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What is your favorite (live) opening song?


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A couple of.other great ones I witnessed was:

Double Shot of Baby's Love in Charleston, SC 2008 and The Iceman in Charlotte 2014.  Both great openers. 

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Some classic opening songs from the Bruce Springsteen & The ESB live history are not mentioned yet (because everyone mentions opening songs from personal experiences, and nothing wrong with that): Thunder Road acoustic opening 1975, Badlands in 1978.

As I mentioned only a few days ago in another topic, my personal favourite from my own Bruce live history (which is only 14 shows): The Ghost of Tom Joad in Rotterdam 1996. Pure magic.

Some personal favourites from Bruce Springsteen & The ESB live history: Night in 1976 and 1977; the slow opening songs in Europe 1981: Follow That Dream, Factory and Run Through The Jungle.

The personal live history and the general live history meet in Tunnel Of Love, as the first Bruce Springsteen (& The ESB) song I ever heard live (followed by Boom Boom! Wow!) and as a very great opening song, with the 1988 live versions with the long instrumental introduction blowing the studio version right out of the water [not that the studio version is bad, of course), and also setting the theme for which was to follow on Bruce Springsteen's and the ESB best tour except one (Everything was better in 1978 and 1988!).

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7 hours ago, BossfanNL said:

As I only became a fan in 2020 I have never seen Bruce live unfortunately, but this show is one of my absolute favorites from the archive series! 

Faith will be rewarded @BossfanNL

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Badlands from winterland because for me everything starts with winterland (and no i wasn't there)

Badlands 

Badlands 

Badlands should open every show 

However Honorable mention to MMITCT

 

As far as gimmicky local covers go Lord's Royals was pretty out there and most enjoyable

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46 minutes ago, Lampi said:

The Glory Days doc from 1987 had some (part of) songs of Los Angeles 1985, including the song Born In The U.S.A.; also Growin' Up with the bear story. Individual songs can easily be found on YouTube, as is the whole documentary which is still interesting to watch after all those years.

Also Toronto 1984 (only second set and encores).

Maybe a little bit strange that, in absence of the long-awaited BUSA Box, there seems not to be that much more (at least in good quality).

But all 4 Los Angeles 1985 shows were filmed and it is coming, in the generally expected not-so-far-away future.

 

I forgot I do have Toronto 1984, but for some reason haven't watched it yet. Will rectify that on short notice! I will look for that documentary on YouTube, sounds very interesting.  

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25 minutes ago, muscum said:

Born To Run.  I don't think I've seen any other artist starting a show with their signature tune. This made a jaw-dropping from the first note

As a big Elvis Presley fan I can tell you he started many shows in the '70s with 'That's All Right, Mama', which was his first professional  recorded song and first single. Also, in the '50s many shows started with 'Heartbreak Hotel', his first #1 hit. 

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11 minutes ago, Lampi said:

Some classic opening songs from the Bruce Springsteen & The ESB live history are not mentioned yet (because everyone mentions opening songs from personal experiences, and nothing wrong with that): Thunder Road acoustic opening 1975, Badlands in 1978.

As I mentioned only a few days ago in another topic, my personal favourite from my own Bruce live history (which is only 14 shows): The Ghost of Tom Joad in Rotterdam 1996. Pure magic.

Some personal favourites from Bruce Springsteen & The ESB live history: Night in 1976 and 1977; the slow opening songs in Europe 1981: Follow That Dream, Factory and Run Through The Jungle.

The personal live history and the general live history meet in Tunnel Of Love, as the first Bruce Springsteen (& The ESB) song I ever heard live (followed by Boom Boom! Wow!) and as a very great opening song, with the 1988 live versions with the long instrumental introduction blowing the studio version right out of the water [not that the studio version is bad, of course), and also setting the theme for which was to follow on Bruce Springsteen's and the ESB best tour except one (Everything was better in 1978 and 1988!).

'Night' is indeed a wonderful opener too and it could have easily made the list in my opening post. 'Tunnel Of Love' is a great opener, but for me does not evoke the excitement of other songs. That's what's so great about Bruce's music, there really is something for everybody. Thank you for your elaborate reply. Appreciated! 

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15 minutes ago, gus said:

New York Serenade. With nobody yakking. A dream.

I really like those opening versions of New York City Serenade. They're my favorite versions of this song.

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14 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

Badlands from winterland because for me everything starts with winterland (and no i wasn't there)

Badlands 

Badlands 

Badlands should open every show 

However Honorable mention to MMITCT

 

As far as gimmicky local covers go Lord's Royals was pretty out there and most enjoyable

Badlands '78 could have made my list too. I find especially the version from September 19th, 1978 exciting. In later years it 'lacks' a bit of 'rawness' for me though. 

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New York City Serenade is a remarkable opener and is probably my favorite thing ever. Meet Me In the City Tonight was amazing. Roll of the Dice, Mohegan 2014 - absolutely perfect. Wrecking Ball for a handful of 2009 shows. Thundercrack to open the WIESS show at MSG! My Love Will Not Let You Down is as explosive as LINYC told me it would be. We Take Care of Our Own "American Badass!"

My favorite openers that I didn't get to experience in person are piano and violin Incident from the end of the WIESS tour, and Take Em As They Come (into The Ties That Bind!) from the Reunion tour. 

