2003-05-31, RDS, Dublin, Ireland

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 3 hours. "Kitty's Back" appears in Europe for the first time since 1975.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
"LostBoss" wrote: An amazing show by all standards. Bruce came out at 7:25 on the dot - almost imperceptibly given the fact that the sun was still shining and there were no lights to dim. He opened with an almost angry acoustic version of Born in the USA, and for the first four or five songs, he had a sullen look. It almost looked like he was pissed off about something, but that look and that mood changed quickly and boy what a show they put on. A few observations: Tough to keep a dry eye during "You're Missing" and "Empty Sky" ... unlike in the US, very few people, if any, took the "Patty Sets" to re-fill their beer or to dash to the bathrooms... Great Irish banter by Bruce in trying to get the people in the stands up off their big "Irish Arses"... Bruce and Stevie hamming during the encores with Bruce continually asking Stevie toward the end of each song "Stevie, has the sun gone down over there yet", and Stevie looking for the crowd's input, only to say no to the Boss and the show continues... Great crowd, great enthusiasm.. It looked as if Bruce had a little moisture in his own eyes as he sand "Into the Fire".. another moving moment filled with few dry eyes in the crowd..

Magnus Lauglo wrote: Bruce came onstage before 730, again with his acoustic 12 string, and went into the acoustic BUSA for the third time running. Perhaps he is trying to make some sort of political statement of sorts? Candy s Room also made its third appearance in a row, right after Lonesome Day. My Love Will not Let you Down and Atlantic City followed, both in very powerful versions which I am sure topped the London performances of those songs. I noticed that Nils had a mini solo towards the end of Atlantic City, it would be great if he were given time to expand this. One of the things I really liked about the 92-93 versions of this song was the long guitar solo which finished it. In Dublin, the end of the song had Bruce relentlessly repeating the; Meet me tonight in Atlantic City line again and again. With four shows in six days, he must have been tired, but it didn t show in his voice at all. In fact, I think perhaps Dublin got a more powerful performance of the early part of the show than the shows in England did.

The opening stages of the show covered familiar territory to those of us who had seen the UK gigs. Although the Dublin crowd was overall better than London and possibly also Manchester (this venue was smaller than both of those), I thought there was less energy throughout the show coming from the people at the very foot of the stage. Perhaps this was because many of them had seen the most recent shows and were hoping for less setlist overlap (I know I was). The crowd was getting quite into the show, but I felt Bruce s performance lacked the same fresh spark which had made the first London show so fun. Conversely Steve and especially Patti were very animated thoughout the show, Patti seemed to be having lots of fun performing with her kids just a few meters away to her left. The setlist would offer no real surprises until the encores, which I thought was quite a missed opportunity, considering how well the audience was receiving it all.

Perhaps Bruce had been a little thrown by an event early in the show, when two fans in the front row had made it over the barricade at the front, and were promptly manhandled quite viciously by security, as they were taken away. The security guards were well within their rights to carry the two individuals away, but I thought the chokeholds I saw them employ were unnecessary. I didn t see ho wit all started, but it looked to me like overkill. I hope the two men were not beaten up further after they had been taken away, but who is to know? In all fairness I should add that aside from this unfortunate and unflattering incident, the security guards by the stage (whom all looked like extras from Braveheart) were on the whole laid back and borderline friendly, compared to the ones in London.

During Empty Sky, I could hear the crowd singing along for part of the song which was very moving. And during You re Missing I noticed that the usually stonefaced security chief allowed a young child who was being held up in the second row, to come over the barrier and sit down for a while, which was a kind gesture.

Then followed several standard songs. I don t remember much about them in particular, but I did notice by comparing Bruce and Steve s solos during Worlds Apart, that Bruce s guitar was turned up much louder than Steve s. At one point, Bruce asked a fan to put down a sign, possibly because it was being held up continuously and blocking the view for those behind. As always, it was a real thrill when Bruce came down along the front ramp, singing Waiting on a Sunny Day and Promised Land. He sang a verse or two almost right in front of me. Throughout the show he grins and points at fans he recognises in the front rows.

After Badlands, I sensed that Bruce waited until the last moment to decide what song to play next. I was sure I saw him mouthing She s the One to Steve, but he went into Out into the Street. The two songs seem to be used alternately these days. Of the two, I think OITS works best in that slot and may get the crowd more excited, but She s the One is to me by far the better song.

