2002-10-06, First National Arena, Philadelphia, PA

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 2 hours, 50 minutes.

"Kitty's Back" is a tour premiere.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Mike Loma wrote: An unbelievable show. Does this Bus Stop, Incident and Kitty's Back all in one show. Incredible. What a moment when Bruce was asking Patti about the chords he and the band had played everynight. "A touch of alzhemers" as he said. The crowd took the brief delay to show their appreciation. BRUUUUUCE. An unbelievalbe roar from the crowd when Clarence threw the guitar strap back over Bruce's shoulder after what we thought was the last song and traditionally has been (Land of Hopes..) Kitty's Back to finish, Awesome. There must be a special place in Bruce's heart for Philly. The feeling is definetly mutual. We were singing every word to every song, new and old. Whats best... "We'll be Back" he said. I for one can't wait.

Tom Cantillon wrote: After having seen nearly 85 Springsteen shows, the Philly show definitely ranks in my top ten. Bruce and the band were on fire from the moment they hit the stage, which kept the crowd enthused for the entire show. Songs from The Rising were performed with such passion and intensity, that one couldn't help but be swept away by their emotional impact and spiritual uplifting. Along the way there were also some nice surprises. "For You" was performed as if it were a brand new song, the band presented a powerful version of that old classic. One of the night's highlights had to be Bruce's piano version of "Incident". Without a doubt that performance had to be one of the most beautiful I'd ever heard and it would be a shame if it never ended up being recorded on a live cd. And as if that weren't enough, after Bruce and the band blasted through "Born to Run" and "Born in the USA", they deliver an awesome, rocking, bring-down-the-house version of "Kitty's Back". All I can say, is that Bruce and the band are playing each show with that same passion and comittment they have become famous for. The shows are intense, moving and without a doubt, nothing short of a religious experience. Thanks Bruce and Est band for a show that went way beyond any expectations.

"BillnPhilly" wrote: This was my first show of this tour, but I obviously knew going in that this was going to be a different kind of Bruce show than any I have seen. Having seen some 20-odd Philly shows over the years, I've come to expect the unexpected and as usual I was not disappointed. We all know the setlist by now and it was fantastic, but more than that was the crowd. Philly fans are always great, but last night was the loudest I can ever remember. People around here say that the FU Center isn't as loud as the Spectrum was, and until last night I would have agreed, but when Bruce put the guitar strap back around his neck after waving goodbye and launched into Kitty's Back (with a short pause to find a guitar that worked!) you could almost feel the building rocking, a truly spine tingling moment. And to think, I didn't have a ticket until Saturday morning when my best Bruce Bud called to tell me that he had scored 2 GA tickets at Ticketron that morning. Unbelievable. What is also unbelievable is that Bruce can pull out a song that is some 27 years old and its the first time I've ever heard it live (Night). Also a first was the impromptu onstage rehearsal when Bruce forgets how to play Empty Sky, classic Bruce moment. As for the new material, for the most part it works beautifully live, (the For You/ Worlds Apart segue was a little rough around the edges, Mary's Place is awful( he should have given that one to Grushecky), and Countin' just sort of lays there but they are minor quibbles). All in all, it has to rank among the best shows I've ever seen, but I say that after every show, LOL.

Joe wrote: Bruce captures the "streets of philadelphia" once again...... Bruce exploded on to the stage of the First Union Center in his usual fashion sunday night. From the start of this near three hour show, fans and newcomers alike were caught in the magic of this night. It seemed as if everyone knew the words to songs of new and old. Bruce's piano solos of Streets of Philadelphia and Incident on 57th Street with added vocals of Patti, Niles, and Soozie were outstanding. However these were not the only surprises. Bruce continued to surprise the crowd with songs: For You, Bus stop 82nd street, and the final song of the night, Kitty's Back. This was truely an unforgetable performance by Bruce & The E-Street Band. The impression left on this crowd by Bruce was seen throughout the night in Philly. Echos of "Spanish Johnny" rang from cars at Philadelphia's renown chesse steak place, Pat's Steaks, as fans and customers satisfied their hunger and placed requests into the early morning.

Mike wrote: PHILLY RISING...Not only was Streets of Philadelphia, Incident on 57th St, Does this Bus Stop..., and Kitty's Back major surprises, but Bruce also did a full band version of For you! Also surprising was the inclusion of Night as well as a rock the house version of She's the One. Did I miss Thunder Road and Promised Land...Not one bit considering the choices Bruce played in their place. It was all great, but closing with Kitty and hearing all 10 band memebers chanting "HERE SHE COMES" and hearing Clarence screaming the final solo just BLEW ME AWAY...

