Friday night, the Charleston Music Hall may not have been packed, but it was by no means quiet. The legendary Bruce Springsteen came alive at the fundraiser to support the American College of the Building Arts — which graduated its first class of students this past May 2009. By their third song, the tribute band, the B Street Band, had the stage crawling with women screaming for hits like “Born to Run,” “Dancin’ in the Dark,” and “My Hometown.” Cougars danced in the aisles, rocked the tambourines, and tore up some serious air guitar. They were everywhere, practically upstaging us soon-to-be Cougars who were mostly there for the comedy, putting us to shame with their dance moves.

The sponsors spared no expense to support the college that, as they said, will save the future buildings of America. Three local comedians — Jason Groce, Dusty Slay, and Tim Hoeckel — offered their talents free of charge and warmed up the audience.

“I hadn’t even heard of the College of the Building Arts until this week!” joked Comedy Festival stand-up finalist Tim Hoeckel. He went on to say that he hadn’t known the old jail on Magazine Street housed a school even after living here many years — and many don’t realize that. This could explain the unwillingness of Charlestonians to cough up the original $20 ticket price to preserve the craftsman institution. Even after the price was cut in half, the theater wasn’t half full. But that didn’t stop devout comedy and Springsteen fans from emptying their pocketbooks midway through the night and singing the night away.

Surprise performer Margaret Durante stole the show, late night. Singing a cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” the rising country phenom could easily be the next Carrie Underwood contender. And we saw her first.