Bruce must like Meeting Across the River as an intro to Jungleland, as he used it for a third time running. Setlist-wise, I would personally have preferred to hear something else, but on the other hand, this was a terrific performance of Meeting and definitely a better Jungleland than the ones earlier in the week had been. Gone were the loud bass sound problems of Manchester, and Clarence was in better form (throughout the whole show in fact) than he had been in England. It is great to finally have the violin back for the song, and Bruce gave a terrific vocal performance with his mournful cries at the end.

Thunder Road was great as usual and saw Bruce go over to the side of the stage to let a child (his other son?) sitting in the wings play briefly on his guitar. I think it was at this show (but it could have been Manchester) that the audience at the front continued to sing the melody of the Thunder Road sax solo after the band had left the stage, and possibly up until they returned for the first encore.

The band returned for the encores. Judging from the setlist I saw later, Bruce had planned to play Bobby Jean, but he had clearly decided at some point instead to shake things up a little for the diehards, which to be honest I think we deserved. He dedicated it to a fan standing to my right, who Had taken his the bedsheets from his hotel room . I craned my head around to see what it said on the request signs to my right. There was one for Hungry Heart and another which just read Kitty . I held my breath. Bruce joked about possibly screwing up the song because they hardly ever played it, and then they launched into . Kitty s Back.

Two nights earlier, after we had been blown away by Sandy in Manchester, I had joked with my friend Stefano; Well you never know, maybe we ll be talking about seeing Kitty s Back after the Dublin show. It wasn t even wishful thinking, it was meant as a optimistic joke. I mean lightning isn t supposed to strike twice is it? But here we were, only meters away from Bruce as he cranked out yet another gem from Wild and Innocent. I doubt that many people in the RDS knew the song, but it marked the time for select individuals in the front rows to go absolutely mad. Several band members got their own short solos, including Nils on acoustic guitar. I don t remember much about the performance except that it was great. It could have been loose, it could have been tight, but it certainly wasn t in any way slapdash.. I don t remember, as I was going quite crazy. So now I ve heard Kitty s Back live! I can t wait for the bootleg.

After this; Time to Roadhouse and in due time Steve lead us through the now familiar Boss Time call and response thing. Bruce has clearly learned to deal with the nickname he used to shy away from. After all, in certain contexts The Boss is quite descriptive of him. When used on his own terms he is clearly quite comfortable with using it these days. During this song, Someone put a funny Guiness hat on Roy s head which had been thrown up from the crowd earlier. Bruce made some comment to Steve along the lines of; I m going back to the hotel and having some of that black beer that makes you feel like you weight 500 pounds!

The encores were gloriously wild and did not see the band at their tightest. The band screwed up the transition between Ramrod and BTR, and the version of Seven Nights to Rock was quite ragged, with Bruce missing parts of lines. Minor quibbles in truth, these only added to the element of pandemonium which should rightfully be part of any Springsteen show. After Seven Nights to Rock, the band surprised us with an impromptu Glory Days which ended teh encore on a familiar and raucous note.

The second encore offered no real surprises. Unlike at the UK shows, Jon Landau did not appear onstage for the grand finale of Dancing in the Dark. My City of Ruins remains stunning and is one of the few Rising songs which works as well now as it did during last year s arena tour (the other obvious one being Waiting on a Sunny Day).

As many fans have noticed, Bruce tends to introduce LoHaD with This is Land of Hope and Dreams . I m not quite sure why he does this, certainly by now many people in the crowd know the song from LINYC or a previous concert. But to me it works well, in the sense that he isn t only introducing the song. To me he is also giving a summary statement of the evening. He s just been singing to us for almost three hours about hopes and dreams, so the statement is a sort of summary of the concert he has just played as well as an introduction to the penultimate song. I m not sure if Bruce means it this way, but as I stood exhausted ready for the final few songs of the evening (or in this case the week), it made perfect sense to me.

Greasy Lakers reconvened at a nearby hotel after the show for some Guiness and a bite to eat. It was nice meeting you all; people I had meet before as well as Frenchie Boy, his cute French girlfriend, and several other fans who may or may not swim in the lake. I regret having to retire before some of you guys, but I was fucking knackered.

The week has been a great one, and I will remember it forever as an intense week-long experience, rather than four individual concerts. It was great to meet so many great fans on the road, and put faces to some of the names here at Greasy Lake. Although I have physically recovered from my week following Bruce around, I am psychologically still up on a cloud of sorts.