Neil Asher wrote: Oh my God! After seeing both the Meadowlands & MSG shows, I really didn't expect such an amazing performance. I guess it's beeter to go after the tour is in full swing. While those were both good shows (MSG was the better one), this was truly an outstanding show. From the moment Bruce came out in the bright green shirt and said that there would be some surprises, the house rocked!. The band was on fire, the crowd was into it and the song selection was just fantastic. Also, nice arena and great sound. I've seen 30+ shows over the years, and this was definitely among the top 5!

Jack the Balloon Man wrote: Show started about 8:20. after The Rising & Lonesome Day, he broke out Night, which I don't recall hearing live since maybe 77. Further On Up the Road, was a real treat and one of my favorite songs on the CD. Bruce steps up to the microphone and gives us a "Hello Philly, great to be back, we have some surprises for you, but we need some quiet on this song". So he begins to strum a little on his acoustic and stops, steps away and at this point we're all thinking "Holy shit! This is going to be sensational if THEY can't even remember it". It takes a few minutes, a few band huddles and Bruce steps up again and makes a remark about Alzheimer's, and the laughter, and the ensuing "Bruuuucue" made him forget again. All that, and FINALLY the started Empty Sky! Uhh Bruce... This is the 20th time you played that this tour. Maybe it is Alzheimer's. Now from where I was sitting, I thought the sound quality was excellent. This was about the best version of You're Missing, I've heard this tour. Waitin on a Sunny Day was it's usual upbeat and fun, and the Philly crowd is Loud and sings on key, so that was fun. Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street? Came next and rocked. Than he goes deep in the vault and pulls out a full band For You! Haven't heard that one live (like that) since 78 or so. He cut the beginning intro to Worlds Apart, but it still sounded good, Badlands as usual kicked ass, and really rocked on the audience part, especially at the end. He then goes for a BTR classic and breaks out She's the One, (For Horley2) and a raucous Mary's Place, followed by Countin' on a Miracle. At this point, he walks over, sits at the piano, and breaks out Streets of Philadelphia, with Steve, Patty & Soozie doing the "Li,li,li,li" part. That was cool but than when he stays there and begins Incident on 57th Street, I hit the roof. (literally, I was 5 rows from the roof). I have been to well over 40 shows and have NEVER heard this one live. It is truly one of my favorite songs., I was stunned. The introduction to Into The Fire is different than earlier in the tour. They set it up with a sort of rumbling sound. So they leave and come back with Dancing in the Dark. Bruce is jumping up and down as he plays the guitar. Ramrod kicks live like always, lights up for Born to Run, hands in the air, loud audience of course, My City of Ruins, thoughts go out to the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank, and he intro's Born in the USA with thought on pending war with Iraq, and how no matter which side we are on regarding this issue, it's best not to rush in. Land of Hope and Dreams closed things out or so we thought. He waves, thanks the audience, waves some more, holds the guitar up. (he's teasing us now) Finally, Clarence pushes the guitar back on Bruce's shoulder, he steps up to the Mike and says "Only in Philadelphia" and than poof...nothing....wrong guitar. He rushes back to get the right one and launches Kitty's Back. How fitting and what a great way to end one of the best shows of the Rising tour.

I have long thought that Bruce squeezes out and extra something for Philly for two reasons. One: Philadelphia was the first area OUTSIDE his home base to embrace him. He was getting radio play here long before anywhere else. He'll never forget that. The other thing is Philly is a "no pressure" site for him. Two: The crowd here just takes his word for it. He could mail it in and he would still get the same reaction form the Philly faithful. They never come in with the "OK Bruce, dazzle us" attitude that I see in NYC and North Jersey. It's the same thing (like Philly) in Boston.

The most touching thing about the whole weekend was that 75% of the people there got their tickets through the kindness of Lakers. Kindness pays off in the City of Brotherly Love. Many thanks go out to all those that contributed, the lovely Mrs. Balloon Man for allowing me to spend so much time with things and people that I love. Boss Man Bob, I hope this is not the end of the ride. We'll see you "Further on up the Road" RIGHT?????

