2005-05-11, Rosemont Theatre, Chicago, IL

Devils & Dust Tour
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Bruce plays a banjo for "I'm on Fire".

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Scott Zoldan wrote: I was expecting Tom Joad 2, Boy was I wrong.... Incident on 57th then straight into The River on Piano was incredible. I never thought I would say that at a acoustic show. Lots from the Rising, hate paradise on the album, loved it last night. The highlight of the night aside from incident was during LOHD his string on his guitar broke and while he was changing guitars he kept singing the audience started singing and quickly the whole audience was on their feet, it was like a rising tour show, so much fun. And finally for the first time on the tour he did not end the show with the promised Land. Intstead he covered Roy Orbinson's Dream. Phenomenal Show!!

kid from the bronx wrote: This show exceeded all of my expectations, which are usually high. I was expecting an upgraded version of the Tom Joad Tour (which I liked), even after reading all the glowing reviews from what Bruce last night aptly labelled as "the converted." This was really an entirley different deal. The debate goes on among some as to which Bruce is best, the "live rocker" or the "solo act." I prefer a mixture, but, I must say this...if you want to get the ultimate "cosmic Bruce" you got some of it in Chicage last night in a way I have never seen at the big shows. You just can't describe the incredible moments on paper. You had to be there.

How lucky are we fans to have heard "Incident" and "The River" on solo piano and an incredible "My Beautiful Reward" on organ? And in a small theater with great sound no less. Did anyone even think this was possible a few years (decade) ago?

Most of us have heard "Incident" from the Main Point in '75 but to be in the crowd in '05 for an almost as good and impassioned version? Wow. The great thing about the show, besides the above (which we know is worth the price of admission alone), in my opinion, is that we were not there to see an oldies or a "greatest hits" act. I love all those songs as much as the next person, but how many reunion tours do you need? What makes Bruce great first and foremost is his writing, and for many years there just wasn't that much going on? I read an article called "Born to Run Out of Ideas" and even being a strong member of the flock, I had to admit there was some truth to it.

The Chicago show brought it all back for me. The new songs were fresh, powerful and poignant. They were delivered by a completely relaxed, fresh, alive and funny (finally) Bruce. They all sounded, as we have come to expect, much better than the album cuts. As usual, there were mostly ups (Besides the above mentioned Long Time Comin, Jesus, The Hitter, Fall Behind were all great) and a few downs (Reason to Believe sounded like Tom Waits on a chain gang, which isn't all that bad I guess; Part Man Part Monkey sounded kinda funky but I never got it and still don't; I'm on Fire, I have no need for with or without a Banjo, and Bruce whistles about as well as I do) but that's the point. There was novelty and there was experimentation, which is great for an artist of Bruce's stature. And what stands out the most, I guess, is when did Bruce become such a good piano player, as well as deliver multiple instruments other than guitar beautifully?

Lily wrote: Having been shut out of the TJ tour I wasn't sure what to expect. I was looking forward to the intimacy of the night and hearing from Bruce himself. He doesn't talk much on the stadium tours anymore. Well any expectation or desire was surely granted. It was a very intimate night, in a great theatre with terrific sound. Highlights were certainly Incident right into The River on piano, Leah, Long Time Coming, The Hitter all played well with Leah being the highlight. What surprised me (and shouldn't have) is just how talented Bruce is. It is difficult to carry a show with a band but to be able to play all the instruments he did and use the vocal range that he has attained was truly amazing. The vocals on Incident were richer than I have ever heard before.
Get ready Virgina, its going to be great.


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