I'm so grateful that this show has been officially released.
March 20th, 2008 was a special night, and I thought that the following would be worth a post today...
"While my Dad was going through treatment on March 19th in NY, he was visited by Bruce and later Max, who, through a lot of talking, bribing, and begging (and finally the kicker -- Becky Weinburg, who came from NJ by boat that night) to persuade him to play, he agreed to do the show in Indy. The next thing we knew, we where picked up by a limo from Sloan-Kettering, joined by my dad's wife, Maya, Dr. Chapman and Virgina Murphy and we proceeded down the FDR highway to an awaiting helicopter that whisked us away to Newark airport in about 8 minutes (a good time by all, except maybe Dr. Chapman who was gripping the arm rests like a baseball bat). Before we knew it, we were in the jet with the boys. Danny was greeted with a lot of hugs and smiles, to say the least. An hour and a half later, we pulled into Conseco arena. When my father stepped on stage the crowd started chanting "Danny! Danny! Danny!". You could physically feel the "Magic" in the air (excuse the pun). My father proceeded to do what he does best - rock out! He played with such a natural ease. The feeling of the evening was electric. The visible bond between the fellas was so special to watch. Nils spent most of the night next to him, Clarence kept turning around to give him props during the night, and Bruce was so visibly happy to have him there. I couldn't stop smiling all night. After the exciting encore, he left the stage, went straight to the car, then to the plane, and was fast asleep in NY by 2am. It really was like a dream. In the morning, over coffee, we looked at each other and realized the magnitude of the night. It was a great day! My father has always been such an inspiration to me, I can only imagine what an inspiration he is to others."
by Jason Federici
Danny's appearance with the Band made this a special show, and the setlist speaks for itself. At the time I had no idea just how ill he was and that we had seen him for the final time on stage. The man was a wonder.
A few notes from my write up the day after:
Wow, what a night. The Chicago show I saw on 10/21 just got buried under the blistering performance that Bruce and the Band put on at Conseco. The new material worked much better for me and some key changes were made to the setlist. Call it addition by subtraction. Danny was back on stage last night and his presence lifted the whole Band, Bruce especially. I was in Section 18, stage left, about 12 rows off the floor and the moment when Danny came out and was introduced before "The Promised Land" will stand as one of the great emotional high points for me after 41 shows. The performance took off like a rocket from that moment and we were treated to plenty of gems throughout the night. And it must be said once again: NOBODY works a crowd like Bruce Springsteen.
**Promised Land - Danny's first song of the night and appropriately so. What an emotional affirmation.
**Spirit - Unreal. Danny was really shining as Bruce went "old-school" on us. Before going into the bridge Bruce placed the heel of his right boot on one of the monitors and stretched out his leg in preparation for the kicks he did in time with Max's snare/cymbal crashes.
**Sandy - Wow, another first for me. Bruce says they “can't let Danny go without playing this one”, and his acoustic sealed it. Danny comes down front as he and the Band play a gorgeous, hearfelt version.
**Backstreets/Kitty's Back - Unbelievable 1-2 punch to start the encores and this was all about Danny. Nils made a point to hang out on Danny's riser on a couple of occasions and during "Kitty" Bruce went over to Danny and said "Go man, go!" during Danny's solo. Bruce was grinning ear to ear in front of Danny and in a sweet gesture smacked the side of the B-3 before heading back to his mic, as if to say, "I can't pat you on the back Dan, but we're all so glad you're here with us tonight". "Kitty" rocked and swung, and Bruce wailed on his solo.