Before last week I’d never been to a Springsteen show, and quite frankly I didn’t know what the big deal was. Yes, I grew up hearing his songs “Born in the USA” and “Dancing in the Dark” on the radio, but I was never really a big fan. I was in luck, though, because my date has apparently seen him in concert about 50 times over a span of 30 years. He wasn’t a fan, he was THE fan. “He is the rock god,” my date emphatically tells me, “And you’ll understand after you see the show.”

I was still a bit skeptical until I entered the LA Sports Arena and was instantly surrounded by people twice my age acting like giddy teenagers. I heard what sounded like booing but was actually people yelling “Bruuuuuuce!!!” which continued before, during, and after the three-hour show. Yes, you heard me right. The band played for over three hours with no break!

Bruce and the E Street Band appeared onstage, and the Boss screamed, “Are you ready to be transformed?” before launching straight into the first song, “Badlands.” The entire audience was standing, clapping, and singing along. Never before had I feel so out of place for not knowing the words to the songs (Sorry, Boss. I’ll be sure to be ready next time). The next song was “We Take Care of Our Own” from his new album, Wrecking Ball, and then a slew of more songs: “Ties that Bind,” “My City in Ruins,” “Jack of All Trades,” “Candy’s Room,” “She’s The One,” “Waiting On A Sunny Day,” and “The Promised Land.”

What I wasn’t expecting was seeing Tom Morello, guitarist from Rage Against the Machine, performing alongside Springsteen. It was super cool to see the older generation and the younger generation of rock coming together. After the band did an upbeat, soulful rendition of “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” Tom Morello and the Boss did “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” and it gave me goosebumps!

My favorite song though was “The Land of Hopes and Dreams,” which I think has some awesome lyrics. Of course, Bruce satiated the crowd with “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark,” and I couldn’t everyone in the crowd was still standing and full of energy. Bruce’s final song, “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” included a touching tribute to his long-time bandmate, Clarence Clemons, who played saxophone in his band for over 30 years.

What really impressed me was how the Boss exited the stage. He shook the hands of all the band members as they exited offstage and then waved goodbye to everyone before he exited. I then understood why he was called “The Boss,” and I won’t let him down next time he’s in LA. I’ll have the lyrics to all his songs down pat!

For more Bruce Springsteen tour dates, check out his official website.