This may be slightly embarrassing at this point .... But it was written while i was still "in the moment" ....Probably at least the third time i have posted it.
One comment. The River was such a "Clarence" album ..... he was all over it. The 2009 River show had Clarence. A Diminished Clarence for Sure...But still the one and only Big Man. I have often wished Bruce had done this show when Danny were still alive as well. I sometimes wonder how much Mortality brought on the Nostalgia ? ..... Still my 2nd favorite show after 12/31/80. How the hell is it a decade ?
And now for the "ahem" Reprint.
How do you put into words a concert you waited 29 years for and had sadly decided would never come.
To be honest , I can’t.
I can usually be a little analytical. Not for this show.
I assumed that when Bruce opened with Wrecking Ball we would get the usual 3 or 4 songs that have preceded the other albums.
Wrong . When Bruce said “ We are going to get right to work “ I was …quite honestly ….after waiting 29 years ….not quite ready.
Because every second of every song meant I was one step closer to the end of my impossible dream.
I was also a little more in the moment than I typically am after having seen so many shows. Apparently Dancing Jumping and screaming lyrics at the top of your lungs can play havoc on your recollection of details…
Before I start I did want to eat a little Greasy Lake crow …now I won’t admit to being flat out wrong for 30 years. I’ll credit it to arena acoustics. But it was on the mid tempo and slower songs where Roy really comes out in the mix. So I’m officially apologizing for all the needless shots I’ve taken at “ Drive All Night “ on these pages. I will never love the studio version , but live this was magnificent. A strong contender for song of the night. Didn’t really see that coming.
Anyway ….Random thoughts:
The Ties That Bind- Oh my god we are underway …. I just can’t believe it. I forgot how good these lyrics are. First moment of absolute E Street Band euphoria was the middle break of “ I’d Rather feel the hurt inside “ . When Clarence kicked in and absolutely NAILED the solo it came close to equaling any recent Bruce high. That’s something special. That absolute audience worship and appreciation of the Big Man.
Sherry Darling- Bruce sold it. I was too out of my skull with joy. Felt like it lasted a minute.
Two Hearts- My first dilemma of the night. Everything on these album shows has been so faithful to the album and this is a huge favorite. But the hell with authentic … I wanted my “ It Takes Two “ ….There was a moment of doubt ….But we got it …and it was great.
Independence Day- Needs a longer coda. I could deal with an almost Racing-esque coda on this one. Did not get it.
Out In The Street- An extended vocal segment from Clarence when Bruce walked over to him for the “ Meet Me Out In The Street “ segment. You had to be touched.
Crush On You !!!!!!!!!!!- The Hidden Masterpiece of The River. Yeah that’s right. Say that out loud and be proud. Chuck Berry was known almost as much for his lyrics and the internal rhythm of his brilliant lyrics as his groundbreaking music. And that’s what my wife emphasized on this last night. Fun words with great rhymes and fabulous cadence. Pull out the lyric sheet and recite these babys and tell me you don’t smile. A miracle.
You Can Look- Oh my god … that’s it….the greatest 10 songs in the history of recorded music are over already ….shit …
I Wanna Marry You- I just think this song is so lovely. Corny sure. But lovely. And a chance to really hear the two keyboardists. And it made me SO happy to watch Bruce and Patti dance at the end. I was genuinely moved. All the happiness the mans music has brought into my life, I love to see him happy.
The River- One of the greatest songs ever written. It did not disappoint.
Cadillac Ranch – First time since August 17th 1984. I never wanted it to end. Maybe a little slow …but Clarence’s solo was perfect and extended.
I’m A Rocker- Time to dance and sing.
Fade Away- An oh my god moment. A song I don’t generally seek out. Not sure why but the idea of a guy having his heart ripped out and stomped on by the woman he still loves saddens me a little. But this is a song that you need to sit down for and just let the indescribable beauty of the E Street Band wash over you. It sure did last night.
The Price You Pay- How did this go away for 30 years ? This was the E Street Band in all their power majesty and beauty wrapped into another lost classic.
Drive All Night- Mea Culpa. You were all right and I was wrong. As my musician friend said….Its in the build….and boy does this baby build.
Wreck On The Highway- I just love this song. It moves me.
Thanks Bruce for taking that old piece of plastic on my music shelf and turning it into a living breathing musical masterpiece one more time. For the people who wondered about the pacing … for a guy who was old and tired ….the pacing worked incredibly well ….So many rockers early …. Some beautiful ballads ….and then the classic encore.
WOASD- Well now I know how you all felt with the Jungleland WOASD segue. It is kind of jarring. But it’s a crowd pleaser …and they are playing it so well.
Atlantic City, Badlands, BTR and No Surrender- The Garden just has better acoustics than other arenas. I have no idea why. These were all amongst the best versions ive ever heard.
7 Nights To Rock- Now THIS is what I’m talking about. No …its not my long lost ( forever apparently ) Detroit Medley. But in their present forms …this is actually better. Why ? Very simple ….Roy gets to play that boogie woogie piano that he used to get to play during the instrumental break of the medley. And I was dancing with very little regard to my own safety … twisting at the top of the arena like I was 20 again. This moment ….where I just totally lose myself is what I don’t get at every Bruce show now. Bobby Jean just doesn’t do what a song like this does.
Sweet Soul Music- Oh my god ….all these years after missing TOL. I had now gotten what I came for. The River ..and the great great rock n roll encore.
American Land- Not 7 Nights To Rock. But my 6th AL since it premiered at the Garden in June 2006. And it still makes me dance.
DITD- Took the opportunity to text my son and then just watch all the ecstatic faces around me.
Higher and Higher- What a great closer. And maybe a quick glimpse of the future. And if it is ….count me in. I would of course have chosen Twist And Shout , but watching my wife dancing and singing … I was wrong .
A quick note on Saturday … I personally thought the sound was a 9 Saturday and maybe 7.5 Sunday pushing 8.5-9 on the less loud songs. But that have been my second show fatigue talking …because I asked my wife, who did not go Saturday and she said “ close to 10 “ ….After SPAC was a 4. And I got to hear a full awesome “ Raise Your Hand” …oh and a little number called “ Incident On 57th Street” …. This was a great great way to wrap up these incredible two year of Bruce.