This is the land of wonder: The Boss
South African fans and musicians got exactly what they asked for - The Boss came all the way to South Africa for his first performance in this country.
Bruce Springsteen treated fans to the first of his four sell-out South African shows in Cape Town last night to mark the start of his world tour to promote his High Hopes album. The album reached No1 in 17 countries this week.
While fans queued outside the Bellville Velodrome, Springsteen, dressed in his signature understated style - tight black T-shirt, black jeans, with a six-pack and swimmer's shoulders rippling under the shirt - rehearsed with his renowned E Street band.
"I love being back in Africa," he said.
In 1988 he played in the Human Rights Now concert, in Harare, with Sting, Tracy Chapman, Youssou N'dour and Peter Gabriel.
"It was one of the most memorable shows of my life.
"My kids are all grown up and I got letters from South African fans and musicians asking us to come," he said.
"We wanted to put on a good show and entertain people and, by chance, we stumbled onto a crossroad in history: the mourning for Mandela."
Springsteen spoke about his great respect for Nelson Mandela. "Having a black president was something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime. But you had a black president who spent 27 years in prison, came out and became president. That is incredible."
Springsteen laughed when his first concert in South Africa was called historic. "It's not historic," he said.
"You guys have too much history here. Eventful maybe, but not historic," he said.
He called South Africa a "miracle", commenting that he would not have expected it after his visit to Harare 26 years ago.
"It's been an incredible change," he said.
About his new album, High Hopes, a mixture of unreleased songs that he's been performing live for the past decade, and a few covers, Springsteen said: "When you're my age, there are no rules.
"I perform what I like to perform and hope my fans enjoy it."