Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bruce & the Band

Last night I attended the sold-out performance of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. This is my 7th time seeing Springsteen and it never gets old. I try to figure out why I have the affinity I have for Springsteen. There are long stretches when he is all I will listen to. I never get tired of the catalog and the new material from The Rising and Magic still tell compelling stories backed by the best house band in the world. He and I went through divorces at the same time, had kids the same time and I went through many of life's lessons with his songs as a voice for my feelings and as an outlet for my angst that I couldn't express myself. My wife calls it a man-crush, but I disagree with that. He was kind of like the big brother I never had who passed his advice and experience down to me through song. Bruce and the Band don't know it, but they're family!

His shows are legendary and I know I don't have to go into that with everyone. I saw the band for the first time in Washington, DC during the Born in the USA tour and then subsequent tours with the E Streeters, the 'new band' for Human Touch and Lucky Town, the solo tour, the reunion tour, the Rising Tour...well, you get the picture. All the shows are unique and have their own energy levels and to try and compare them is useless. I know folks say that this show didn't stack up to that show, etc., but I enjoy each performance on it's own. I don't judge, I just enjoy the music that has spoken to me for decades in the unique way they choose to present it to me on any given evening.

Highlights for me last night were several songs I had never heard played live before: Night, She's the One and an absolutely haunting version of Incident on 57th Street. The material from Magic was tight, especially Gypsy Biker and Devil's Arcade. Magic was standout with Soozie standing in for Patty ("It's a teenager thing", Bruce explaining Patty's absence for the kids). Girls in Their Summer Clothes kicked off a searing encore and it was nice to see how many of the 19,000 there knew the words!

Here is the complete setlist from For those of you that enjoy Bruce and the Band and you don't know this site, you need to check it out: updated setlists, concert dates, news bits on Bruce, the Band and the entire Jersey band scene. There is even a ticket exchange for fans that need tickets to a show. The only caveat to the exchange is that there is positively NO SCALPING. They do a great job and produce a wonderful magazine.

Radio Nowhere
No Surrender
Lonesome Day
Gypsy Biker
Reason to Believe
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
Your Own Worst Enemy
Incident on 57th Street
Working on the Highway
Devil's Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
* * *
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Thunder Road
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
American Land

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