2002-11-21, TD Waterhouse, Orlando, FL

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 2 hours, 45 minutes

"Saint in the City", "Human Touch" and the "Detroit Medley" are tour premieres. "Detroit Medley" is an audible. It hasn't been played since 1988 and according to Little Steven it hadn't even been rehearsed.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Darren Cooksey wrote: Thanks to the brilliance of the fans who organised the GA line, I managed to get into the pit for this my first concert of the Rising Tour. I had made the trip from England as part of a hundred strong contingent from the English Badlands fan club, who were here to see all three Florida shows.

At approx. 2015 Bruce and the band came onstage, and with a quick "Good evening Orlando!" they launched into what was the best opening to a Springsteen concert I have ever seen. The Rising flowed into Lonesome Day and the band were really giving it everything, being so close I could see the effort these guys were putting in. After Lonesome Day Bruce called out "Come on Nils, come on Max!" and No Surrender followed. If memory serves me correct this version had an instrumental opening salvo minus the vocal harmonies used on the album and at the Meadowlands in '99. And if I thought things couldn't get much better then that a big smile came to my face as I recognised the symbol rustling opening to Candy's Room. This version was on fire and came complete with the excellent guitar screeching to close the song.

Empty Sky and You're Missing followed in emaculate fashion, and the somber mood was lifted with a sing-a-long Waitin' On a Sunny Day, with Bruce renaming Stevie as 'Orlando Steve'! The good mood continued with a surprising rendition of Darlington County, complete with "World trade centre" lyric, and so it should to! Then came the big surprise of the night so far as Bruce started strumming the opening chords of Saint in the City. The crowd went wild and the song really rocked. However the song did not end with the tradional guitar duel. Instead Bruce gestered for Roy to bang down on the keys of the piano, to which he gratefully obliged. Obviously impressed with the results Bruce waved Roy on to close out the song in this manner.

Up next was Worlds Apart and at last we got to see the guitar duel as one of these closes out this number before the band leap into Badlands. The house lights go up until Bruce sings "Lights out tonight". She's the One was next minus the drum intro you might expect, this year the song hits straight into the keyboard intro familiar to the album version, with Clarence giving it plenty of maracas. Following this we had a sing-long Mary's Place, and just where Bruce tries to quiet the song down just before the "I've been missing you" rap, the Orlando crowd yelled Bruuuce! so much that he gave up trying to get a quiet moment and carried on, grinning all the way. It was clear this was no ordinary night and Human Touch followed, dedicated to at least three people, and boy did this one rock, unrecognisable from the '92 version in it's power and strength. Bruce then walked over to the piano and said"I haven't done this in a while, so I hope I can get throught it!" and performed The Promise, which I never thought I would here live.

Into The Fire followed with a new vocal intro by Patti, who is so much improved on this tour. This song is one of the big highlights of the concert.

The encores were amazing, already going down in Springsteen legend. He walked out and tried to play the opening to Glory Days, but he had left on a grip type thing which holds the strings down. He quickly threw it over his shoulder and continued. At the end of this he looked at the band and shrugged his shoulders and said "Born To Run?", obviously making the set list up as he went along at this late stage. He then played this with full house lights on and the crowd were wild. Again, being so close I could see exactly what happened next. As the song closed out Bruce looked at Stevie and called into his ear "Devil With The Blue Dress!" Little Stevens face was a picture as he gazed into the crowd with disbelief and stood rigid. Bruce laughed and said "Devil with the Blue dress!, tell Roy, tell Roy!" By now the rest of the band were wondering what to do so Nils came over, got the word and rushed over to tell Clarence and Danny. Bruce faced Max and called out the next number, and like a cool dude he nodded and said "ok". With a "1-2-3-4" Bruce opened the song and his face was a picture as he listened out to see if the band could remember it! Through the song it featured Devil, Good Golly Miss Molly, CC Rider and Jenny take a ride only. No 'I hear a train' or 'Travellin' band'. After this one the band left the stage with every one smiling and joking about the impromptu performance.

Shortly after the band came back to do My City of Ruins, Born in the USA and Land of Hope And Dreams. But they weren't finished yet, and for the first time on the tour they used an extended Dancin' in the Dark to close, which fits perfect in this position. A great concert, and fans who have been following Bruce for years hailed this as their favourite show of all time.


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