2002-08-24, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Paul Tayyar wrote: Electrifying...Opens with the haunting, anthemic The Rising, and from its opening chords the night becomes a magical, near-religious experience. The band is as tight as I've ever seen it, and Suzie Tyrell's violin adds an even richer, more textured feel to the E Street's sounds. Atlantic City is heartbreaking, and Born in the USA is downright bone-chilling. I've been waiting my entire life to hear him play that song electric. Springsteen is the greatest live performer in rock and roll history, and tonight was further proof of that fact.

Will Rumble wrote: What can I say, I'm still buzzing from the natural high I got from creating, with the fans and the band, that soul soaring celebration of life we all know and love. It started in the parking lot when we rolled in at about noon. Maybe 300 people at most, no Meadowlands mind you, but some scene. Loose Ends blaring loudly from some monster SUV welcomed us warmly so I knew everything was gonna be alright.

The fans had set up this system for GA holders where you sign a clipboard, give 'em your name, and they write a number on your hand. Bruce freaks and geeks? Maybe, but hey, it worked and it was fair. We got numbers 315-317 so with only 300 allowed into the pit, at least we would be right at the front of the railing dividing the pit from the rest of the floor. We checked back in every hour, and wouldn't you know it, by 5:30, thirty or so had dropped out so we become part of the 300 and made it to the pit. They took us down into the depths of the Forum, and you end up in a hall way that turns into the Forum floor, very cool. I had woke up that day with such an excitement, and then to walk on the floor like that - out of the this world.

We get down there in the pit and 300 people is nothing - there was so much room down there. It was awesome. I got right in front of Bruce's mic-stand, 10 feet away. Just amazing. They let us in at 6:00 p.m., so almost everyone was sitting down until about 7:30 - 7:45 and then we all got up as the anticipation began to rise.
So the lights go off and the band comes out at about 8:25 and I was going nuts. As soon as they started to play it was like an Avalanche of energy coming straight into my heart. The Rising just ROCKS and Bruce was jamming on guitar. For me, it was the best beginning to a Bruce show I have experienced in a long, long time. And it kept coming. He doesn't do that dream of life thing anymore and the band was tight and they went into Lonesome Day seamlessly. That song doesn't do much for me on the album, but live it was great. There's not the weak bridge in the middle of the song that is on the album. Prove it was great, and Bruce did have a Fender-looking guitar, although I'm not sure. It was definitely not the one we all know and Stuart touched and talked to Bruce about at the Tramps show filmed by Disney. Anyway, great song. The Fuse was cool, it fit perfectly in that slot, and it was tight.

Atlantic City kicked butt. It was totally re-done and was the best Atlantic City I've ever scene. I saw it in 84, 85, and 99. It smoked. He did this build up at the end that kept on getting louder and louder with the fans singing along. He just connected so much with the fans on that song, and for the entire show for that matter. A great rocker that he was so into.

He asked for, politely, and received, quite for Sky/Missing. Those two are one of the highlights of the show - the thing about this show was that he really was into the new songs, and most of the older ones. You can tell, he really likes this album - he should. Sunny Day was great. You can't help but think of Hungary Heart, and he really got the fans going on this one. Everyone had acoustic guitars and came to the front and back of the stage - he played to the back 3 or 4 times - more than MSG 6/29/00!! He went through the front of the stage and got high fives/touching hands during Sunny Day - it worked. Promised land was awesome and I wish he would throw those harmonicas to the fans like he used to.

The show started to lose some energy and intensity with Worlds Apart, which I love. He did a great guitar duel with Steven at the end that was almost like the old Saint duels - almost. Badlands, Bobby Jean, and Thunder Road for me, don't work for this tour. I know "I'll miss you, good luck, good bye" of BJ fits with what he's doing, but they played it w/o the juice that the rest of the show had flowed with up to that point. It is almost like Badlands, Bobby Jean, and Thunder Road are obligatory old songs to mix in with the new ones. If he wants a rocker, why not play Further on Up the Road at that point of show??

Mary's place I love, but there were so many stops and starts during the song, it symbolized the loss of tempo songs 11 - 16 frustrated the rest of the show with.

Counting on a Miracle?? How does Bruce go from "I ain't gonna settle for the in-betweens, honey I want your heart, your soul, I want control" of Badlands to "Fairytale . . . Counting on a miracle to see me through" of Miracle? That song reminds me of some human touch outtake that should have been left on the cutting room floor. Why not play Nothing Man or Paradise, two great Rising songs??

The show picked up again with Into the Fire, which is a great set closer. Awesomely placed, and a wonderful vision that succinctly sums up The Rising. I loved it as a show closer.

The Encores Rocked. Let me tell, The Speed Guitar Rocking Version of Dancing in the Dark played like a song that had been recorded during the River and had been locked away as a song that didn't make it on Tracks but came screaming out of the Columbia vaults to blast us off our feet at the Forum. That version smoked!! It is not surprising that the River's Ram Rod followed - what a great two River Rockers back to back. Steve and Bruce did an extended duet and just did not want to finish that song.

Born to Run rocked too - he was so into that song. Before they left the stage Bruce pointed right at me - and smiled - what a connection - just awesome. I had some other eye contact before, but that was a big thank you - I was on top of the world!!!

