2002-09-24, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 2 hours, 40 minutes.

"Night", "Something in the Night", "She's the One", and "Incident on 57th Street" are tour premieres.

"Incident" is Bruce solo at the piano..

This was the first full version of "Kansas City" since The River Tour.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Travis Kramer wrote: I don't know if it's possible to do it justice, but I am going to try to describe what went down in KC yesterday. A combination of things went into making it one of the most glorious concert going days of my life.

I'm from Kansas City so unlike many shows I've seen in the last couple of years I had only a 10 minutes drive down to Kemper Arena from my house. I went to the show with my brother (has seen the boss live) and my lovely new wife (has never seen the boss live). It was a little chilly in the morning as we lined up shortly before 7 a.m. Ryan was 40, Margaret was 41, and I was 42 in line. About what I thought it would be. (For those who just have to know, the line started Monday at 11:00 a.m. off the property. I think.)

The day had it's first thumbs up with the weather. Other than a cool morning the day was mostly glorious clear skies and 70-75 degree weather. Beautiful. The second thumbs up came with the line management. Everyone was polite, everyone helped police the line, and a few select folks took the names and number of all the fans that showed up. We did a roll call at 7:00 a.m., 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, and 5:00. I passed the day away drawing a picture of Bruce from a few years back. I'd like to say hi and thanks to Joel, Heidi, Tom, etc. It was fun meeting you all. That's one of the great things about GA, the fans you meet. Not everyone hung out at the line all day, many wandered around between checks, but I decided to stay put for the most part. I took my last vacation day for the show and wanted it to be a slow relaxing day in line. I did take a break with my brother to go get a sandwich at the B.O.S.S. deli. across the street. (It really is called that. It's actually just a coincidence.) We sat up some speakers at eight and played Bruce tunes until it came time to pack it in and get in a "serious line."

Here's where the venue did an atypical thing. They used the fan list for wristbanding at 5:00. I know it's happened before, but not at any show I've been to. If you weren't on the fan list, they didn't give you a wristband. Considering how well organized the list was, I thought this was a great idea. Yeah, some people complain about "line nazi" or whatever, but I wouldn't change the way it was handled. They let us into the arena single file and three staffers were scanning the stubs for entry. This is the part were I always get nervous. In Denver at the U2 show they had a hard time getting my bar code scanned, and I lost a lot of time there. This time all was smooth. Margaret and Ryan got in no problem too. We "walked" as fast as we could down to the floor and I made it to the pit first. I secured three spots in front of Patti's mike against the stage. Ryan and Margaret were there ten seconds later and we sat down to hold the spots. I loved the fact there was no barrier. Not even two feet. Just you and the stage, with some security guys in the pit with you. This was a great idea, and I'm glad they did it. Now all we had to do was wait for the light and sound checks and we would be off.
We got a nice surprise while we were waiting. Bruce's guitar was working on some stuff (and I swear the guy looked just like Dallas Schoo, Edge's tech, and he even played a couple of lines from With or Without you while he was testing equipment) and he walks over to my wife and hands her a Little Stevie pick. What a cool guy. Great way to pass the time. After numerous checks and rechecks and waiting the crew was off and the lights went down...

Just like the last tour, everyone comes up one at a time from center stage, each player getting a bigger roar of adulation than the rest. Of course when the BOSS gets out it's a frenzy, and he looked 50 times better than the reunion tour. Tan, thin and muscular, ready to roll with a huge grin on his face! The Rising is a great way to start a show. It's got a theatrical build to it that works really well. From the get go the sound (from my side) was loud, clear, and beautiful with just a bit of echo on the end. The pit was rockin' and rollin' and thankfully never let up until the end. We sang, we danced, we yelled 'till there was no breath in our lungs! After a spirited Rising came Lonesome Day, which also translated well live. Most of the new songs sounded harder and meaner live, and I personally loved it. Then the first of the big surprises rolled in.

Night! I couldn't have guessed this in a million years. I sat there not even realizing what I was hearing for the first twenty seconds. Good job by all, I don't think anyone missed a beat on it. I should have guessed we'd get surprizes often tonight, as the band could be heard sound checking inside in the afternoon for what seemed like forever. Thank you Bruce! After that came the expected Fuse. You know what? Screw everybody who hates this song, I like it. Not the greatest ever, but it was fun and they did the album version total justice. That of course set us up for what I thought would be Darkness on the Edge of Town or Atlantic City. Instead they do another tour premiere. Oh yeah, this night was good! We got Something in the Night, and it also sounded great!
We need a little quiet: The Combo of Empty Sky and You're Missing were so sweet. My wife was crying, not because of the lyrics, but because of the way they did it. Bruce and Patti's intro was mixed very well, and sounded pretty jaw dropping from my location.

Waitin' on a Sunny Day provided the first lights up explosion of the evening. It was also Bruce's first foray over to our side. Man that guy looked like he was having a ball! Sweating and yelling and smiling like a fool! He stopped right in front of us a couple of time's and we managed a few high fives during his working of the crowd. I think it's pretty overstated fact that the crowds are loving the sing-a-long on this one. But it's true. They do.
Promised Land was standard, but standard with Bruce means wow-cool-great. World's Apart however, just couldn't get it quite right live. I don't know, I think they've done what they can to bring this to a live setting, but it could probably go away. Bruce's insane solo at the end makes it maybe keeper...but any insane Bruce solo could make a song a keeper.

