Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Bruce Springsteen plays My City of Ruins, pays tribute to Christchurch

Bruce Springsteen opened the concert with a greeting of "Finally, Christchurch ...". Photo / Anastasia Hedge
Bruce Springsteen opened the concert with a greeting of "Finally, Christchurch ...". Photo / Anastasia Hedge

Bruce Springsteen has tonight paid tribute to the city of Christchurch after its earthquakes and last week's fires.

When he came on stage, The Boss opened the concert with a greeting of "Finally, Christchurch ...".

The international rock star said he'd been contacted after the 2011 earthquake to say Christchurch had been hit and locals wanted him to come and play.

"It took a while but we got here."

Today, he drove around and looked at the city, he said. He dedicated the song, My City Of Ruins to those who suffered the quakes, along with emergency services personnel fighting the Port Hills fires, which he looked out to from the stage.

Bruce Springsteen held up a We love Christchurch sign, to applause from the crowd. Photo / Tania Gibson
Bruce Springsteen held up a We love Christchurch sign, to applause from the crowd. Photo / Tania Gibson

Originally Springsteen wrote the song about New Jersey which had suffered its own economic hardship, he said, but had slowly built itself up.

The star of Born in the USA and Born to Run also grabbed a cardboard sign from a fan which read, "We Love Christchurch", which got a huge cheer when he held it up to the capacity 30,000 crowd.

Springsteen opened with No Surrender, the first time he has played the song on his Summer 17 tour.

The second song was inspired by a crowd sign request - Sherry Darling - and it felt like a night for the people.


Clearly Springsteen had decided Christchurch was a party town so he played the classic Saint in the City - again as a result of a crowd sign request.

Bruce Springsteen performs in Christchurch. Photo / Tania Gibson
Bruce Springsteen performs in Christchurch. Photo / Tania Gibson
There was a good turnout for the Bruce Springsteen concert. Photo / Anastasia Hedge
There was a good turnout for the Bruce Springsteen concert. Photo / Anastasia Hedge
Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt perform for the crowd at AMI Stadium. Photo / Anastasia Hedge
Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt perform for the crowd at AMI Stadium. Photo / Anastasia Hedge
The crowd were in good spirits. Photo / Anastasia Hedge
The crowd were in good spirits. Photo / Anastasia Hedge

Earlier, thousands of fans flocked to Christchurch's AMI Stadium hours early to get a good position for the much-anticipated concert.

Hats, sunblock, umbrellas and fans were the order of the day, along with double denim and checked shirts, as the mercury soared to 29C in a picture-perfect day in the fire-ravaged Garden City.

Opening act, local singer-songwriter Marlon Williams, entertained the crowds from 5pm, followed by Australian rockers Jet.

- NZ Herald

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