enjoying some fantastic live music from the likes of The Kooks, Howling Bells, Metric and Passion Pit, the first night of Hard Rock Calling 2009 came to a close – and what a night it was.

We finished watching a simply breathtaking set from Las Vegas’ very own The Killers. The start of the set was dominated by spectacular renditions of tracks from their latest album Day & Age, including A Dustland Fairytale, The World We Live In, and belting version of Spaceman.

It was a truly incredible end to a fantastic day of relentless rock, and The Killers left the crowd cheering for more, despite wowing us all with a set that was over 90 minutes long.

What a day Saturday was. After spending several hours out in the blissful sunshine, dark clouds started brewing and the skies briefly opened, but it never stopped the crowd from wanting more. Oh, and Paul McCartney popped by for a little sing song with Neil Young during his headline set!

In the build up to tonight’s headline act, the crowd were going crazy, for all the fantastic artists over the day, nothing could top the anticipation for Neil Young. And he didn't disappoint, opening with big hitter Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) before giving crafted renditions of Heart Of Gold, Old Man and the poignant Needle And The Damage Done, followed by tour-de-force Down By The River and 1989 anthem Rockin’ In The Free World.

Bruce Springsteen took to the Main Stage on Sunday evening. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band launched their set with a stonking rendition of the 1969 Clash hit, London Calling. Stately in beat but unmistakably punk in message and tone, this was the perfect opener for the 45,000 strong, mostly local crowd. As the opener gave way to rapturous applause and a seamless transition into Badlands, the stage was set for what promised to be one of The Boss’ best performances to date.

Flanked on each side by the menacing black bandanas of Steve Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren, Springsteen’s mood was visibly euphoric and the band bristling with energy, despite having headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury less than 24 hours earlier. “The E-Street Band have travelled thousands of miles to fulfil one solemn vow – to rock the house,” preached the Boss.

The set showcased a fantastic cross section of the legend’s back catalogue including his first hit Rosalita, Youngstown from the Ghost of Tom Joad album, rarities such as Seeds and Trapped before bringing us bang up to date with amazing renditions of Outlaw Pete and Working on a Dream. Bobby Jean kicked off a round of requests from the audience and Bruce didn’t disappoint with his trademark collection of signs and scraps of paper from the front rows, showing each one to the band before tearing into some of the fan favourites.

The set was almost three hours long and the encore came to its zenith with rousing versions of Glory Days and Dancing In The Dark – proving that he is not only a working class hero but that Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street band are one of the most enduring and hardest working acts around today – it really was a privilege and a treat for all who were there.

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