City Rocks, he transformed USA still another way, and made the full band version his again, an anti-clampdown on civil rights. What brilliance!! Land was better that the Tracks tour, and it really clicked for me last night. That song is cool. After that song, I asked for "one more song" and Bruce just started smiling and laughing with that awesome smile he has. What a show.

Jill Imperiale wrote: The show was great. Bruce came out and appeared to be in a bad mood, but things changed as soon as he started the show. The only thing I can compare this current show to is the one I saw in Vegas a week earlier, and this one was much better. His banter was fun, commenting on the lack of luxury boxes, (last time in LA he played Staples Center which is filled with them) and that he could see the beer stands open at the back of the floor. His reference to Patti as his "Nitro Viagra" got a giggle from many as well as calling Roy, "The illegitimate son of Jerry Lee Lewis and Liberace." Many of the new songs were much stronger than Vegas, including The Rising and Mary's Place. In my humble opinion, though I think it is an incredible song on the new CD, Counting On A Miracle really comes off flat. Also, though I think crowds might be upset, he needs to retire Thunder Road for awhile. It's the same thing, Bruce seems to be bored with it. Not the same as the reunion tour, but it is so great to see new material and it really translates well to the stage. The only complaint I have is the crowds. Could they be any worse? Maybe it's just the lame coast I live on (WEST COAST), but people sitting down for Badlands? The Forum crowd was more into it than Vegas, but at least half of the crowd in the stands was sitting for most of the show. That is really disapppointing for me, since the crowd energy mixed with Bruce and the bands incredible magnetism is what turned me into a fan.

Jeff Metzger wrote: OK, let s get one thing straight at the beginning. If you know of this web site, it s because you re a committed fan. And if you are a committed fan, you are doing a disservice to yourself if you do not take the time to get to the show early and ensure a place in the pit. No excuses; no compromises; no surrender. You gotta want it bad enough. It is an incredible experience to see a real live icon up that close without spending your life savings. Get the GA tickets, go early, have some fun, destroy your backs (take plenty of Advil), and you won t regret it. Here s my report from a great day at the LA Forum.

Determination of when to arrive: How early should we get there in order to get in first 300 for a wristband? Well, we saw Johnny s posting from Vegas in which he arrived at 11:00 and got #149. Figuring that more information would lead to more people arriving earlier, we settled on 10:00. At 10:05 we were given #s 237 and 238. (#300 was given out at 11:30). Here s some more information on the wristband/pit process.

I had thought from reading Backstreets.com that the line-up procedure was something official organized by either the band or the arena. No so. This is an unofficial, self-policing procedure that requires the arena security staff to accept it. Apparently with one exception there has been no problems at any of the venues. It is organized by a few of the fans who have been chasing the tour around. Didn t get all of their names, but good guys, who work hard to make sure that the process runs smoothly. When arriving they put your name on the list and write your # on your left hand. You then go to the end of line where you set up shop. About every hour they come around and take roll (they tell you when each roll call will be) and if you re not there for the roll-call, you come off the list.

The process worked like clock-work all day. There was one small period of uncertainty as to whether they would checking names and numbers at the entrance, but that got worked out successfully such that a Forum security employee was given the list and nobody except those on the list were let in. After getting past him, our tickets were scanned and then people gave us two wristbands one for floor; one for pit. They actually give out more than 300 wristbands because people get on the list without tickets to show hoping to buy extra GAs later. Also, several people missed a roll-call and were bumped, so if you get between 300 and 350 you re likely to still get to pit.

The pit area is larger than needed for 300 people, so if you re not interested in crowding to front of stage, you can have a very nice few from about 15 feet away without any people around you.

All of the new songs were as good or better live than on the album. Better than I expected. Empty Sky a highlight. I ve had trouble warming up to the musical arrangement on the album. In concert, it s acoustic just Bruce, his guitar, and Patty. Terrific, and much better than album. The Rising already has the feel live of something that is not brand new. Starting with Rising and ending with LOHAD is a real feel good theme.
And thank you Bruce for including Atlantic City. A major highlight of the show. And a special thanks for not playing Two Hearts , a view shared by those around me.

Somebody in pit called out for Silvio. Bruce looked down, said that Silvio is a fictitious character, but that the guy standing next to him was a great rock and roll guitarist.

Dancing in the Dark and Ramrod better than in past. Very high energy. World s Apart coming together live. BIUSA gotta love it, especially a by-play between Bruce and Max at the end where during Max s most strenuous part of the song, Bruce wouldn t let him move on just kept making him play the same thing over and over. The rest of the band was watching with big smiles. Max was exhausted by the end of the song. Even more significantly about this song was the way in which introduced it. He said he was going to give a couple of Public Service Announcements. The first was for the night s designated food bank. The second was to remind people that our civil liberties are under attack and that we must keep an eye out before it s too late (a terrific moment for this proud Liberal). He then said, though, that we should be proud to born in the USA and then the song started. Great!

Concluded LOHAD with a line from People Get Ready. Wonderful. Hopefully he ll do a full verse or two of People Get Ready in future.


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