2003-08-31, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

The Rising Tour
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Notes

Appr. 2 hours, 50 minutes.

"Cynthia" is performed live for the first time ever. "Lucky Town" is a tour premiere. "Jersey Girl" is played for the second time on the tour, but for the first time with the full band on the tour.

Jon Landau plays guitar on "Dancing in the Dark"

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
1562
Kyle Mitschele wrote: Tonight was simply a beautiful night to be alive. The weather was perfect, the crowd was energized, and the Band and Bruce were oh-so-tight. Now my tenth time seeing the Boss since 99, this was the best. The crowd was as energized and into the concert as any I ve seen, and Bruce was really having a great time; the best concerts I ve been too, the energy on-stage, up front, and even in the seats way in back was palpable. That was certainly true of this concert.

The tried and true only would have appreciated the opening of Cynthia. Very surprising selection, but it did the trick. It must be said though, that they probably could have played Happy Birthday on stage and that would have done the trick on this night. Rising and Lonesome Day, the 1-2 set standards this summer, were as polished (and finely broadcast, thanks to a getting-their-act-together-finally sound crew) as any versions I ve heard.

And then NIGHT. While I ve heard this before in concert, as it is not quite a rarity, the band at this point made their statement that they were here to put on a show for the ages. Truly amazing.

I think the highlight of the night came after the Sunny Day sing along (Bruce seems to have timed that stage slide just right at this point) when he started asking Can you feel the SPIRIT? I was going nuts. I ve only heard Spirit once before, earlier this summer, but this was just so much fun. And then, spirits definitely up (pun intended), came a most memorable 1-2 punch, maybe one of the best parts of the night. Because the Night, that LIVE set standard, was amazing to hear in concert. What a song. When it didn t seem like there could be anything more coming off the stage, or from the crowd, the opening rhythm of BADLANDS hits the crowd like a wall, and the place went crazy. This opened it up for even the most casual fans in the audience, and got everyone rocking.

As I am beginning to offer a rather lengthy account here, I will cut to a few more of the rarities and true highlights: Lost in the Flood was really stark and haunting such a vision of those lost souls we so often hear about from Bruce. Into the Fire, which is, of course, so immediate and relevant, and one of the finest songs on The Rising. Closing the main set with Promised Land, that beautiful harmonica throughout a great way to bring it back up, and, at this point, played with such conviction and true musicianship from the band.

The first encore set was the most amazing three song combination I ve heard in some time, in no small part coming from the fact that I turned to my friend as they walked onto stage and said, I feel Kitty s Back. While I felt it, when that guitar opening hit, I was thrown a bit as was, I think, much of the crowd. This song is so much fun live, and the band was at its best in the break in the middle, doing some really tight jamming. Roy, Danny, and then Bruce just played their hearts out on this break, and it showed. And then, when Bruce was looking down at the end of the alley, coaching the crowd with Here she comes , it took off. High energy led into a tight, solid Glory Days, which brought the energy (now for the WHOLE crowd, not just aficionados) through the well where the roof would approximately be at Giants Stadium. And then, as always, Born to Run, Stadium lights on there s really nothing like it, even if it is a show standard. Not a surprise, but certainly a jewel of the show.

With the second encore being standard at this point, it probably only needs to be noted that each of these songs simply received a terrific treatment tonight. Rosie coming out was also a highlight people pumping there are to punctuate Clarence s sax solo in the middle and, of course, some of the best lines of the night: I ain t here for business, I m only here for fun. I think the band really was only there for fun last night.

The last surprise, which, to some extent was a wished-upon, I-bet-he ll-do-it kind of surprise, but a truly happy one nonetheless: closing off the summer and the historic Jersey stand with none other than Jersey Girl. There were tears from some people on this: and it was a beautiful way to close the shows at the Stadium. Truly a great night to be alive and a Bruce fan.

South Jersey Dan wrote: This South "Jersey Boy" stepped out into the night last night hoping Giants Stadium would prove to be lucky town and he would finally get to hear Jersey Girl. Bruce and the E Street Band truly are the best "little house band" and came through on a magical night. The weather was great and the fans were full of excitement and electricity before the band even took the stage. It was great hearing some of the old classics like Kitty's Back, Lost in the Flood, and Spirit in the Night. My wife was thrilled to hear Because the Night and Badlands. Having been a Bruce fan for thirty years now, I can honestly say that Bruce and the band seem to be cheating time by getting better, not just older. The guitar solo's, keyboards', and the Big Man's solo's are as long, loud and great as ever - you just can't feel the music recorded like you can in their live concerts. Ending the concert with Jersey Girl made my night and made the long drive home through the swamps of Jersey go a lot quicker - no chance of falling asleep after a Bruce concert. I feel extremely lucky to have been at two of what I believe and hear were two of the best concerts. Last night's in Giants Stadium and the August 11th at Lincoln Financial in Philly, where I was really lucky and got tickets in the pit, ending up right in front of Bruce, about four people back from the stage. There's no doubting Bruce when he sings "I'm a Rocker". He/they are the best! - keep up the great work and I hope they continuing touring for a few more decades!

Bill N. wrote: When The Boss does his best Moe-Larry-&-Curly from "The Three Stooges" near the close of Rosalita, you gotta good night... Turned Giants Stadium into a small club... From "Spirit" to "Kitty", they pulled out great audience-participaton tunes all night... Because The Night burned... Good to see Bruce keep the line "fucked up" in Lost In The Flood... Who needs the Mets in the playoffs when you can get the E-Street Band on the field at Shea for a few upcoming tour-closing shows??!!

