It hasn’t been a good season for the Boston Red Sox. Despite a $175 million payroll, the team remains mired in fourth place in the American League East, 12.5 games behind the hated New York Yankees. However, some joy was finally brought to Fenway Park in the form of Bruce Springsteen, who began a two-night stand at the 100-year old stadium last night (Aug. 14).

Springsteen took the stage to the strains of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame,’ coincidentally, as news was breaking that several Red Sox players had met with the owners a couple of weeks ago to complain about manager Bobby Valentine. The 29-song, three-and-a-half hour set didn’t feature too many surprises. He took a sign request for John Lee Hooker’s ‘Boom Boom,’ which was regularly performed on the Tunnel of Love Express Tour in 1988, and, as he often does in Boston, sang the Standells’ 1966 hit, ‘Dirty Water.’ As they did when he performed in Boston back in March, fans booed the reference in ‘Wrecking Ball’ to the New York Giants, who won their fourth Super Bowl at the expense of the New England Patriots this past February.

Prior to the show, there was speculation on Twitter among fans as to whether or not Springsteen, a known Yankees fan, would try to tweak Red Sox fans in his setlist. Would he break out the rarely played ‘Wreck on the Highway’ or ‘This Depression?” Or maybe he would retool ‘Ain’t Got You’ as ‘Ain’t Got Youk‘ in honor of the much loved Kevin Youkilis, who was recently traded to the Chicago White Sox.

Instead, he paid a classy tribute to Fenway’s regular tenants during his invocation to the audience in ‘My City of Ruins.’ “There are people who’ve given their heart, their souls, their blood, and it’s all in the dirt out there,” he said. Then Springsteen asked for a spotlight to be fixed on Pesky’s Pole, the right-field foul pole named in memory of former Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, who passed away on Monday at the age of 92.

In Baltimore, the Red Sox lost 7-1 to the Orioles.

Bruce Springsteen’s Fenway Park Aug. 14 Setlist

1. ‘The Promised Land’
2. ‘Out in the Street’
3. ‘We Take Care of Our Own’
4. ‘Wrecking Ball’
5. ‘Death to My Hometown’
6. ‘My City of Ruins’
7. ‘Spirit In The Night’
8. ‘The E Street Shuffle’
9. ‘Jack of All Trades’
10. ‘Atlantic City’
11. ‘Because the Night’
12. ‘Johnny 99′
13. ‘Darlington County’
14. ‘Working on the Highway’
15. ‘Shackled And Drawn’
16. ‘Waiting on a Sunny Day’
17. ‘Boom Boom’
18. ‘Drive All Night’
19. ‘The Rising’
20. ‘Badlands’
21. ‘Thunder Road’
22. ‘We Are Alive’
23. ‘Born to Run’
24. ‘Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)’
25. ‘Glory Days’
26. ‘Dancing in the Dark’
27. ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’
28. ‘Dirty Water’
29. ‘Twist and Shout’

*(Boston-born) Editor’s note: this is the most needlessly cruel and mean-spirited story we have ever published.

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