2002-11-19, BJCC, Birmingham, AL

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 2 hours, 40 minutes

"Darlington County" is a tour premiere.

Emmylou Harris joins Bruce and Patti on "My Hometown"

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
"bill horton" wrote: I wasn?t blown away by the quality of the sound. I thought the show I saw last tour had better sound, but I did realize that a lot of that probably had to do with where our seats were. Not as spacious sounding underneath the overhang where we were sitting, no doubt. However, there were no sound glitches at all during the entire show except for Patti?s mic not being turned up quite enough during ?World?s Apart.? No feedback at all. I also thought Max?s drums and Gary?s bass weren?t as prominent in the mix as I would prefer.

3rd song. What are we gonna get? Was pleased to get ?Promised Land.? Crowd was just?okay. Yep, this IS gonna be a tough crowd. Bruce is gonna have to really work to put this bunch over the top.

4th song. He?s doing an audible! What? ?Night!? Oh, my God, I?ve never heard him do it live! Check another off the list! I get a treat and now I?m really getting into it!

?Empty Sky? and ?You?re Missing.? Sitting down now. Holding hands with Mrs. Horton. Watching Mrs. Horton wipe away tears. Folks, these were like most of you have said. Beautiful. Danny gets to cleanse us with a long organ solo to close ?You?re Missing.?

?Waitin? On a Sunny Day.? I grin at all the acoustic guitars and I know what?s coming. This was fun! Did he just throw a microphone way out into the side stage side from where Patti stands for someone to sing into?!? How is he gonna get that thing back?! With the help of an assistant, he does. But I never heard whoever ended up with the mic singing anything. Too shy? (Does anyone with a better view than I had know?) The crowd is gettin? hotter now, and Bruce does his first knee slide of the evening. Crowd roars!

8th song. OH. . . MY. . . GOD!!! It?s ?DARLINGTON COUNTY!!? HE?S DOING ?DARLINGTON COUNTY!!? Now I am hitting the freakout zone. I?m having a seizure telling Mrs. Horton, Brian, and Julie what a rarity this is, a tour first, the first time he?s done this on a tour post-9/11, and to listen for the World Trade Centers line to see what he does. He does me proud by not changing a fucking thing?did someone else on this board say ?up yers, Bin Laden?? It feels like??It?s okay now, people. I?m a long way from New York City, and it?s time to let this one come out again, it?s been long enough.? And it also feels like, ?I know I?ve got a tough crowd on my hands, this isn?t my turf, I?m gonna hit ?em with stuff they?re more familiar with, stuff from my biggest album.? You know what? In that moment, I didn?t mind AT ALL! Clarence and Soozie squaring off center stage! Bruce grinding out a Stones riff when the music stops, and they kick back into it again! Crowd LOVED it! NOW it feels like a special night and I?m grinning ear to ear and so glad to be there and thinking about what?s going on at the Lake and ?wait ?til someone posts THIS one on the setlist thread!?

Right into. . . ?World?s Apart.? Ah! Shrewd move, Bruce! Nice the way the songs play off each other. The guy really does put some thought into how his songs work with one another. I dug it!

?She?s the One!?
?Bobby Jean!? Would have preferred something else, but again, I think he?s hauling out lots of BITUSA for this crowd. After Clarence?s last looooooooooong high note to end the song, I turned to Brian and said, ?I think that eye must be doing just fine.? Man!

?Mary?s Place.? Fun, fun, fun! Mrs. Horton liked this one better than ?10th Avenue? because the band intros were shorter. What I can remember that stood out:

?Silvio, Silvio, Silvio. . .??big roar for Steven!
?The man that bring the power. . .??same for Max!
?From Flemington, New Jersey, newly divorced. . . and ladies, he?s staying at the Ramada!. . .??this was absolutely HILARIOUS! Get the boot! I was sitting too far away to tell whether or not Danny was embarrassed! Wonder if Bruce?s plug helped him out?
Nils got the shortest intro.
Patti. I couldn?t make this out. But he said something and went down on his knees and said ?Thank you, baby! Thank you, baby!? and Mrs. Horton just cracked up. I forgot to ask Mrs. Horton what he said before that. Somebody?
Clarence. Crowd ate this up! Yeah, we wish we could be like him, but we know we just can?t! It was the WAY Bruce said it that was so funny!

Let it rain! Let it rain! Let it rain! Let it rain!
People get ready!
Knee slide!

?Countin? On a Miracle??I welcomed this one! Crowd appreciated Nils great work on the intro. I know what?s been said here about this one, but I dug it and thought it rocked really hard. Lord knows, Mrs. Horton and I had some special appreciation for this one and we sang our hearts out to this one.

15th song. Okay, folks, this is when I completely went ape shit. Before I knew what was coming, I turned to Brian and said, ?Here?s the unknown slot. There?s no telling WHAT?s coming up next.? I had no idea.

