2002-08-12, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

The Rising Tour
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Approximately 2 hours, 25 minutes.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Ed Chonko wrote: With extreme luck, I got last minute tickets to the Garden show. The best part was the tix came with backstage passes (a first for me). Nils and Soozie were the only E-Streeters that I saw. However, a lot of celebs were on hand - Steven Spielberg, Furio from the Sopranos, Mick Foley (WWF's Mankind) and David Wells from the Yankees (I heard Jason Giambi and Ron Coomer were on hand as well, but I didn't see them).

My friend and I were the last two people (other than employees) to get kicked out from back stage at the end of the night.

The show was awesome! Mary's Place is the new Rosalita and Waiting on a Sunny Day is the new Hungry Heart.

One thing I did find interesting, is that the same fans that gave a huge cheer for the line in Empty Sky "I want an eye for an eye", are the same people that cheer the Born in the USA.

I was disappointed the set did not include "Let's Be Friends", one of my early favorites from the new album.
"American Skin", "Darkness" and "The Promised Land" fit in well with the set. However, as much as I love "Born to Run", it didn't seem appropriate for this tour.

The only downside was the "short" 2 1/2 hour show. I guess was spoiled all of these years - most notably the 5 hour Marathon at the Meadowlands benefit at the end of the 92-93 tour, which reunited the E Streeters with Bruce's touring band, along with other guests (still my favorite show).

All in all, a great show.

Terry Davies wrote: Did the GA routine - wound up against the stage in front of Clarence, surrounded by some very cool people. Everybody seemed to know the drill - he was going to play the new album and a couple hits. Glad everyone knew going in - no Rosie chants from front left. The new songs were so much better live - the CD seemed like a dry, academic work as we listened to it in the car ride home. It was a great experience.

Crowd roared for "I want an eye for an eye" from "Empty Sky" - it may not be PC, but the anger was palpable.
Bruce really said nothing except for "NY how ya been - I've been thinking about you." "Into the Fire" made several people choking back the tears. Notice how he is not playing at all in the first 2/3's of September? No doubt he will be doing what he can - which is always above and beyond the call.

Last September we had Bruce - we leaned on him - "Blood Bros" "No Surrender" "We Shall Overcome" "Forever Young" w/Dylan and a mediocre, muffled boot of "Further on up the Road" were on a CD that got played over and over - songs that remember the people not events. I can't wait to hear him sing those again.

Philly Clete wrote: Great expectations always go along with a MSG show. Bruce did not disappoint. After greeting everyone with "Good Evening, NY" he added, "I've been thinking about you."

The third show of the tour showed continued improvement in the tightness of the performance. Just as in Washington, the crowd was wildly enthusiastic, which reflected back again from Bruce. The songs from "The Rising" are just great. I think that it is a real treat to be able to hear the songs live with the band so soon after the release of the cd. Bruce's approach to getting the crowd to be quiet during the "shut the hell up" set of "Empty Sky" and "Missing You" was, "Shut up you bastards!" It didn't work too well. Of note to me was the cheering from much of the crowd when the phrase "I want an eye for an eye" was uttered during "Empty Sky" (This reaction didn't take place in Washington or at the Meadowlands). The arena was deafening during "Badlands", and that was a definite highlight. The same exact setlist as Washington (sticking with a winner, I guess). Bruce's voice is really showing signs of strain (he could barely talk during his mini-speech before BITUSA). Somehow, he made it through the show with the intensity displayed two nights before. I loved this show, which was on a par with Washington.

"lynnbb" wrote: OK, everyone, here goes (remember we old folks tend to have a lack of short term memory, so pardon me in advance if I leave something out):

FIRST - the band looked GREAT, especially Bruce (in a dark blue shirt with some kind of star pattern on it) (and if all 52year olds looked as good as he does, there would peace in the world -- please refer to the estrogen thread that follows this one); Clarence has lost a TON of weight (see note re Mary's place below), and everyone looks pretty darned good (does Max EVER sweat?)

