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10 years ago, 8 Nov 2009


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When this show was announced as a full album performance of The River there was no way I was going to miss it. My first show was Thanksgiving night at MSG on the original River tour, so this was an anniversary, a homecoming.

Fortunately scoring a single thru one of the fan exchanges I was able to experience this. Three decades later it was remarkable to be reminded of the power of that album. The later tour repeating that album endlessly may have diluted it, sadly. But that one-off 10 years ago was truly cathartic for me, a night I'll never forget. One of my personal top-5 shows.

2009-11-08 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK CITY, NY

Soundcheck: CRUSH ON YOU

WRECKING BALL (with Curt Ramm) / THE TIES THAT BIND / SHERRY DARLING / JACKSON CAGE / TWO HEARTS / INDEPENDENCE DAY / HUNGRY HEART / OUT IN THE STREET / CRUSH ON YOU / YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) / I WANNA MARRY YOU / THE RIVER / POINT BLANK / CADILLAC RANCH / I'M A ROCKER (with Curt Ramm) / FADE AWAY / STOLEN CAR / RAMROD / THE PRICE YOU PAY / DRIVE ALL NIGHT / WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY / WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY / ATLANTIC CITY / BADLANDS / BORN TO RUN / SEVEN NIGHTS TO ROCK / SWEET SOUL MUSIC (with Curt Ramm) / NO SURRENDER / AMERICAN LAND (with Curt Ramm) / DANCING IN THE DARK / CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE / (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER (with Curt Ramm)

The River is performed in its entirety and is a stunning performance. "Crush On You", "Stolen Car" and "Wreck On The Highway" are tour premieres, along with "Sweet Soul Music" and "Can't Help Falling In Love" - only the last will be played again on the tour. Only Working On A Dream Tour concert to not include the album's title song. Bruce repeats a line from "Cover Me" during the outro to "Point Blank". "Two Hearts" includes "It Takes Two" and "American Land" features a snippet of "Theme From Shaft" in the midsection. Curt Ramm plays trumpet on "Wrecking Ball", "I'm A Rocker", "Sweet Soul Music", "American Land", and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher". Final tour performances for "Sherry Darling", "Jackson Cage", "Independence Day", "Out In The Street", "The River", "Point Blank", "I'm A Rocker", "Fade Away", "The Price You Pay", "Drive All Night", "Atlantic City", and "Seven Nights To Rock". "Atlantic City", "Sweet Soul Music", and "Can't Help Falling In Love" are played by sign request.

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the full River show i was lucky enough to catch in Paris 2016 is certainly one of my top 5, even though i was never a big River album fan, and one of the reasons for this as discussed on another thread is the rarity that most of the album was ever played. 

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A wonderful night. Was fortunate to be there for this and for the great "Wild and Innocent" show the night before too. My first trip to New York, my last shows with Clarence. Unforgettable.

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Lucky enough to score a single tix that night, much like JimCT. My favorite album- and an honor to see the first time it was played fully though. At that moment in time, even Bruce was saying that was a one off thing and would NOT be happening again. 

Of course, we got the 2016 River album tour, so much for "NOT" be  happening. Was lucky enough to see him at Newark NJ for that 2016 show on 1/31 and later that summer, in Philadelphia in Sept 2016, where by that time, much of the River was no longer being played, but that was ok also. 

My only wish is that Elvis Costello, who was there for the encores on 11/7, the night before, was there on 11/8 also, but also, he was not. 

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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.  

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Early North Jersey said:

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.  

 

 

Thanks so much for that detailed review! For me, sitting in the middle of the 300s (but I was IN THE BUILDING!) and reliving my very first show was so special. By the time he got to Fade Away > TPYP > DAN > WOTH I was a blubbering mess. What that album meant to me when it came out, what that show meant to me then (anyone else remember the Bruce Juice containers WNEW handed out outside the arena in 1980?) is impossible to describe without tears. And so experiencing it again in the same building (but my seat in 1980 was better :() was completely cathartic.

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1 minute ago, JimCT said:

anyone else remember the Bruce Juice containers WNEW handed out outside the arena in 1980?)

Yes!  