"Rube1859" wrote: Ok, well my trip to Philly started off in good fashion, arriving there at midnight to join the drop line b/c I was ticketless. When I got there I got number 41. I was high in spirits and I even chose to stick the night out on line instead of sleeping in my car and meeting at check in times. There were drag racers running up and down Pattisson the whole night so finding a parking spot was quite a pain. But being awake all night we got to see some cool stuff. At about 4:40 three big rigs rolled down Broad street off of 95. A memmber of event staff came out said something into his walkie talkie and then BAMM, every light at the FU center and the lot went dark. We realized these were the rigs carrying all the equipment. The same thing happened about 30 minutes later when 4 more trucks pulled in with the rest of the equipment. One kid was even holding onto one riding his skateboard trying to get into the venue but to no avail. Check in for GA was 7 and Drop line was 7:15. At 6:45 you could see the masses coming down Broad Street for check in. For a while there during the night I was running the drop getting all the names in line and numbering people since the two guys who were doing it before me went to sleep. After role call I walked back to my car and rolled up into a blanket to warm up. But I fell asleep. Thank goodness this family I met saw me sleeping and woke me up at 9:10 for 9:30 role call. It was quite a sprint from the Holiday Inn Parking lot back to the FU Center.

At the 9:30 role call we started to recieve more info and that we should stay in line. At 10AM they led the drop line in towards the box office getting hopes up for all of us. The GA line followed behind and recieved their wristbands (At 10 AM no less). There were plenty of scalpers around and they were so obvious. The hourly role calls showed that the line was dwindling and fast. By 3 PM about 15 people had fallen out of line ahead of me, but at the same time the line was growing by leaps and bounds. As the hours passes I got a little more desparate and was holding one finger up to every car that passed me inhopes of an extra ticket. One scalper did peek my interest, only b/c he told me where he lived and it was around the corner from me, and I'm about an hour away from Philly. I still wasn't going to pay over face value though.

At about 4:45 security came out and said no tickets will be dropped for the show which sent a few people packing but we decided to stick the line out. At 5:30, previously mentioned scalper came to me and said he was going to sell me that ticket at face value since he was having trouble finding buyers but one guy who posts on LD alot got it first. (Name meant something I guess). At this point people ahead of me in the drop line were able to find some extra tickets and gave me the liost to start running the line again. We decided to do 6 O'clock role call and I started. The scalper again came to me and said I found a guy with 1 ticket for a hundred. I said let me do the line first since it was my responsibility, and he said ok. Then two minutes later he was oike "I'm doing you a favor you want it for 100 or not" I said ........NO. I said I'm sticking with the line. Then a minute later security walks out and tells us to line up, they have 100 GA's. I getin my spot and give them the list to check over to make sure people don't cut. There were people who were walking up trying to cut saying the drop line wasn't fair since they couldn't get here in time to get a good number (Too bad). They took us in 3 at a time and we could purchse 2 tickets at max. I was about number 9 at this point b/c of all the defections. When that ticket hit my hands I almost cired b/c I had been waiting around 18 hours for this.

I'll skip the line mostly but I met this really nice woman who actually knows Bruce and we were sharing stories, she mentioned his trainer in description, and about 5 minutes later she goes "That's him" and it was, matched the description and all and he knew who she was and said he'd give it a try for her and me and these two other people to move into the pit.

I get onto the floor and am about 1/3 of the way back, and you can feel the excitement of the crowd. I was looking at the clock in the arena and it was exactly 8:20 when the light went down and Philly erupts. We get to standard opening two but the floor is rocking. (It definetly is much better on the floor considering I've sat in the seats twice so far) Then Bruce rips into Night and we go crazy, the floor lit up, hands waving. Amazing. When he followed this with FOUTR we couldn't believe the setlist we were getting. he told us he had a few surprises in store for Philly and that it was gonna rock. He was about the do Empty sky and he's standing there and goes "I forgot how to play this song" So he rushes to the side behind Patti. He, Patti, Steven and Nils are trying to remember how to play it and they are all there holding the guitar strumming trying to get it right.

Finally it hits him and he comes over syas "Early Alzheimer's" and starts playing it. We got the trypical You're Missing and Waitin on a Sunny Day. The crowd was great during Sunny Day IMO. At this point I did realize I had one guy behind me who was a pain yelling the whole night "Bruce, what happned to the effin chicken man" even yelling it at one point when Bruce was talking before MCOR.

Then the band started playing again and no one knew what song it was until those first words, "Hey bus driver...." Bonkers, plain bonkers. And when he followed it with For You, I knew I couldn't last this show. Bruce was going to pound each and everyone one of us with amazing songs tonight and he did. I was wobbly at this point. (Not sure if it was the 1 hour sleep in the past 36 hours or just the show I like to say the show.) Wrold's Apart was good, and sounded better than usual, probably b/c there was no intro, he just went into it.

