Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the stage together for their first full concert since the June passing of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, kicking off their Wrecking Ball tour at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater. An exclusive benefit show celebrating 10 years of SiriusXM radio — and raising money for WhyHunger charity — it was the band’s first-ever official performance at the historic venue, and the buzz rippling through the pre-concert happy hour felt more like a big heavyweight title fight downtown at the Garden. There was Elvis Costello and Paul Rudd. There was Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, and there was the entire Tom Hanks clan. Tommy Hilfiger and Harry Belafonte, Pat Riley and Tom Coughlin, Bill Bradley and Brian Williams — you practically couldn’t move without spilling red wine on some famous Friend of Bruce.
“People are going to be talking about this concert for many, many years to come,” announced SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin before the main event officially got under way. But he didn’t get the privilege of introducing the evening’s star. That honor was reserved for the Boss himself, who playfully mimicked James Brown’s entrance from the soul singer’s 1962 show at the Apollo. “Ladies and gentleman, are you ready for showtime?” he intoned, before describing himself as “the hardest working white man in show business.” READ FULL STORY