As well as ‘Here’s your morning Bruce Juice!’ from WNEW as I was getting ready in the AM :) 

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48 minutes ago, JimCT said:

Thanks so much for that detailed review! For me, sitting in the middle of the 300s (but I was IN THE BUILDING!) and reliving my very first show was so special. By the time he got to Fade Away > TPYP > DAN > WOTH I was a blubbering mess. What that album meant to me when it came out, what that show meant to me then (anyone else remember the Bruce Juice containers WNEW handed out outside the arena in 1980?) is impossible to describe without tears. And so experiencing it again in the same building (but my seat in 1980 was better :() was completely cathartic.

 

43 minutes ago, rosiejaneymary said:

Yes!  

As well as ‘Here’s your morning Bruce Juice!’ from WNEW as I was getting ready in the AM :) 

 

Image result for bruce juice wnew

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1 hour ago, JimCT said:

Thanks so much for that detailed review! For me, sitting in the middle of the 300s (but I was IN THE BUILDING!) and reliving my very first show was so special. By the time he got to Fade Away > TPYP > DAN > WOTH I was a blubbering mess. What that album meant to me when it came out, what that show meant to me then (anyone else remember the Bruce Juice containers WNEW handed out outside the arena in 1980?) is impossible to describe without tears. And so experiencing it again in the same building (but my seat in 1980 was better :() was completely cathartic.

My Memories of 1980 aren't what i wish they were. I have a vague recollection of a beautiful moment at my first Bruce show of holding my girlfriends hand ( now my wife of 37 years ) and just feeling this beautiful moment. It was not played on New Years Eve and at some point i went back to judging it strictly on the studio version which i still don't listen to.

But that night in 2009...with the two sax solos ..... I had an epiphany. All those garage rockers that lifted me up like a double espresso when i needed it for all those years were loud and raucous and mushy and fun that night.

But Drive All Night was what makes a Bruce show not just another rock show..... It was transcendent.

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1 hour ago, Early North Jersey said:

But Drive All Night was what makes a Bruce show not just another rock show..... It was transcendent.

It took me a very, very long time to appreciate DAN.   

In the past, when I’d hear it live I would simply look around for someone getting ‘their’ song and focus on their joy. 

Then at the River show (number 2 of 6 River ‘16 shows) at Prudential in 2016 that sentiment changed.  

IDK exactly what happened, but at some point during the song I said to myself, ‘wow, this really is beautiful,’ and actually began to enjoy it for myself, rather than for someone else. 

I still don’t listen to it on the album, and truth be told it’s still not one I hope to hear live.  

But I do appreciate it a lot more, and understand why so many people love it as they do.  

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1 hour ago, Early North Jersey said:

 

But Drive All Night was what makes a Bruce show not just another rock show..... It was transcendent.

wise words - one of the 3 approved grown men crying songs - 2 of which were played that weekend

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one of, if not the best thing about greasylake is how real people - our friends - become  part of the folk law surrounding an album and for me get absorbed into the album's greater story

im so glad @Early North Jersey got to go to this first river album show 

when i listen to Mr Nuggs i imangine i can hear all my friends Bruuuuucing - except im not imangining it as he was really there 

i will never tire of listening to your love of the river 

 

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49 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

one of, if not the best thing about greasylake is how real people - our friends - become  part of the folk law surrounding an album and for me get absorbed into the album's greater story

im so glad @Early North Jersey got to go to this first river album show 

when i listen to Mr Nuggs i imangine i can hear all my friends Bruuuuucing - except im not imangining it as he was really there 

i will never tire of listening to your love of the river 

 

I know exactly what you mean Daisey ..... it was Andrews quest to finally hear Full Band Incident that made the Setlist visions so much fun when i knew he was there ....and so happy when he finally got it.  And made me appreciate it even more when i finally did hear it. :)

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15 minutes ago, Early North Jersey said:

I know exactly what you mean Daisey ..... it was Andrews quest to finally hear Full Band Incident that made the Setlist visions so much fun when i knew he was there ....and so happy when he finally got it.  And made me appreciate it even more when i finally did hear it. :)

i wish i had been doing SLV from the time i joined the lake but i only really jumped on board durring high hopes 

its so much fun to be hanging out as the show is going on, i never really got it from just reading the odd post 

 

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