1978-07-05, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA

Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour
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Notes

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
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Peggy Hannan wrote: I was worried that all kinds of flotsam would be jumping on the band wagon, it's the first time I had trouble getting a good seat! The Forum roof almost came off!

Paul Jarvis wrote: I had seen Bruce in 1975 at UC Santa Barbara's Robertson Gymnasium and twice in 1976--once at the Santa Monica Civic and once at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. Great anticipation for this show. Bruce was on KMET radio with Mary "Mounds" Turner on July 4-- a great interview with songs from the newly released "Darkness" album played.

This is my all-time favorite show (with the possible exception of 10-23-99).

"Badlands" is my all-time favorite opener. Bruce opened strongly mixing old material with the new. The first stunning moment was the a rousing version of "The Promised Land" followed by "Prove It All Night." "Prove It" is one of the more lightweight songs on the album, but of course Bruce provided perhaps the most exciting moments of the show with his incredible, extended guitar solo to open the song. Bruce followed this up with "Racing In the Street" which morphs into "Thunder Road." Bruce tells the story of driving in the desert and finding a house built from things scavenged from the desert. The road sign says "Thunder Road." It is written in blood red paint and also includes the words, "This is the land of peace. love, justice, and no mercy."

Jungleland is always a show stopper, and it followed Thunder Road ending the first half of the concert. The first half of this show was better than any concert I had ever seen!

The second half had some tremendous highlights as well. "Paradise by the Sea" was a fun way to open the second half. I loved the Bo Diddley beat that permeated "Mona" and which turned into "She's the One." The most stunning moment of all was during "Backstreets." Bruce inserted a monologue toward the end (which was no doubt the inspiration for the song "Drive All Night" to come later.

The intensity of the story was unbelievable--Bruce beginning with, "I remember you...standing on the corner...of Richmond Avenue. He is directing his comments to a girlfriend who has apparently betrayed him. He recounts how he would "drive all night--just to buy you some shoes" or "to taste your tender charms. To have you hold me in your arms." The story builds in intensity as Bruce finally comes out with it--his "little girl" has been telling "pretty lies." After laying out the betrayal, Bruce says, "And now you're back. Well little girl, I'm back too. And I've been out, and I've seen some things, and I've learned a thing or two about me and you." Ultimately Bruce lets out a scream-- much like the incredible moans at the end of "Jungleland." He cries,"You lied" before moving back into the conclusion of "Backsteets."

I have always loved "The Promise," and got to hear it for the second time (the first being in 1976 at Santa Monica). The end of the show was as wild and raucous as ever with "Rosalita," "Born to Run," an incredible guitar solo featured on "Because the Night." "Quarter to Three closed the most incredible show ever. I only wish I had made it into the Roxy Theater two nights
later!

I have an audience recording of 7-5-78, but I recommend getting the 7-7-78 bootleg from the Roxy. It was a live radio broadcast, and the sound is great. It captures most of the aforemention highlights quite well (no "The Promise" but you get a great opener in "Rave On."

Winterland Night, Live in the Promised Land, and Piece de Resistance are other 1978 boots worth having.

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