2002-09-25, United Center, Chicago, IL

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 2 hours, 35 minutes.

"Jackson Cage" is played for the first time at an "official" show since Sept. 2, 1981, but was also aired during one of the rehearsal shows. "For you" is a solo piano version with Patti on backup vocals.

Eddie Vedder og Pearl Jam guests on "My Hometown".

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
John Giannone wrote: The Show in Chicago on Sept 25 was a great show and Bruce and the band was in full power. The sound was not the best during the first song "The Rising but once the sound was worked out the sound was GREAT!
This was my first time seeing Bruce in person so this is coming from a first timer but long timer lover of Bruce's music. Hearing songs like Badlands, Promise Land, Born to Run, and for me the great song Land of Hopes and Dreams was something that I will remember forever.

Opening with the title track of the Rising Bruce was in control of the crowd all night and had us on our feet all night long. For My Hometown Bruce had the lead singer of Peal Jam out with him being a hometown boy.
The one and only let down for me (and it is a small let down with how great the show was) was Bruce did not do Thunder Road. But that was totally off set by him doing Born to Run.

I would rate the Chicago Show as a total ht and an A+++ for me.

Ken wrote: Bruce put on a predictable show in Chicago. Much of the new stuff failed to take on new life, tragically. In the past, he's had the ability to transform and intensify his new material in a live setting. Here, it only demonstrated that his songwriting edge has diminished considerably and the generic qualities in the songs seemed to limit their power. I'm a die-hard, so I hate to say that. The new stuff (11 of 23 songs) sounded very basic. "Countin' on a Miracle" (aka "Countin' On an Open Stall") should be deep-sixed from the set (his worst song since "The Long Goodbye"). The entire crowd was sitting on their hands during the song. "Mary's Place" seemed like forced fun. "For You" at the piano was the show's highlight--stunning. As was the "Badlands" "She's the One" duo. The Vedder "My Hometown" was better than it could have been, with Eddie doing a serviceable job without much spark. The sound in the not-so-cheap seats was a large problem as well. There has got to be a way to make the big houses sound better. I don't know if I''m alone on this one, but "Land of Hope and Dreams" should've been retired as thecloser for this tour. Another song that worked last time, but sounded boring this tour. Many, knowing it was the last song, bolted early. Of the new stuff, "My City of Ruins" was beautifully done. So was "Into the Fire." However, not including "Paradise" is unforgiveable. On the whole, BS was in good spirits and often playful, but overall the show seemed sapped of the traditional Bruce power.

"Windy City Shippy" wrote: We were in Section 331, which is WAY up there, but had a clear shot at the stage without video assistance. Bruce came out looking circa 1978, which for me, was great to see. The Rising and Lonesome Day really cooked, and the crowd was into from the first note. Bruce seemed especially energized as usual, and it seems that he and Max are raring to go. Ties That Bind and Jackson Cage worked for me, because that was my personal indoctrination into the E Street Nation when I was a senior in high school during the River tour. The new songs went over very well, both in terms of performance by the band, and acceptance by our crowd. Both Worlds Apart and The Fuse which sound very complex on the album came off very well live, and really rocked with a ferocious trade off of leads by Bruce, Nils, and Steve, who spent considerable time playing an old Gibson Firebird I believe. Waiting on A Sunny Day has a very warm feel to it, and might be a better song to introduce the band, because I felt that Mary's Place was the only real clunker last night. Bruce did a great job of supporting/promoting the new material, but at the same time, incorporating a lot relevant songs from the old material.

Witnessing Bruce perform For You on Roy's piano was stunning. That song is at least or over 30 years old now, and to see Bruce all alone at the ivory really gave me a sense of how this may have all started for him. Equally, having Eddie Vedder come out for a little duet on My Hometown was a nice touch too. Eddie did himself proud, and was naturally well received. The encores were fairly typical, based on the postings from previous shows, but I will say that I thought I could detect a certain bitter cynicism in Bruce's voice as he sang BIUSA this time. We all know and understand that this song is NOT the wrap yourself in the flag, chest beating anthem Reagan and others thought it represented, but Bruce's delivery last night sounded even more biting than I can recall. As always, good to see the Band, and would agree with an earlier posting that as the train rolls on, even better performances will arise.

Dan Foley wrote: My wife and I really enjoyed the show. The show picked up dramatically after 'World's Apart' and was a thrill to watch all the way to the end.

Some of the highlights were 'For You' and 'Jackson Cage' along with (believe it or not) "Dancing the the Dark". Eddie Vedder could have at least learned the words to 'My Hometown'

I think; I suspect, that when Bruce sits at the piano to play, he needs reading glasses. It looked like he was struggling to read the lyrics and play (even with the knuckleheads screaming during a quiet song). It was a treaty to hear it though.....

It is worth mentioning that for thouse 20 somethings, who like the hard crap on mtv - these guys are still creative - and are still the real deal.

"nothingman" wrote: Wow. What a show. A few tour debuts, chestnuts and a surprise guest.

I'm sure most of you have seen thes setlist by now, so I won't bother to recap. Suffice to say that Jackson Cage was a HUGE surprise (and one that I think most did not recognize). And then to follow it up two songs later w/ "The Ties that Bind" was great. She's the One rocked, probably the best version of it I have seen. For you was another big surprise adn sounded great solo on the piano.

Overall, the band sounded great, better than the Cleveland show I at. The set seems to flow better and have fewer down points. Words's Apart and Counting still drag the momentum down, but what the hell. If this had been my first show for the tour, I would have been more into them. The show also feels a bit lighter than the earlier stops. The new songs are adding some variety and the show seems to be getting more of a rock and roll feel than a "message" show.

Eddie Vedder coming out blew everyone away. He seemed to struggle a bit with the lyrics at times and Bruce had to bail him out on the third verse. But when he found the right rythym, he sounded great.

It looked like at some point, Bruce cut his pinky on his left hand. During one solo (I think it was Worlds, but I can;t swear to it), you could clearly see red on his finger and a few spots on the fret board. But it never seemed to bother him and it certainly didn;t slow him down!!!

It seems to me that the tour is building steam and they are much more comfortable playing the new stuff. "The Rising" is getting better (I've always thought it has sounded rough) adn Lonesome Day comes across great, a bit more of a rocker live.

Scott Zoldan wrote: I was in the pit with my arms on the stage and during your missing, clarence was crying harder than I have ever seen someone cry, bruce cut his finger on his guitar and it was bleeding thereafter, clarence motioned for the guy behind me to come onstage several times but he did not wish too, maybe he was a relative or someone famous. this was my 3rd show on this tour and miles ahead of the rest and i was in the pit for the other 2 also. bruce steve and big man looke liked they were having more fun than normal.

The Rapper wrote: What a night! I had just seen Bruce in KC two nights earlier and was doing my own little tour tied to some business commitments.

Speaking of business, Bruce was ALL business. As he was in the middle of The Rising tour, there was a lot of emotion in the evening. As usual, it was a rollercoaster ride up and down the emotional scale as we laughed, cried, hugged and danced to the best music known to man.

You know, when you go to a show by the E Street Band, you should always be with a great friend or a great love. I was fortunate to be able to share the emotion of the evening with someone special and it just exponentially heightened all of that wonderful emotion.

Hearing "The Fuse" live with a red light on Bruce and some gentle percussion from Max and Clarence was incredible. "The Fuse IS burning"

Great rockers like "Ramrod", "She's The One", "Badlands", "BTR" - tremendous.

The venue was a little too big for the intimacy that such a show commands, but, hey, when it's The Boss - and a special friend - it's heaven on earth. Forever friends.


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