I know it's been played plenty, but Badlands was a blast for me. I just love singing to this one, and the crowd always makes it a frenzied trip. It surprizes they can play the oldies with such gusto! I guess that's what makes them who they are, I just can't believe they can pull it off.

Speaking of pulling things off...yet another tour newbie came next. Good grief what's in the KC water? She's the One was extremely cool. No other word for this song in my opinion. Not a rocker, not a slow song, just flat out cool. I for one am very glad they pulled this one out. Love that piano...

Let it rain baby! Mary's Place was exactly what everyone said it would be, including the BOSS: a HOUSE PARTY! I'm so glad some of the new songs get the crowd excited like the old ones. It sucks to see an act and no one cares until one of the oldies pop up. Not on this night with this guy. I should also say that Bruce seems to have at least as much fun teasing his band as he does teasing the audience. Great reactions all night long. It's been said by some that this is as calculated as Max's precision drumming. I don't care if it is not, the guy obviously believes in his work. I will say I was greatful for some streamlined band introductions. Counting on a Miracle didn't let the mood down as much as some have said it does. Yeah it's not Mary's Place but does it need to be? Maybe if I heard Jungle Land behind it I would disagree. Well, Jungleland behind anything is actually a pretty good idea.

INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET!!! At first I was puzzled by what he was doing going over at Roy's piano, but I switched from some crazy idea about him playing racing in the streets solo quickly enough. Yes, it was Bruce solo, and a great one at that. The crowd behaved pretty well, not perfect, but good on the quiet ones tonight. Tour newcomer # 4! The set was rounded out with Into the Fire, which worked better than I thought it would. The band tore into the middle section harder than I figured they would. Nice way to set up the encores.
You know, the crowd tried to get a happy birthday thing going like 5 times tonight. Including here. It never did work. Why? Bruce ignored it, just like he did in Denver. Give it up people, if he wanted to hear it he would. I guess it's the thought that counts. :)

I really like this new version of Dancing in the Dark, which kicked off the encores. It sounds so much more like Bruce than the album version does. It's still fun, still catchy, but feels better. He seems to like it too and sometimes a little renovating is good for a song. Ramrod followed Dancing in the Dark, and I swear the crowd was more into it than Dancing in the Dark. Sometimes I think a crowd will only fall head over heals for the top 10 hits. Glad I was wrong. Born to Run continued the intensity climb, and after a fist pumping crowd screamed that one out, the band did some bows and scurried off the stage again.

The second set of encores began with My City of Ruins. This has a great uplifting feel to it live. The vocals from everybody seemed to surge upwards with the song in a way the album does not. I liked it more than expected, and another top notch rendition of a new song. After a brief mentioning of the local food bank and being careful about what our government is doing to civil liberties and foreign policy, (this guy should tour with Bono) they jumped into Born in the USA. This was great, as the energy that had been building from the get go was kicked up yet another notch. Everyone is right, this version is a little crueler than previous ones. Land of Hope of Dreams kicked off and I was happy and sad to hear it. After all, it ends every show. I never used to be a big fan of it, but in recent months I've really got into Bruce's guitar part. Simple, (outside of the solo stuff he puts in) but really catchy. Loved it, including the little People Get Ready bit. After big crashes and tons of cheering the song was done. They did their bows and I expected them to be off, of they lingered. Bruce was laughing and finally said something very close to "It's supposed to over!" while shrugging his shoulders amid the cheers. After he said that, the crowd went off like a freaking power keg, as we all knew what that meant. A possible seventh encore? Oh yeah!

Now I should start this by saying I've hear Kansas City played many times. Lots of artists cover it here. It makes sense to. But nothing like this. First off, I don't know if they planned on playing it for sure. The setlists taped to the stage had it in parenthesis with a trailing... after it. Kinda the maybe song. But after Bruce made that comment and everything went nuts they had to. It was a little rough, and the sound and lighting crew had no idea what Bruce would do next, but that just added to the frenzy. After pulling three or four "MIGHT TAKE A TRAIN" "MIGHT TAKE A PLANE" and BYE BYE BYE's with the audience they slowly one by one left the stage. But Roy was still there, pounding away at a solo for almost three minutes by himself!!! Finally the band, who rounded up Mr. Jon Landau and got him a guitar, came back up for another four rounds of verses!!! Oh, that was so fun! Something like 10 -15 minutes of total confusion and fun! That ended it, and after the bows, the band was gone.

I haven't seen many Springsteen shows, but the guy to my right summed up my suspicions right away: "I've seen Springsteen 45 times and THAT was the best!" Five tour new comers, including one that hasn't been played in full since the early 80's, made for one heck of a night. Thank you everyone!!!
Oh, and my wife just LOVED her first show...

beautifuldorene wrote: I met my husband of 7 years at this concert. Our first date was the Fargo show 5 nights later. How awesomeis that?


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