Reacting to the death of fellow New Jersey native James Gandolfini, Bruce Springsteen played the entire Born to Run album at his Thursday night show in Coventry, England, which is located near Birmingham.
The rocker dedicated the iconic album to his “great friend” and let the music do the talking, according to Bruce Springsteen news.
Other reports from the show note that 11 songs into the concert, Springsteen told the crowd the band would play its famed 1975 album in its entirety before starting “Thunder Road,” the first track on side one and continuing from there in order.
Springsteen played six encores, including “Born in the U.S.A.” and “We Are Alive” for the crowd of more than 32,000.
The concert lasted more than three hours and included a total of 30 songs, long even by the Boss’ standards.
Springsteen’s guitarist Steven Van Zandt co-starred with Gandolfini on HBO’s The Sopranos.
“I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time,” tweeted the guitarist Wednesday night. “Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily and all of Jimmy’s family.”
Gandolfini’s death sent shock waves throughout his home state of New Jersey and the Hollywood community.
Actor Steve Schirripa, best known as Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos, expressed his grief in a statement: “Jimmy was a dear friend and like a brother to me. He was a great actor and a great father. I will miss him terribly. I am very sad.”
Matt Pinfield, MTV VJ and producer of 120 Minutes, paid tribute to the actor on Facebook. Gandolfini used to frequent the New Brunswick club The Melody while a student at Rutgers University.
“Sorry to hear James Gandolfini died,” wrote Pinfield. “He was a Rutgers guy and a Melody regular in the early days. Not to forget his acting ability. Sad day.”
Sopranos blogger Soprano Sue Sadik, administrator of sopranosuessightings.com, expressed her sympathies for the 51-year-old actor.
“Last time I saw Jimmy, he shouted out … ‘Hey! Soprano Sue!’ I just looked at him and deadpanned him, ‘Soprano Sue died when the show ended,’ ” she said. “He just gave me a thoughtful look and said, ‘Yeah, same with Tony Soprano.’ My deepest sympathy is extended to his family and friends on their unexpected lost. The state of New Jersey lost an extremely talented son.”
New Jersey radio station NJ101.5 took calls from grieving fans all night long, and even asked if Gov. Chris Christie should lower the flags like he did for Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons and singer Whitney Houston after their untimely passing.
A call to the governor’s office indicated that a decision has not been made as of Thursday afternoon, but Christie offered his sympathies on Twitter the night the actor died.
“I have gotten to know Jimmy & many of the other actors in the Sopranos cast & I can say that each of them are an individual NJ treasure,” he tweeted. “Mary Pat & I express our deepest sympathies to Mr. Gandolfini’s wife & children, and our prayers are with them at this terrible time.”