Tom Carpini wrote: 1) Cynthia... never performed live until last night. That was a sucker punch....I didn't know the words. Guess I'm just gonna have to listen to Tracks more often.

2) The Rising

3) Lonesome Day...great studio number, just spectacular done live.

4) Night....from Born to Run.....Max was possessed by the devil. He's so good he scares me. If Max was driving the Titanic, it never would have sunk.

5) Lucky Town....he fired the band in the early 90's....his "new direction" was a wrong turn. The E Street Band just blistered this song and they didn't even perform on it originally. I'll bet Bruce never fires them again.

6) Empty Sky...we can do without Patti on this one...still, its a beautiful song, especially considering the inspiration. Never forget 9/11.

7) Waiting on a Sunny Day....he dedicated this to the Little Steven fan club

8) Spirit in the Night....amazing

9) Because the Night... more amazing

10) Badlands

11) Two Hearts

12) No Surrender

13) Mary's Place...with "I Don't Want to Go Home" intro...it gave me the warm fuzzies....thanks, Bruce...one of my highlights

14) Lost in the Flood....studio version has a beautiful piano intro...last night it was replaced with Soozie Tyrell's violin. Stunning.

15) Into the Fire

16) The Promised Land...I swear, the crowd sing along drowned out the band.

First Encore

17) Kitty's Back....15 solid minutes of ecstacy. Musical Viagra.

18) Glory Days...never really cared for this song as much as others..done live is another story... it whipped the crowd into an epileptic frenzy and kept the audience energy level so high that Bruce and the Band just fed off the vibes and he got even more intense. I can deal with that.

19) Born to Run....sure, its cliche...its expected, demanded, and overplayed. So friggin' what. House lights on, 55000 raving tramps thrusting their fists in the air and howling at the moon like wild savages hopped up on cheap whisky and peyote. Life is good.

Second Encore

20) My City of Ruins...loved it on the heartwrenching 9/11 special that was broadcast on every single TV channel in the known universe. The album version is even more beautiful. Last night's performance was a gospel rendition sung by a choir of angels. Damn near moved me to tears. An unforgettable performance, best I've heard.

21) Land of Hope and Dreams....first heard during the Reunion Tour in '99, this song has become a "must have", largely due to Steve's haunting mandolin and Max's viscious drumming.

22) Rosalita....best appreciated only in the swamps of Jersey. Hard to believe that this song is 30 years old. Hell, It's hard to believe I'm 51. So for about 11 minutes I'm 21 again....I wonder if when Dawn, my wife hears Rosalita, she feels like she's 6 years old again.

23) Dancing in the Dark...I'm trying to decide if this song belongs in the show, much less follow that song about the Spanish girl. But it is a crowd favorite, maintains the intensity level, and I must secretly admit that I sing along with everyone else...do I dare admit that maybe, just maybe, this song really works? But let this serve as notice....the next time I throw a house party and 55,000 of MY closest friends show up, I'm gonna play Thundercrack!!!

24) and last, but not least....the BIG ONE......should be a rocker, right? The last song at every Rock and Roll show is supposed induce cardiac arrest on every single audience member, right? Its the first law of Rock and Roll....violate this law and you are banished forever to Manilowland. The last song is supposed to force you to confess, make the dogs on Main Street howl, and rip the bones from your back. So naturally, Bruce stays between the lines because he's a good, law abiding Rock and Roll citizen........INCORRECTAMUNDO, Potsie Weber. He does Jersey Girl. In New Jersey. On the last of 10 shows at Jersey Giants Stadium. For all the Jersey Girls. Even the ones from New York. He didn't even write the damn song. And its a slow, "last chance dance" number to boot. Time to overhaul the Rules of Rock and Roll.

And so, ladies and gentleman, that's how my summer ended.

Tom Cantillon wrote: What can anyone say about a show that has Night, Spirit in the Night, Because the Night,
Lucky Town, Lost in the Flood, Kitty's Back, Rosalita and Jersey Girl all wrapped up in one amazing performance? AMAZING!

OFF THE CHARTS! WOW!

Bruce and E street Band cap off a mind-blowing, earth-shaking, brain-shocking, hard-rocking 10 nights with a truly legendary show.

Spirit is always a great live song. Because the Night was scorching! Bruce's passionate guitar work makes that song sizzle and sweat! Lucky Town was also very good. But Lost in the Flood--a song, done live, that resonates through one's soul very much the way Jungleland does. Powerful lyrics/images that imbed themselves in your mind like a movie that would star a young Marlon Brando or Paul Newman, when they were real rebel-rousers. Truly a masterpiece. "his body hit the street with such a beautiful thud." intense.
When Bruce is done touring, he should consider directing.

Kitty's Back--just a great, fun, rollicking, rock 'n' roll moment that is as light as Lost is dark and disturbing. Great combo, and who would have thought that you would hear both on the same night in Giant's Stadium.
Rosalita--simply a blast!

And Bruce finds a fitting way to pay tribute to his home-state by belting out a heartfelt version of Jersey Girl. It was the right song.

The ten nights, (can't believe they are really over) were without a doubt nothing short of amazing to have witnessed. True, a lot of people complained about songs not heard, brief shows and what not, but I never left disappointed. I was simply grateful to have been there and been fortunate enough to see a true showman and performer pump out some of the most earth-shaking rock 'n' roll shows ever! I had had my doubts about stadium shows and Bruce's age, as well as the bands. But they rocked harder, with more sincere passion and comittment to each and every show, than most other bands ever do.

Thanks Bruce and E Street Band for 10 memorable nights. Hope you'll be back in another 2 years...I need to save some money.

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