2004-10-01, Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA

Vote For Change
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"Man on the Moon" is Bruce joining REM during their set.

"Star Spangled Banner" is Bruce on acoustic 12-string guitar. The version of "Born in the USA" that follows is full band.

John Fogerty joins Bruce for "Centerfield", "Deja Vu", and "Fortunate Son".

Michael Stip of REM shares vocial on "Because the Night". The rest of REM plays on "Born to Run".

Everybody is on stage for the last three songs.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Brian wrote: From the moment Bruce came out and started playing an accoustic, bluesy Star Spangled Banner, through Born in the USA, Badlands, and then No Surrender, was one of the most amazing openings of a Bruce show I"ve seen. It showed Bruce as a true American, and someone true to his convictions. The next group of songs continue to rock out in an unrelentening force.

The whole evening, from Bright Eyes through REM, which played its more political songs, through the encores with everyone on stage, showed that there is a lot right about America, and made us feel patriotic again. It's OK to be patriotic, its not just the right of the Republicans.
It made me feel better about the country, even if Bush does win again.

The only down thing I notices wat that Clarence was either not feeling very well, or was relegated to a side musician. He was sitting down a lot, and had little to do. Most of the songs were not geared in his direction, and the solos in Badlands were short. Even in Mary's place he really didn't do much. I didn't even see him for the encores, he was probably there just lost with everyone else around.

Kev Ev wrote: With the exception of Bright Eyes, this was a great show. Bright Eues' music was good, but their singer shouted more than he sang, and was mostly unable to be understood. I'm not an REM fan by any means, but I gained a new appreciation for them and their music last night. Michael Stipe and crew but on a tremendous performance.

Bruce and the band put on a helluva an act. With Bruce opening doing the Star Spangled Banner, and then launching into Born in the USA, the show was awesome. John Fogerty was great, and the whole encore with all the acts on stage was phenomenal. I can't wait to get this on a bootleg, I mean Bruceleg!

Kevin McDevitt wrote: I went to this show with moderate expectations, remembering that the first show of The Rising tour was maybe the worst show of the Rising tour. And although I am a Kerry supporter, I didn't want to be preached to all night. I was so pleasantly surprised...

THE POLITICS...kept to a minimum. This may have been due to Kerry's whup-ass on W. in Thursday's debate; every reference to the debate was made with a smile and a puffed-out chest. Bruce and Michael Stipe came out and said a few words before Bright Eyes took the stage; short and to the point. The lead singer for Bright Eyes made a few comments during his set (including something about getting rid of the "madman" running our country). Michael "We're R.E.M., and we approve of this concert" Stipe also kept it short and sweet. Bruce had a few things to say, but nothing I would really call a sermon...nothing as strong as his "PSA" before playing "War" on the BITUSA tour.

BRIGHT EYES...is a nice little band, but they don't appear ready for the big stage yet. The lead singer could use a stronger voice. The arena was only about 30% full during their 30 minute set; I was starting to think that the Swift Boat Assholes for Bullshit or Rush Limbaugh's rehab clinic had bought up a bunch of tickets in protest and burned them with W.'s service records.

R.E.M.: I was not a fan before. I am now. Big Voice from that little man. And Big Energy. I don't think it was by chance that of all the bands playing out there in the great state of Pennsylvania on Friday night, R.E.M. was opening for E-Street. Mr. Springsteen and Mr. Stipe seem to have a bond.

BS&TESB: So, here we are, almost exactly one year since the last Shea Stadium show. Not bad timing.

The first 8-9 songs...there are almost no words. Incredible cohesion and energy. The acoustic Star Spangled Banner was very cool. You had to know BITUSA was going to be the opener. When I heard BADLANDS next, my first thought was "it's too early for this song!"; but as the setlist worked it's way through, it fit. I almost thought it was 1984 during NO SURRENDER. The full band version of Johnny 99 maybe should have been a gem saved for later in the show, but it was still as much fun as when they played it 10/4/03. YOUNGSTOWN was as powerful as it was on the Reunion Tour, and Nils' solo was great...again.

John Fogerty looked good and sounded great, but what was with all of that jumping up and down?But... CENTERFIELD was fun, and FORTUNATE SON was awesome,...even if it is the Bush Family anthem.

The show lost a little coheshion from the middle on...mostly because of the various guests coming-n-going; but it was fun to see the different faces up there, all having a good time. The only real downside was that very few songs featured the Big Man. That, and like 10/4/03, they should have led all of the guests offstage after PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER, and come back on for one more song.

All in all, a great 2-hour E-Street show, especially when many were predicting maybe 1.5 hours. Now, what's this about another concert in Jersey on the 13th...?


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