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Bruce Springsteen Rocking the Wall


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I have been reading again Rocking the Wall: The Berlin Concert That Changed the World by Erik Kitschbaum. It details the concert in East Berlin by Bruce and the E Street Band in the summer of 1988 that in some small way may have had a part in bringing down the Wall and ending dictatorship and bringing freedom of speech. 

Let us not forget that autocracy and censorship is not unknown. Even today.

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37 minutes ago, badlands78 said:

Folks rave about the Darkness and River tours :rolleyes:, but the Tunnel Of Love tour brought down the effing Berlin Wall baby!

The Tunnel Of Love tour is criminally underrated!

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The most accredited theory is that he spoke German so bad on that intro, that the wall collapsed... ;)

 

(A solid contender to this theory is that, during the concert, news spread that at the West Germany shows you could also have beer).

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1 hour ago, Marnix said:

Still hoping that this show will be released as archive show. This is truly an essential Springsteen show

I hope so, for its historical value.

However as I understand it, back in 1988 it still required a mobile recording truck to properly record shows. Getting such equipment into East Berlin at the time probably would have been more hassle than it was worth. The video that exists is from East German TV and nothing to do with Bruce, so doesn't evidence the existence of a proper recording.

I hope it was recorded, and that it gets released, but I'm keeping my hopes in check.

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6 hours ago, 1651997 said:

The Tunnel Of Love tour is criminally underrated!

Is it really?

It probably was, one reason for this the very standard setlists on the U.S.A. leg, but not anymore I would say.

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6 hours ago, 1651997 said:

The Tunnel Of Love tour is criminally underrated!

From the positive commentary around this board about it, I'm not sure this is the case.

But if it is, the Archive series is surely addressing that. Some of the best releases so far are those TOL tour shows.

That Stockholm 88 show encore is my favourite encore segment of any show. Just when you think it's peaked and done, Bruce and the band double down and raise it another level. It's incredible

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The TOL express tour was extraordinary, and Bruce showed tons of balls. He could have easily repeated the Born in the USA rock show format which had become his superstar signature. Instead, he presented a different sound, a different voice, and an extremely courageous setlist. To some extent, it had the brave elements that his most recent stadium tours lacked.

I think fans don’t talk very fondly about that tour because it was rather short (so fewer people could actually see it), and because it is indirectly connected to the break up of the E Street Band.

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Frank said:

The TOL express tour was extraordinary, and Bruce showed tons of balls. He could have easily repeated the Born in the USA rock show format which had become his superstar signature. Instead, he presented a different sound, a different voice (to some extent), and an extremely courageous setlist. To some extent, it the brave elements that his most recent E Street (stadium) tours lacked.

I think fans don’t talk very fondly about that tour because it was rather short, and because it is connected to the break up of the E Street band.

 

 

 

It must've been interesting for long time fans. Yes, the warhorses were either gone or rearranged, yet suddenly you had obscure tracks like Be True and Roulette as setlist mainstays. Not to mention, straight out of the studio outtake bootleg territory, the rockabilly version of You Can Look.

Then in the second set, a nod back to the Darkness tour with the extended She's The One and then unreleased material such as Part Man, Light Of Day, and the oldie re-write I'm A Coward.

Certainly, Bruce as artist more than Bruce as commodity and pretty gutsy for someone who could've easily fallen into the easy cash in at this point

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3 hours ago, Frank said:

The TOL express tour was extraordinary, and Bruce showed tons of balls. He could have easily repeated the Born in the USA rock show format which had become his superstar signature. Instead, he presented a different sound, a different voice, and an extremely courageous setlist. To some extent, it had the brave elements that his most recent stadium tours lacked.

I think the 1988 U.S. leg was extraordinary and all the things you mentioned.  And that is the leg that is underrated.

But unfortunately I think the remainder of the tour slid back into that “Boss mode” format, reminiscent of the BITUSA superstar mode.  Stockholm 7/3/88 is an example.  “Downbound Train”, “Because The Night”, “Bobby Jean”, and “Cadillac Ranch” (to name a few from Stockholm), as well as “Badlands” and “Out In The Street” from other European 88 shows to my ear really bloat the show with old warhorses and lose focus in a way that wasn’t present in the first leg of the tour.

This pattern of a focused first tour leg followed by a final tour leg with longer setlists of more warhorses and standbys and less of the original theme would continue to plague subsequent Bruce tours (i.e. Magic).

I’d go so far to say that Stockholm 88 is overrated as a representation of the TOL tour, despite having a special place in many people’s hearts as their first Bruce broadcast show.

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2 hours ago, badlands78 said:

I think the 1988 U.S. leg was extraordinary and all the things you mentioned.  And that is the leg that is underrated.