When Bruce introduced ?hometown girl? EMMYLOU HARRIS, I mean, I went just NUTS!!!
I know I kept yelling ?Oh my God!!!" over and over until the song started, and then I shut my yap and just let it soak right through me. I told Mrs. Horton, ?Sweetie, I just died and went to heaven!? This was FANTASYLAND, people! It was awesome, breathtaking, gorgeous, aching, whatever, fill in your exclamation of praise. Get the damn boot just so you can hear this!!!! A special night just got even more special! Emmylou walked over to Patti and they exchanged hugs that seemed to exhibit genuine friendship, and Bruce led the applause for Emmylou as she left the stage. Gram Parsons must have been smiling, somewhere. I know I have another memory that will last me a lifetime.

Song #16. Patti?s weirdly haunting vocal intro. Bruce begins to sing. I guess I don?t have to tell you all that this was a very special moment for me and the Mrs. A circle felt complete. For us, it was a pilgrimage to hear him do this live. One hand holding on to the other?s, one hand up in the air, and singing, singing, singing.

Encores! (Party time!)

Brian said, ?Hey, Courtney Cox is from Birmingham, too! You don?t think she will be here for Bruce to pull up onstage?!? I laughed and told him that the way our night?s been going, I suppose anything?s possible, but that that was a real longshot! BTW, the rocked-up DITD is most excellent!

?Glory Days!? HERE is where he finally, convincingly, cracked the crowd, and you could feel it. NO ONE sitting, EVERYONE up and dancing and into it.

?Born to Run? Really. What more can be said?

?Cadillac Ranch??HOLY SHIT! 4 songs in the first encore, and another tour rarity! I?m glad someone else here noticed the Bear Bryant hat! Can this man play to a crowd or what! Oh, yes indeed, the crowd ate it up! What a fuckin? ham! Doncha love it!

?My City of Ruins??very nice. I had to stand. I had to.

?Land of Hope and Dreams??I remember telling Mrs. Horton to make sure that this one got played at my funeral.

?Ramrod??He can play this song at every show he does for the rest of his life and I won?t mind at all. This thing has become THE SONG THAT NO LONGER MAKES ME PINE FOR ROSALITA.OR THE DETROIT MEDLEY. This thing has become THE showtopper -offer. This thing is so, so, SO much fun that he can keep on playing it even 10 minutes longer than he does and I won?t mind. What time is it? B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-BOSS TIME!!!!!!!!!!! This man is the greatest showman in rock, bar none, hands down, fuhgetaboutit.

Show over. 2 hours and 39 minutes. I checked myself. I had the feeling. I. . . was. . . drained. But in the way that makes you feel cleansed and energized. We said our goodbyes like disciples who had just been baptized again, ready to face what the world had to give. The drive home was not a problem at all. After talking about it with Mrs. Horton for an hour, she went to sleep and I kept on driving and smiling and shaking my head. And I couldn?t wait to share this with you all and to read what you all thought. If this was the Little Rock for this tour, then I am just speechless at the thought of what the rest of you have been/will be witnessing.

Overall verdict?

There is still magic in the night.

Danny wrote: I was fortunate enough to stand touching the stage between Patti & Steve. What a show! Darlington County absolutely rocked... I was talking to some people about that song prior to the show and we figured it would not be played since there is a WTC reference... It was played and not changed..... The whole crowd was "sha la la -ing".... As for My Hometown w/ Emmylout, it too was great... "Just the ladies" bruce said after looking around at the start of the song and seeing just Emmylou, Patti, & Suzie on stage.

BTUSA/Thuder road was on the setlist as was Atlantic City... I think we got "Night" instead of Atlantic City and I know we got Cadillac ranch in the BTUSA/TR spot.... Absolutely no complaints here. Cadillac Ranch was "by request" from a sign holder center stage saying something to the effect of "I breast fed in line for 6 hours to hear Cadillac Ranch" - She had her infant in the line prior to the show obviously... Someone tossed a Houndstooth hat on stage at the beginning of Cadillac Ranch (like the one Bear Bryant - former Alabama Football Coach) used to wear... I think the reference was lost on Bruce who said "Pinky Lee" and started strutting around like Pinky Lee (apparenty a '60's tv character who wore this kind of hat).... Another funny moment was during the Ramrod and the "what time is it" portion of the song... He said "steve, I think it is time to go back to the hotel and watch pronographic movies" and some people at center stage tossed some porn boxes on stage. Steve and Bruce laughed and picked them up... Patti Rolled her eyes when she saw... Also, Bruce was trying to hula hoop his guitar around his neck at the end of the Eternal Ramrod song and after 3 failed attempts in a row (he had made some successful ones earlier in the song) he laughed and said "Ah F*** it!!.....

I hope eveyone down the road gets as good a show as we saw last night....

Steve Klein wrote: Take a sparse stage, add competent lighting, good sound. Hold the special effects, ditch the dancers. It's pure rock.

The E Street Band is as tight as ever. One almost has to tear himself away from the music to even realize how GOOD these guys are individually. Then there is the Boss, doing it. Voice as powerful as ever, Bruce and the band making great music. The "Rising" songs live are as powerful as the lyrics. The trio, with the soaring voice of EmmyLou Harris, Bruce and Patty, reminded us that it is our hometown. It was all about the music here. Wasn't aware of my friends beside me, the parents behind me with their two primary school kids, rocking and singing together as a family until the show ended. Bruce's lyrics are too complex, the melodies too tightly woven, the band making it happen, for me to have any mental diversions. It was a good night, the music won.


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