2002-10-20, Velodrom, Berlin, Germany

The Rising Tour
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Notes

Appr. 2 hours, 45 minutes
"The Promise" and "Incident" are solo piano versions. The former has never been played before in Europe.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
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Reinhart Kotzsch wrote: It was my fourth E-Street-Band concert in Berlin and by far the best not only because I had enough luck again to get one of the to-300-persons.limited wrist band. In my opinion, this was the first time, I can say that the performance reached exactly the same quality of the American shows I had attended before. And in comparison to 1999, when I hated the bad audience, this time we were part of a fantastic crazy crowd, which is not normal in Berlin at all. Everywhere on the floor and the upper seats the people sang and shook their booties during the entire 2 ? hours it was a terrific hot vibration which peobably infected the band to reach an unique non-stop 150% energy level.

So we could listen to a wonderful setlist with many long long expected rarities. For sure it was definetely a greatest-hits show, but there were plenty of hand-clapping, arm-waving favorites to send us fans into wild ecstasy.

Springsteen opened with a friendly Hallo Berlin, Hallo Deutschland and started as usual with The Rising and "Lonesome Day" but this time followed by an very powerful "The Ties That Bind" and one of the best Atlantic City I have ever heard (my true opinion ) But also the Rising-songs which still filled nearly the half set now sounded live even better than in Phoenix two months ago. I only missed Further Up On The Road from the new album. Bruce announced The Promise as a special song for Berlin which was followed by Incident... on solo piano as well. My further favorites of this night were Dancing , My City Of Ruins and an extended show version of Ramrod .

I am so glad about Bruce promise, to see us all again next year in summer.

Lena wrote: Last night s concert in Berlin was a well organized peaceful event, where almost everything went smooth. The arena has been recently baptized into the Berlin Arena, aka the Velodrom. You can see that it is a biking arena, the futuristic architecture has a slight coldness to it, not to mention uncomfortable seats. Situated in the middle of an Eastern Berlin housing area close to the old slaughter house the Arena itself is a semi underground circular complex which takes up to 12000 people.

All of them must have been there last night needless to say, it was full. Ticket hawkers circled the premisses as we got there around seven. There were virtually no lines, only a fast body check that would have missed anything below waist line.

As the audience slowly filled the vacant seats and the lighting technicians climbed the roof riggs, block 8 took the initiative to a few successful waves around the arena. People soon got tired of this though and as the clock approached 8.30 we were ready for some serious rock and roll.

The first two songs showed that the new album has taken a firm grip of the musical hearts of the audience. Tight and powerful this was a great start to a trip through Springstenian history. There seemed to be room for all that has passed under the bridge since 1973. The first old number, close in sound to the original version caused nostalgia Atlantic City. Springsteen sang slightly changed lyrics in the refrain. Everybody dies, baby that s a fact ... It took the song closer to an audience that was essentially middle aged. Not many faces looked under 30.
After a solemn beginning the Band took us to the party song Waiting for a Sunny Day. Obviously this song has the capacity of getting almost everybody to their feet shaking their dance boot. This part of the concert warmed up the arena. Worlds Apart was played with an Irish touch, here Soozie Tyrell showed her best on the electric fiddle. From now one Bruce had us in his pocket. When asked to be quiet for two songs, the same as on the previous tour, the audience instantly calmed down.

After a short break for about twenty seconds (how do they do it???) the second set started. To my opinion there was more freedom, more joy at this point. The wild mix of old and new settled the impression that neither Springsteen nor the E Street Band are afraid of the past. Not even of the grossly misinterpreted and politically coopted Born in the USA is threatening. Bruce introduced this song in a heartbreakingly sweet German. Dieses Lied war ?ber den Krieg. Jetzt singe ich es f?r den Frieden. Bruce, your German is great! Max Weinberg imitated the sound of machine guns and bombs in a frenetic solo that closed the song. So Born in the USA is being reclaimed on this tour, hopefully it will work out.

Insufficient lightning caused people to fall head first down the stairs even after only a beer or two. With some people having had far more than that, I was unlucky to have a moron coming in directly behind me screaming his lungs out when the subtle soft piano chords in two songs nur f?r Berlin were played by Bruce alone. Incident on 57th Street was a wonderful meandering experience only disturbed by the moron who obviously craved for percussion. I had decided on placing my fist firmly on his chin and the subsequent statement for the police: He disturbed the concert. Only his safety distance saved him.

Badlands and Born to Run were loudly appreciated, especially the classic sax solos by Clarence Clemons. All in all he was the favourite band member among the Berliners. He wore some kind of extended version Femina sign in gold around the neck whose meaning I couldn t decipher. At this point Bruce started climbing the mike stand (how did it hold??) and did some rock n roll ass wiggling in front of an ecstatic audience. Especially the women appreciated this gesture. The musicians transcended their gray hair and sometimes baldish heads into a forever young and wild crew ready to play into eternity. Mary s Place was the best and the most sovereign performance going from crescendo to andante and back again, transferring us to a live party, making everyone sing along.
This show of real professionalism paired with passion is really the credo of the concert. And the humour came through in one of the most personal moments during the song Thunderroad when the audience took over the lyric lines ...show a little faith there s magic in the night, you ain t a beauty but hey you re all right... he laughed about this somewhat double-edged compliment as if it was from us to him.

That wrapped it all up. Everyone had been awesome, Patti got a sunflower from somebody in the front line.
Outside the full moon had come out, temperature was down to 3 degrees as I went home to chill out with some whisky and music from the Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. And I hope they don t stop doing what they just did. It gives us all hope.

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