But unfortunately I think the remainder of the tour slid back into that “Boss mode” format, reminiscent of the BITUSA superstar mode.  Stockholm 7/3/88 is an example.  “Downbound Train”, “Because The Night”, “Bobby Jean”, and “Cadillac Ranch” (to name a few from Stockholm), as well as “Badlands” and “Out In The Street” from other European 88 shows to my ear really bloat the show with old warhorses and lose focus in a way that wasn’t present in the first leg of the tour.

This pattern of a focused first tour leg followed by a final tour leg with longer setlists of more warhorses and standbys and less of the original theme would continue to plague subsequent Bruce tours (i.e. Rising, Magic).

I’d go so far to say that Stockholm 88 is overrated as a representation of the TOL tour, despite having a special place in many people’s hearts as their first Bruce broadcast show.

 

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2 hours ago, badlands78 said:

“Out In The Street” from other European 88 shows 

If it goes to nitpickin', Out In The Street was only played at the show in East Berlin, which had a different setlist especially for the occasion, with only 3 Tunnel songs. A better example of the 'nail in the coffin'  could be the fact Born To Run was no longer played acoustic but full band at the end of the tour (the last 3 shows).

This does not mean I disagree with your post, at least part of it; especially the part about the Magic Tour (and Rising too; and even Wrecking Ball 2012 versus 2013; but the real 'focus' was already a bit lost after the first U.S.A. leg of the WB Tour (which had, again, short setlists focused on the new album)).

Stockholm overrated? That is almost impossible. But the setlist a good representation of a regular Tunnel show? Not really (which is exactly what you said). But then you could also say Nassau 31.12.1980 is overrated because the setlist of that show is not a good representation of a regular River Tour show. Or say the Boston 1977 shows are overrated because they are not a good representation of a regular 1977 show (there were some songs -Incident On 57th Street among them- whose only 1977 performances were at the Boston shows).

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6 hours ago, Lampi said:

Is it really?

It probably was, one reason for this the very standard setlists on the U.S.A. leg, but not anymore I would say.

6 hours ago, Bosstralian said:

From the positive commentary around this board about it, I'm not sure this is the case.

But if it is, the Archive series is surely addressing that. Some of the best releases so far are those TOL tour shows.

That Stockholm 88 show encore is my favourite encore segment of any show. Just when you think it's peaked and done, Bruce and the band double down and raise it another level. It's incredible

Yeah, I think it is. And a bit polarizing between fans. When Detroit was released earlier this year the reaction was pretty good for some, but others dismissed it immediately for having the same "boring" setlist (besides 'Walk Like A Man' that is). That has been the case all along regarding the TOL Tour!

And I do agree and believe that the tour was more underrated a few years ago and now it has some sort of bigger appreciation, but even now I still think it is a bit underrated. And I'm with you, the encore on the Stockholm show is one of my top Bruce moments ever!

But I don't know, I just get the sense that people still don't see it as absolute peak Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, both performance and theme, which is the way I see it, without a doubt.

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5 minutes ago, 1651997 said:

absolute peak Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, both performance and theme, 

Yes, as a band they were probably at their peak in 1988, with the first set in Stockholm, the radio broadcast, their finest hour, playing to their largest audience ever.

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34 minutes ago, Lampi said:

Stockholm overrated? That is almost impossible. But the setlist a good representation of a regular Tunnel show? Not really (which is exactly what you said). But then you could also say Nassau 31.12.1980 is overrated because the setlist of that show is not a good representation of a regular River Tour show. Or say the Boston 1977 shows are overrated because they are not a good representation of a regular 1977 show (there were some songs -Incident On 57th Street among them- whose only 1977 performances were at the Boston shows).

Yeah I’d say Stockholm 7/3/88 is overrated as a TOL show, but it still kills as a rock and roll show in the general sense.  Hell it’s 80s Bruce, and with few exceptions it doesn’t get any better from a musical ability standpoint.

You raise an interesting point on The River tour, particularly 12/31/80.  I think The River tour represents an inverted pattern to what I described earlier.  The 1980 shows were on average longer and less focused, while the 1981 shows were tighter.

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36 minutes ago, badlands78 said:

The 1980 shows were on average longer and less focused, while the 1981 shows were tighter.

That is true. Also because of the introduction of songs like Who'll Stop The Rain and This Land Is Your Land in the setlist; and later on Follow That Dream, Run Through The Jungle, Johnny Bye Bye, Trapped. BTW this showing how important covers are, maybe better: were, in Bruce Springsteen shows ('were' indeed; before they were only played 'to stump the band'). (with some exceptions, like Stayin' Alive).

Also with moving The Ties That Bind, which seemed a litte bit 'lost' in the second set in 1980, to the first set; and Racing In The Street from the first to the second set, leading to the greatest performances ever of Racing In The Street (in 1981).

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