Badlands, She's the One and Mary's Place had the crowd kicking and screaming with delight. I couldn't believe it. I was exhausted and Bruce was only half way done. Maybe he knew were going crazy and needed to calm up a little, maybe mnot but he followed it with Countin' on a Miracle. No matter what people say, I like this song, and so did the people in the drop line around me, we discussed it for a while and why it seems it has a bad rap.
The people were definetly sitting down in the seats, but it was at this point I looked up and saw more people then I thought I would. Above the upper level, there was a row of people standing practically in the rafters encircling hte entire arena. I don't know if these were employess or fans without tix at discounted prices but to see the fact that they were practically in the rafters showed me how much they wanted to see Bruce play.
Then Bruce walked to the piano. I was hoping for Incident and said it to the guy next to me He said "Maybe or Racing in the Street" When I saw Patti and Nils and Suzie come out I knew it wasn't Incident, but it turned out to be Streets of Philadelphia. The crowd was loving it signing along and everything (Suzie and Nils blocked Patti out at the Mike, couldn't even see her since they were so close to it.) Then he finished and I was like time to bring the band back out, but no, those three leave the stage, and he shuffles through some papers. Not two solos in a row you've got to be kidding me, this is great. He says this is for Lexie if I can remember it and then "Spanish Johhny drove in from the underwrold lkast night..." Crazy. It was amazing I was crying at this point I think. We sang every word and Bruce was wondering if he could remember it. I knew this was a special show.
After Incident came to an end (sadly) Patti and the rest of the band came out. patti had an operaesque solo and let me say something her voice is vastly improved. A little to much movement by here with the arms but the voice is much better. Then they kicked into "Into the Fire" and it was so moving. The way the crowd interacted and held strong and sang every last line with him was so moving.

When the band came back for the encores Bruce goes "Are you ready to dance?" This version of Dancing in the Dark is great, now doubt to it, sounds great with the guitars wailing. Then the guitar got slid across the mike stand and signalled it was time to Ramrod. Bruce was so into it. running around the stage, swinging the guitar around his neck, shaking his ass with Clarence. Damn. Then the count down "ONE, TWO..." Lights full blast and Born to Run. Seeing every fist in the arena pump, even those in the last row was undeniably one of the greatest things I have ever seen. At this point I was actually asking that he not come back and do a second encore b/c I couldn't make it, I had nothing left, my voice was shot my arms hurt, my legs were sore.

But I knew he was coming back and I'd have to do it. I wasn't going to argue anyway. MCOR was beautiful. Except the guy ebhind me yelling for the chicken man in the middle of the song. I wanted to turn around and say "Hey he got blown up in Philly so he's not going to be here." The civil rights speech was definetly one of the better ones, a little more detailed than earlier on the tour and a great response from the crowd before BITUSA. He can play that song with all the emotion of a 36 year old Bruce playing it, it's incredible. Then they went into LOHAD and told us raise our hands for it, we were part of this train. He's going on and on. I love this song and I know why now. I don't want this train ride to stop, I wanted Bruce to do this all night.

The band finishes up and are ready to leave but clarence puts the Guitar back on Bruce and Bruce goes "One more" for you Philly. And it was Kitty's Back. I will tell you the truth. I never really got this song on the album but hearing it live made me a believer. It just went on and on. I couldn't sing the words, mt voice was gone but I was into it with everyone with our hands flying and stomping on the floor. When it finally ended, I didn't know what to doI mingled on the floor for a while and found some of the others who stuck out the drop line with me. I said best show of thsi tour and a phenomenal Bruce show overall. They tended to agree. When I finally got back this morning and lookd at the setlist I was shocked to see it was only 24 songs, It felt so much longer. But I can say one thing. Last night was not just a great show. I was an experience for everyone of us in that arena. Wev all witnessed a special show last night and we knew it. I can't go on anymore, I think I'm babbling. But I got in after having the faith to sit on the drop line for 18 hours when so many gave up hope. Faith most certainly was rewarded. When siomeone saw my face they asked how I got o burnt I explained and theyir simple response was "God bless you for doing that, it takes alot to wait 18 hours at a show w/o tickets and then get them" All I can say is it was wrth it.

Cal wrote: Kitty's Back and Incident - Enough said!

Ray Cascella wrote: What a great show! You could just look at the setlist and see that. "The Rising" is a great album and even better when done live. The place was rockin' with great classics like "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd St?", "For You". "Incident on 57th St." and "She's The One". The best was yet to come with a very special surprise of "Kitty's Back" added on the encore, just for Philly. Thanks Bruce!


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