A rising or wrecking ball?


When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band storm Wrigley Field September 7 and 8, it will mark the Boss’s first shows in Chicago in more than three years. It will also be historic: Bruce and crew will be the only musical performers to have played in all four of Chicago’s professional sports venues. It’s worth noting that after the 62-year-old played Chicago’s other sporting venues, championship banners for the Bears, Blackhawks and Sox soon followed. We’re all about curses in this town, so is a Springsteen gig truly an omen?

Soldier Field, August 9, 1985
In 1985, a scruffy rocker from New Jersey, who had long enjoyed a loyal following and reputation for phenomenal concerts, morphed into an American icon. Born in the U.S.A. had ruled the charts for more than a year.

Springsteen wasn’t the first to play at Soldier Field—Pink Floyd and the Stones had played there in the 1970s. Tickets to the four-hour-plus show were general admission only, and estimates of the crowd were set at 70,000 fans.

Omen? 1985 was a special year at Soldier Field. The Bears won every game they played there, on the way to the team’s only Super Bowl championship. The Cubs that year were the defending NL East champions, but they had dropped to ten games behind the Mets on this day after a loss at Shea Stadium. Yes, the Cubs were in the NL East back then.

For more of this story and other Chicago sports essays, visit chicagosidesports.com.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)

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