2003-07-15, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

The Rising Tour
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Notes

Appr. 3 hours, 5 minutes.

Main set closes with "Thunder Road".

Eyewitness accounts

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Francis Valentino wrote: My favorite concert of all time. I was 14 at the time and hadn't really seen many stadium shows by anyone. I'll never forget the opening Born in the USA Acoustic. Sitting in the back, i found it amazing how extremely loud and clear the sound was. Looking down to the stage and seeing a little figure with a tiny guitar blaring throughout a stadium. The whole show was incredible i think. The 8 song encore(s), Rosalita, Ramrod into Born to Run. then Dancing in the dark. great.

John L wrote: Start with amazing and from there it only gets better. Opening with Bruce doing a solo version of Born In the USA. Chilling versions of Empty Sky and You re Missing follow by the pick me up Waiting On A Sunny Day. Sherry Darling had the building rocking (not kidding). If Sherry Darling had the building rocking, Badlands plain and simple moved the foundation. Back to the tears with Into The Fire followed by No Surrender. Amazing how they all fit together.

Not a better first encore to be found then Bobby Jean Ramrod Born to Run. 60,000 people thrusting fists to tramps like us .

Seven Nights To Rock opens a second encore followed by a wonderful version of My City of Ruins. Bruce offers this song to the NJ Food Banks and to Asbury Park. Land Of Hope and Dreams puts a bow tie on the evening. I would have been happy to say good night and lets do it all again in a few days.

What followed might have been one of the most amazing moments of any concert that I have ever been too. With Bruce teasing this is the one, get up because this is the one the opening of Rosalita took opening night to level that concerts just don t get to very often. When I noticed this guy sitting next to me, who before the show, said he had been to 30 35 shows and all he wants to hear is I ain't here for business, I'm only here for fun when that guy has tears rolling down his face, not much else needs to be said.

Just for good measure Bruce throws in a little Dancing in The Dark to prove, to everyone who still has the ability to stand, that he is in much better shape then all of us.

Started amazing ended amazing! Special time.

Tom Cantillon wrote: Impressive opening night! The energy and intensity level was amazing. Great renditions of Promised Land, Darkness, Sherry Darling, Worlds Apart, Into the Fire, Ramrod was out of control and Rosalita was a very nice surprise.

Bruce and the band are in fine form--better than ever and more energetic than from the reunion tour. Looking forward to the rest of the Jersey nights.

Thanks, Bruce and Band for an unforgettable night. The magic is still there.

Kyle Pucciarello wrote: Four months ago I received my tickets for what was destined to be the greatest two weeks in my entire life. As July 15th drew nearer and nearer, my anticipation grew to a point where nothing else mattered - just Bruce. And he did not disappoint.

Opening the show with a solo Born in the USA was something that I felt was a very bold move - making a statement while showcasing a brilliant reworking of a tremendous song. In the parking lot prior to the show everyone was wondering just what he would open with - from "Summertime Blues" to "Seven Nights to Rock," but this worked just fine.

"The Rising" and "Lonesome Day" continued to prove powerful and worthy of the opening spots. And the adrenaline continued with "The Promised Land," an inspired "My Love Will Not Let You Down," (with Max's blistering drums) as well as a great "Darkness on the Edge of Town."

As has been customary on the 2002-03 tour, Bruce then brought the show down with "Empty Sky" and "You're Missing." Some felt these songs may not work in a stadium, but they served as a reminder than the World Trade Centers are no longer visible from the Turnpike right outside of Giants Stadium, and functioned brilliant in their own right.

"Waitin' on a Sunny Day" continued to be a fun number, with Bruce knee-sliding across the stage and flipping himself upsidedown on his microphone stand - a truly great moment. In keeping with the summer sing-a-long, a great "Sherry Darling" was played, followed by the powerhouse trio of "World's Apart," "Badlands," and "Out in the Street," one of Bruce's truly great stadium songs.

After the band intros and fun of "Mary's Place," one of the first surprises surfaced, a full-band version of "The River," fit with a beautiful falsetto and violin solo at the song's end.

"Into the Fire" was great as always, and the band going into "No Surrender" worked tremendously well. "Thunder Road" closed off the main set with Bruce doing a knee slide to Clarence, giving the audience a slight nostalgic feeling.

The first encore picked up with crowd-pleasing "Bobby Jean," and continued with the stunning "Ramrod." The on-stage antics between Springsteen and E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt were entertaining, as was Bruce and the entire band exiting the stage, leaving piano playing Roy Bittan all alone. Bittan's piano solo was another true highlight of the night, and the band came back on stage to finish out the rocker.

Then came everyone's concert favorite "Born to Run," the anthem of New Jersey. But the encore would not be complete without a song that summed up the seven night run. Well, what better than "Seven Nights to Rock." Although not everyone in the crowd was familiar with the words, the song proved to be an all out rocker and was another true highlight of the night.

The second encore began with "My City of Ruins," which was dedicated to the local food bank as well as Asbury Park. "Land of Hope and Dreams," the only low point of the show, followed with a brief public service announcement about the United States' involvement in the war with Iraq.

After the LOHAD, Bruce pulled all of the band to the front of the stage. Feigning not being able to lift his famous Telecaster, Bruce did a dead-on Robert DeNiro impression of not being able to play anymore. But the night was not over yet.

Bruce yelled out "This is the one," but not all of the crowd got it. Could this be a joke? Nope, "Rosalita" came out and was the highlight of the night, proving that thirty years after it was first penned it was still was one of the Boss' best concert rockers.

And then came a newer rocker, the reworked "Dancing in the Dark." The powerhouse duo of Rosie and Dancing brough the energy level up to heights seemingly impossible, and for a moment it was like the crowd was transported back 18 years to the days of "Born in the USA," when Bruce was the biggest thing out there.

And for this one night (and probably the next six as well), he really was.

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