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12 minutes ago, HeroOfVirtue said:

New York City Serenade is a remarkable opener and is probably my favorite thing ever. Meet Me In the City Tonight was amazing. Roll of the Dice, Mohegan 2014 - absolutely perfect. Wrecking Ball for a handful of 2009 shows. Thundercrack to open the WIESS show at MSG! My Love Will Not Let You Down is as explosive as LINYC told me it would be. We Take Care of Our Own "American Badass!"

My favorite openers that I didn't get to experience in person are piano and violin Incident from the end of the WIESS tour, and Take Em As They Come (into The Ties That Bind!) from the Reunion tour. 

Excellent point regarding my love will not let you down !

NTSC still a sore point with me as it never crossed the ditch (Tasman sea) durring the summer 2017 tour 

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For me the best opening song is Born in the USA. I have watched the fan made videos recently of the BIUSA tour from 84 & 85 and it’s obviously featured several times and it shows just how big that song is and just got the crowd straight into the concert plus the way he stood there holding the guitar up, just iconic. 

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8 hours ago, Born To Walk said:

My favourite show opening was the last chorus of Twist & Shout followed by I Fought The Law in Dublin 2012. The first show after the infamous plug pull.

 

Fuck. I forgot all about that. Brilliant opener. Great show and great memories from that day. 

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I wish mine was more difficult .....But its easy ....Roll Of The Dice at Mohegan Sun in 2014....

Shows i wasn't are all those rock and roll killers he opened with in 1978..... Good Rockin' Tonight, Rave On, Summertime Blues, Oh Boy and High School Confidential

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1 hour ago, Early North Jersey said:

I wish mine was more difficult .....But its easy ....Roll Of The Dice at Mohegan Sun in 2014....

Shows i wasn't are all those rock and roll killers he opened with in 1978..... Good Rockin' Tonight, Rave On, Summertime Blues, Oh Boy and High School Confidential

Love High School Confidential. Great song by the Killer and Bruce. 

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1. Badlands all the way. No question.

2. Pleasantly surprised by the variation of answers on this thread. Pretty much all songs people commented are great openers, I just can't see anything opening an "ideal" Bruce show other than Badlands. Only exception may be Land Of Hope And Dreams. Just watch the Milan '13 video of that opening... was speechless after watching.

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1 minute ago, gsquare said:

The Rising was a great opener for that tour.

And Ghosts will be a fantastic opener at my next show. :)

This! I was going to write. .. the light behind Bruce, the song 'rises', certainly very emotional for me until this day.

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41 minutes ago, theseshadows said:

This! I was going to write. .. the light behind Bruce, the song 'rises', certainly very emotional for me until this day.

In my opinion it works best as opening song indeed, although I love all versions. 

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4 hours ago, gsquare said:

And Ghosts will be a fantastic opener at my next show. :)

I think Burnin Trian would be better. The build of the song- Bruce walks up right before the big drum kick and says "Lets Take a Ride" Boom. 

Kind of like what Jim Rotollo does to start his show on Friday evenings on ESR. 

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Yeah there have been a few gems across the 114 shows to date and several have been mentioned here already, (That 10th Ave in the Nou Camp, Incident at the piano in Paris and of course the start of most BiUSA tour shows) - but solo acoustic Independence Day ay Wembley 4/7/85 before launching in that was pretty cool also and Tunnel Of Love for my first Bruce in the USA shows in 1988 was a great opener on that tour. Backstreets to open night 4 of 5 in Boston in 1999 (what a week that was!) was terrific and I really liked when he opened one of the Earls Court shows with I Wanna Be With You bringing in several of the band by name - that was nice and then back to last time out at the Nou Camp Badlands is a damn fine way to open a show!, (the Purple Rain night!). The Thunder Road (just him and Roy) at Hyde Park wasn't bad either! ha!

I'm sure I will have forgetten something and YES, from very first hearing I've thought Ghosts surely has to open the show when they come back out - with the "is there anybody alive out there" battle cry at the end before going in to the next song!, (and I'll See You in My Dreams to close the night out / send us home!). 

P.S. My Love Will Not Let You Down - indoors in Barcelona - opening show of the Reunion Tour after the 11 year ESB hiatus - may not be up there with some of those other openers (as a "song") but the significance and the excitement and joy of that moment ranks alongside any of them!  Best "closing" song - Blood Brothers MSG, NYC final night of that tour - we did the opening 2 in Barcelona and the final 2 in New York and 30 others in the 15 months in between - 3 trips to the States for 14 shows in all and travels across Europe and of course UK........and it all came down to that Blood Brothers, on a night that earlier had seen that Lost in the Flood pulled out as a tour premiere!!     

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On 7/12/2021 at 12:53 PM, BossfanNL said:

- Meet Me In The City Tonight (again I'm amazed by the energy and fun while being played!)

Meet Me In City Tonight, this was a marvelous opening song for the 2016 indoor shows that nobody expected. Proof that the aged Springsteen is still able to take risks.

 

You are right, Good Rocking tonight in 1978 opening is one for the ages since the Springsteen is different from the 1954 Presley version which was again different from the original Roy Brown 1947 version. My favorite opening song is the classic from the pitch black stage "”Hello…..gimme some lights…are you ready to kick them summertime blues? …..gimme some echo….”" bridging at the end into Badlands

 

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