The Dublin show was a day before the tenth anniversary of my first ever Bruce show, which I saw in Oslo back in 93. The next Bruce show I see will be in 2 weeks time, in that same city. I m quite glad to have a break. By the end of the week I had noticed that I was enjoying the shows a little less, perhaps due to overexposure more than anything else. Several fans I spoke to thought that Dublin was the best of the bunch, but for me personally, the shows I had most fun at were in London. I m still debating whether or not to go for Milano, but I m very much looking forward to Oslo and Gothenburg. If you re still reading this, thanks for bearing with me. I m looking forward to seeing some of you guys up the road this summer.

Jackie Quinn wrote: I'm 19 years old, 2 years ago my 24 year old brother introduced me to songs that would change my music interests forever.... I always knew who Bruce Springsteen was (who doesn't know BUSA!!!) but had never really heard anything else.

In 99 my brothers went to see him in the RDS but i passed claiming i wouldn't enjoy it cause i didn't know the lyrics to his songs, i mean, how boring is it to have to stand there and not be able to sing along? I wasn't of the same mind after seeing LINYC and particularly If I Should Fall Behind. When i heard tickets were on sale i jumped at the chance to go!!

We turned the corner towards the RDS and as myself and a friend got a glimpse of the stage we were squealing with delight... I couldn't wait! But of course I had to, we listened while he went through his soundcheck which greatly excited me and my brother and then we were inside. There were 3 kids onstage before the show started and I was surprised to find they were Bruces kids. Then out came the Boss...A chorus of "BRUUUUUCE" and he launched into BUSA acoustic, I was hoping for Rock version but was sooo happy to see him i didn't care!! The next 2 hours were a whirlwind of dancing singing the bits I knew and just enjoying the view(he looks fantastic for 53!!!!!) then along came some faves; DITD, Jungleland, BTR and ever emotional You're Missing and Empty Sky, was captured by him and the emotion emminating from him as he felt the obvious pain once more of 9 /11 .

Then came Kittys Back, never heard of it before but my bro was extremely excited by this, Seven Nights to Rock was classic fluff Rock and Roll to perfection we had so much fun dancing to it and knew the words almost immediately coz they are so simple! The mistake going from Ramrod was brilliant as he just laughed and said "This was how it should've been!"

My favourite moment had to be Ramrod, I LOVE that song sooo much!!! and OITS was classic as the crowd just kept singing after the band left the stage!!!

My only disappointment from the show was that it had to end and that it did.... He waited for the sun to go down and when it did we all danced in the dark!

BRILLIANT show, feel so lucky to experience it... might see you in USA Bruce if I'm lucky!!

must apologise to the poor girl who had me jumping all over her during the really rocking songs, she was so cool, just kept telling me to keep on dancing!

Michael Collins wrote: I'm just back in the states after one of the most exciting Bruce moments of my life in Dublin. This was my 51st show (Crystal Palace two was #50). I had my cousin and her boyfriend come over from County Kerry. It was their first show.

To see Bruce in Dublin with my deep Irish roots would have been a thrill under any circumstances but this was right over the top.

The energy level was like time had melted away. I clocked the show at 3:14. Even songs that have been played at every show (Mary's Place) had renewed energy.

The "pitch", as they call the floor overseas was packed but everyone was respectful and really into it. Bruce played the Irish angle all night long and the fact that it was still light well into the encores was also reason to add fuel to the Bruce fire.

This was one of those moments that will never be forgotten.

Roberto Sasso wrote: last Saturday I was in Dublin, for the fifth show of my mini European tour (previous stops were Barcelona, Paris and London).

It was an unbelievable night for me: during Thunder Road I was holding a sign for KITTY (made of five sheets of paper attached together), Bruce read it and nodded.

After the main set, Bruce walked out and said: "We don't do this often, but we're playing it tonight for the guy who obviously must have stolen the blank sheets from the hotel".

I was shocked, this jewel hadn't been played in Europe since 1975...

Bruce looked towards me asking "where are you from?"; my friends in the front row replied "Italyyyy", then Bruce said something like "I should've guessed it" (I'm not sure about it).

He pretended not to be sure about playing Kitty's Back, then finally started the song, and it was great!
There were no horns but the performance wass perfect, featuring also a great acoustic solo by Nils.

The emotions for me were not over: during the Ramrod reprise, Roy wore the Guinness hat I had thrown Bruce earlier (during Out In The Street).

Wow, this was a show I'll never forget: almost 3 hours and 15 minutes of pure magic.

Mark Donelly wrote: I must admit being a 23 year old is no excuse not to be a big fan of Bruce but I can't say I was before this gig. I was offered a ticket at the last minute and headed and was totally blown away by this 53 year old genius. I've never heard 'Kitty's back' before but what a tune - best of the night but 'Alantic City' was so intense and brilliant. I wish I could write more but I got to go .


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