SECOND (this may belong in the estrogen thread that follows this, so I'll post there, too): did anyone else notice that Bruce was not wearing his wedding band? And my friend said she the thought the body language between Bruce/Patti and Bruce/Soozie was, um, "interesting"

THE ENTIRE SHOW WAS AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. Don't let anyone talk you out of going. So it's not 3-4 hours long; so what? there's plenty packed into the 2-1/2 hours, believe me.

Show started around 8:28 pm (lots of people on the drop line, lots of people filing at last minute; lots of "bruuuuceing" for anyone who even walked NEAR the stage)

LET ME START BY SAYING THAT I THOUGHT THIS SHOW WAS 99.99999% AWESOME - the only glitch that I noticed was a slight bit of feedback (and I can't even remember what song it was!!!).

THE RISING - incredible. He's solved the "dream of life" dilemma - it's now very smooth, not rushed.

LONESOME DAY - fantastic, too, especially with audience participation


THE FUSE - beautiful, except maybe a little "rushed"??


EMPTY SKY - Beautiful, just beautiful. Acoustic. And cheering at the line "I want an eye for an eye"

YOU'RE MISSING - Beautiful; what else can I say

WAITIN ON A SUNNY DAY - Fantastic song to begin with - but when coupled with almost total audience participation (I think we did a lot more singing than he did), well, it just can't be beat. Uplifting and fun, fun.


WORLDS APART - I have to say I didn't like this song on the album, but it's incredible live


BOBBY JEAN - fantastic. Interesting that whoever was working the cameras kept focusing on Steve at key moments in the song (I found myself explaining the song to a few people)

MARY'S PLACE - Much better live than on cd, mainly because of audience interaction - adds a whole new dimension to the song. This was also where he intro'd the band (Roy - illegitimate child of Jerry Lee Lewis and Liberace, etc.) When he got to Clarence, he mentioned that the Big Man has lost a lot of weight (sounded like he was going into "Sweet Soul Music" where he sings "Doesn't Clarence look great, he's lost a lot of weight" - but he just stopped, and looked at the audience - to see if anyone would get it?) and Clarence started to take off his jacket to show off his muscles....

COUNTING ON A MIRACLE - the first bathroom break of the night! People either sat down or ran for the restrooms or out to buy more beer. Not quite sure I understand that - it's not that bad a song, is it?

AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) - Didn't hear much booing (just a couple of people); audience was fairly quiet, but the line "you can get killed just for living in your American skin" got some reaction.

INTO THE FIRE - Beautiful; what else can I say


GLORY DAYS - he was having sooooo much fun; his smile is infectious, and this is SUCH a great song.


MY CITY OF RUINS - Bruce starts out the first couple of verses on the piano (after promoting the local food bank, etc.), and then smoothly moves over to a solo mike, no guitar. Am I the only one who thought he looked more than just a little awkward out there without a guitar? (he was dancing around near the mike, and didn't quite seem to know what to do until it was time for him to sing again) Other than that, this also had heavy audience interaction, which added quite a lot of power to it. Beautiful, as usual.

BORN IN THE USA - Powerful as ever.

LOHAD - as usual, magnificent, especially with the addition at the end of part of "People Get Ready" -- why didn't he think of this during the Reunion Tour?

Al M wrote: I feel like I was at a different concert than the one some of you reviewed the first two nights. The setlist of old songs is not even important. This is an event on it's own terms. It's this great album we've been given and the incredible way it plays when everything is there(the arena, the crowd, and this amazing band) that is what this tour is all about.

Everybody knows the songs already. This is no small feat. It is this mass hypnosis that we all would kill for that happens now, today and it is completely amazing. What an incredible song Empty Sky is done with that pain that only that voice of Bruce can generate. One guy whisled loud early in the song and I felt like 20,000 other people stared him down so you could hear a pin drop. What a moment. When he followed it with You're Missing he took us all to that place only Bruce can. Worlds Apart might be the greatest on this great album and the whole band just shows themselves here. Boy they can play.Mary's Place is an instant classic. So much fun for us and especially for the band. Waiting on a Sunny Day really kicked ass and everyone got the chorus. Bruce said common NY can you do it. It wasn't even close, they just took the song away from him.

