Bruce Springsteen Duets Harmonicas with a 7-year-old

When Bruce Springsteen performed "The Promised Land" last Thursday night (April 18) at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, New York, it was the 1,485th time the New Jersey native has had it in his set.

As uplifting as the Darkness on the Edge of Town anthem is each night, is there anything more joyous than watching a 7-year-old child and a 74-year-old superstar share a spontaneous moment in the spotlight?

While performing the ode to optimism that encourages the listener to "blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and broken hearted," The Boss spotted young Joe Kearsing of Liverpool, NY on his father's shoulders in the front row and began pointing at him.

When Springsteen sang, "Mr. I ain't a boy / no I'm a man/ And I believe in a Promised Land," young Kearsing pointed right back. The rocker lead the capacity crowd of the arena which was until recently named The Carrier Dome, through the la-la-las and he made his way down into the crowd.

Video shot by Joe's mom, Jessica.

Once there, it was time for the extended harmonica solo that wraps up the song. Springsteen marched right down and over to Joe being supported by his dad Mark.

Joe blew into his toy plastic harp and the headliner played on the real one.

When the song was over, Springsteen gave his harmonica to his second grade sidekick who held it up for all to see.

“I’m very, very proud,” Mark, 39, told “(I loved) how happy Bruce was... Watching Bruce’s face — he just looked genuinely happy.”

The newspaper explained that because the Dome is meant for football, the pit was wider than other venues The Boss has played in, so Mark was able to get his whole family right up next to the rail by getting to the show early.

The enormity of the Dome once called The Carrier Dome

"Getting pit tickets for Syracuse was a special treat, as Mark said he usually gets cheaper seats further back or higher up," Geoff Herbert of wrote.

"One advantage of the general admission area in front of the stage at the former Carrier Dome is that the stadium is bigger than other venues like Buffalo’s KeyBank Center and Albany’s MVP Arena. Mark and his family didn’t get there early for front-of-the-stage wristband access, but because the dome’s floor is wide enough for Syracuse football games they were still able to get to the front of the GA section on the non-wristband side at stage right (audience left)," he explained.

Two songs before Bruce met the Kearsings, he took a sign request from a 15-year-old claiming to be celebrating his birthday at the show.

His song of choice was "Growin' Up" from Springsteen's debut, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. It was the tour debut of the imaginative love letter to youth, but it was also the first time Bruce has played it in a proper concert with the E. Street Band since 2017, it seems.

The tune was the centerpiece in Springsteen's On Broadway one-man show, which can be seen on Netflix, but if you exclude that and private gigs and benefits, it seems like the last time Bruce and the band played it was in Australia in 2017, where it was also a sign request.

Ironic, since the playful tune has numerous examples of disobeying requests.

Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band now head across the pond to the UK for a series of shows that begin May 5 in Wales. The European leg concludes in July with two giant shows at Wembley.

Get your tickets now on Springsteen's website and don't forget to bring your harmonica.

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Last updated: 23 May 2024, 08:26 Etc/UTC