2003-08-16, Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco, CA

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 3 hours.

"Across the Border" is a tour premiere and the first time the song has been played in concert by the E Street Band.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Griff Neal wrote: I thought you might want to pass on that the San Francisco show really sucked. I've been to at least one show on every tour since the River tour. Other than a Smashing Pumpkins show in 95 this was the worst concert I've seen period.

The sound was completely screwed up, bass was so heavy I could not make out vocals in most sets. My seats 14 rows from the front and center turned out to be 400 feet from the stage. Some genius put the stage in center field, left the infield empty, and had all seats at least 400 feet from the stage.

Song selection blew. It would be nice to hear Thunder Road, Candy's Room, The River, Other side of the river. We got The Promised Land, Lonesome Day, My Love Will Not Let You Down, Empty Sky, You're Missing/Waitin' on a Sunny Day, Worlds Apart, Out in the Street, Across the Border & No Surrender.

Bruce used to deliver a solid show no matter what the quality of his most recent release. Unfortunately that is not the case with this tour. I hope others can read this and not get ripped off.

Dr. John Carpenter wrote: It was a beautiful, warm night under the stars in San Francisco. Sitting in nearly the same area as Mr. Neal, the sound quality was FANTASTIC. Maybe he needs a hearing aid. If this show gets booted, it may end up being one of the gems from tour 2002-2003. The bass was audible, but it never overrode anyone else's instrument or vocal. You could even hear when Clarence played the finger cymbals! This was not at all like the typical sound of a stadium show. Again, a quality recording of this gig will be a real keeper.

Saturday night was inspiring from the very start. Bruce and the band played extremely well -- they led off with six songs in a row without a break, all played with a fiery intensity. I'd enjoyed Springsteen concerts for almost 23 years and, until last night, had never seen him do "Something In The Night." What a treat it was to hear it, at last!

Bruce introduced "Across The Border" -- a tour PREMIERE -- by saying they were going to do "some California music." Although under-appreciated by people like Mr. Neal, it was nonetheless stunning. Bruce obviously worked hard on the arrangement and Suzy, in particular, was superb on violin.

The main set closer "Into The Fire" was the finest version I'd ever seen them do, and the first encore opener, a full-band "No Surrender," combined strength and grace in a whole new fashion. It was better than the April 9 performance they gave in nearby Sacramento.

The joy and energy of "Seven Nights To Rock," with the park's lighting full-on, brought everyone to their feet, even the idiots fiddling with their cell phones and beer cups who only have the Greatest Hits CD in their collection. "Rosalita" -- after 15 years without seeing it -- was magnificent, too.

Every song was well performed, Bruce was typically magic, and the band was sterling. Any fool like Mr. Neal who claims last night was a "rip-off" should just stay home and watch "American Idol" reruns.

An awesome, passionate, moving, and funny Bruce Springsteen performance, at $75 a seat, is the best bargain in rock and roll. Period.

Jason DeWitt wrote: I should start out by saying that I was lucky enough to have a GA and get into the pit-about 3 rows back from front.

I do agree about the sound, some of what Bruce said I could not understand, the bass did seem a little over the top. On the other hand look at the venue. PacBell is a completely wide open venue, windy, echoes abound, it would have taken a magician to get it just right.

Being in the pit was a first time experience, and it was GREAT. First off, way before the show in the early afternoon-meet great people (Christine from Oregon-petite, pretty with freckles) and others.

So that was all fun to start out. Then, the show was simply outrageous. There is no such thing as a bad Springsteen show, and Bruce and Co. showed us why. Energy was amped up, Bruce hanging from the mic stand upside down monkey style, Ramroding, Seven Days of Rock, Rosie(!!!), plus his "Public Service Announcement" were just a fraction of the highlights.

I was curious, and maybe someone can answer this. How was the crowd? The pit, of course, was awesome. It is hard to tell if the rest of the place is also rocking. If they were not then we had too many SF wine and cheese forty niners fans...

Springsteen and Co. love their fans, and it never shows more than through his concerts. SF was no exception.

Unlike my counterpart Griff, I say, "Spend your money, don't save it. Spend it wisely. Spend it on Rock and Roll. Spend it on Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band."

Donna Barnett wrote: He was absolutley awesome. There is no other way to describe it. His encore lasted about an hour. The crowd (sold out in 16 min) did not want him to leave the stage then.

I am not sure how many people attended, but the entire seating of Pac Bell Park was sold out as well as seating on almost the entire field.

I believe it is the first concert that I have attended where the event staff ended up dancing with people in the aisles.

I hope it was recorded for those who couldn't get a ticket within the first 16 minutes after they were put on sale.

Ruth wrote: I thought the concert was great, granted we were far away from the stage but it's a ballpark park not an arena. When you see 40,000 + people rock out to Bruce and the E Street Band it is an amazing sight!

xnyerinsf wrote: Griff Neal doesn't know what he is talking about.

As someone who has seen many Boss shows in many places, this was a more than solid effort in which Bruce, the band and the crowd showed tremendous energy and enthusiasm. The setlist was nicely varied,though obviously (and appropriately) focused on The Rising. The sound was very good for an outdoor venue.

But I do want to thank Griff for indicating that he'll stay home next time. There will be one more ticket for the rest of us.

Doctor Malcolm wrote: This was another wonderful show. Sure, we missed 'Thuder Road' and didn't get any old 'Greetings' stuff, but we got 'Something in the Night', 'Seven Nights', and 'Rosie'! (I think think the problem for Mr. Neal was Mr. Neal.) We were on the field, stage left and about 18 rows back, and the sound was fantastic--crisp, clean, and powerful. The crowd was good. The park was brilliant--especially for the lights-on portions of the show when I turned around to look at the stadium from deep right-center field. What a sight! Bruce and the band were having more fun than I've seen them have since the last SF show in 1978--a real, fun, and happy treat.

Killington wrote: I too had a hard time with the sound quality at this show. At times Bass was overwhelming and aleays it seemed as though the sound man didn't really have soft in his musical vocabularyIt seems logical that it would be very hard to do sound for an outdoor arena so I'm not registering this as a complaint more ase a sad fact. It was great to see steve Van Zant out of the Soranos (thopugh it;s pretty fun to see him there too) and live on stage mugging for the crowd. Max Weinberg was also a treat. Unlike the Solo World tour where I really enjoyed the new Tom Joad material as much as the classics at PacBell I thought the old tunes were the best part of this show. It was hard not to be moved by The promised land-what a great way to open a show that would spend so much time contemplating the horror of 9/11 in that promised land. No surrender filled that same place for me in this show and I loved hearing it. For sheer fun Bobby Jean, Bad Lands and of course Rosalita were wonderful.

If I had the coice to pay &75.00 to see the show knowing what I now know would I? OF course..I'm thinking of flying to Colorado for one more hit of the boss...(It was also fun to see Patti blush when Bruce described her as a sexy thing...)


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