The crowd at the Garden is always half the story and tonight was no different. My wife and I went with two non Bruce fans and it was great to see their expression during the whole experience and how they just got sucked in with the rest of us. By the time we got to that first incredible set of encores, they were throwing their right arm in the air with the rest of us.

I have listened to all your opinions on the end of the main set and how it breaks things up and I respectfully disagree. It was a stroke of genious putting American Skin back to back with Into the Fire. They are the two sides of the same idea, the worst and the best that, these men in uniform that we trust our live with, can be and it ties into the whole speech he gave before BITUSA where he said we need to be vigilant to keep our democracy especially in these times.

What an amazing show. Thunderoad would have made you all proud with only the spotlight on Bruce and every single person up and singing along at the top of their voice. There is nothing like the Garden. The TR, GD, BTR encore is so powerful, it almost dwarfs the second encore set. The Bruce at the piano for the beginning of MCOR just plain works and it was the most beautiful version I have heard of this beautiful song. He started losing his voice during BITUSA and I'm not sure if he would have made it if the audience wasn't there to help. He almost had nothing left for LOHAD but it is the band and especially the Mandolin that carries that song.
Soozie is a great addition and my wife kept talking about how Brendan O'Brien has helped them find their sound for the new millenium and how they and the show are lean and mean. No idle banter, just a straight forward vision from the mind of the Boss. It was a privlige to be at the Garden tonight.

I was thinking that I have spent more of the greatest days of my life in that building. I saw Ali fight Frazier + Shavers there. I saw Willis Reed come out and win an NBA Championship against Chamberlain, West and the Lakers. I saw the Rangers pound Esposito, Orr Sanderson + the Bruins there. Ringlinng Bros Circus with Sideshow when I was a kid. I saw too many incredible nights to count of Zeppelin, and the Who and Pink Floyd, and The Moody Blues and the One to One with John Lennon. The Concert for Bengla Desh, and the subsequent Harrison tour. Dylan and the Band, the Dylan Tribute, The Muse Concerts and so many great Nights with the E St Band. Tonight stands there with any of them. It was magic and it was also the hottest ticket of the year. Don't miss this barnstorming part of the tour. I'm sure we'll all get to multiple nights to a more extended party next spring, but don't miss this early tour, It is simply great!!!!!

As an interesting side light, I have been humming Lets be Friends, Nothing Man and Further up the Road since I got home(the three he didn't do tonight). I guess that shows you how strong the album really is.

Ben Corrado wrote: My, what a difference five days can make. After attending the opening night at the Meadowlands and the problems inherit with it, last night s show at MSG was much tighter and much more energized.

Considering the set list was pretty much the same as opening night, I don t think it will be necessary to document each song, but just point out the highlights. The Fuse had a little better pace to it and fit much better into the slot between Prove It and Darkness. After again asking for the crowd to be quiet, and admonishing them with a shut up, ya bastards , albeit with a smile on his face, came Empty Sky and You re Missing. In my review of opening night, I talked about how emotional these two songs were. Now hearing them approximately twenty-five blocks from Ground Zero, they were even more poignant. In a city still hurting, each time he sang the lyric I want an eye for an eye , the audience erupted. In You re Missing, Soozie Tyrell s violin bow seemed to be dripping tears. The instrumental at the end of the song reminds me a bit of the end of Racing In The Street.

Mary s Place had more zip to it. Bruce was having lots of fun with it, at one point climbing on top of the piano. This had to be how he envisioned it when he wrote it. It really had the feel of a bar band song. Switching around Thunder Road and Born to Run was a good move. The crowd singing along with Thunder Road was one of the loudest I have ever heard. Moving the two songs around even made Glory Days seem nice and fresh in the middle. Bruce and Clarence were dancing around like it was 1984 again. My City of Ruins also had a different feel to it. At the Meadowlands, he talked about Asbury Park before the song. Here, no words were necessary. Everyone knew what this song was about. After stripping down Born In The U.S.A. to the acoustic version on the last tour, going back to the full band version breathes new life into it. Finally, for LOHAD, the pogos were back!, although briefly.


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