2002-11-24, Ice Palace, Tampa, FL

The Rising Tour
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Appr. 2 hours, 45 minutes

"Twist and Shout" is a tour premiere. It hasn't been played by Bruce in concert since June 1, 1993.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
Gena wrote: What can I say but, the Boss rocked the house.

I was never really a Bruce fan until I hooked up with my boyfriend of that time - who was from New Jersey and a diehard fan. He gave me a copy of The Rising and told me he had tickets for the show at the St. Pete Times Forum (Ice Palace).

I listed to the CD until I practically wore it out! I was hooked. I could not wait for the show.

The show was everything I could have asked for and more. I sang every song as loud as I could although I could not hear myself for all the other fans doing the same. Some of the songs even brought me to tears, which really seemed to impress my boyfriend. He said later that he could tell by my reaction to each song that I truely understood what the Boss and his music was all about. I have never been so emotionally moved by anything like that before and have not since.

If Bruce comes back to the Tampa Bay area again, I will do whatever it takes to get tickets just to have that experience one more time.

Burt Wiseman wrote: The show lasted 2 hours 45 minutes. I was in the first row off the floor, they closed with Twist and Shout and someone wants to kill Bruce Springsteen!

Tampa will be one quiet city come Monday morning. Seventy some odd thousand football fans watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers break a curse with the Green Bay Packers in one of the most important games in the Bucs history. Bust through the stadium crowds, hop in the car and take the back streets to the Springsteen concert at the St. Petersburg Times Forum for the closing show of the Florida run of the 2002 Tour. A great football game and a Springsteen concert proves to be quite a hit on the vocal chords of any fan. Little talk will occur at the water coolers and coffee makers Monday. Maybe the occasional knowing smile and thumbs up will be all that needs to be exchanged to fill volumes of adjectives to attempt a description of the exuberance that Tampa felt on Sunday. Think Tampa, think Laryngitis.

I was worried before the show. Even while watching the monitors at the Forum and witnessing Tampa kick cheese-heads back to whey (Green Bay is from Wisconsin, which is a state in the US famous for cheese production. Thus the fans of Green Bay are called Cheese Heads), I felt that this nights concert would not be a match for the enthusiasm felt with each Tampa Bay touchdown. How could the band compete? Heck, Saturday night in Miami, from all accounts I heard and read, it was a classic show. Guest appearances, the Detroit Medley , how can you top that? Well, maybe Bono was not in Tampa, but any higher a level of excitement at the Saint Petersburg Times Fourm would have been a riot. The band, they did it again. Like they always do. There is no other band that has ever delivered better Rock and Roll than Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. I actually thought that the band might be strained from the near 3 hour explosion that was offered to the fine folks in Miami. Boy am I dumb. Where the last tour was like Rock and Roll Church, this one is a pep rally for the free world. Not one separated by 8 Miles, (see Eminem if you graduated from Old School) the real free world of the planet earth. When I thought they may just go through the motions, they went through emotions. From the requested quiet during an acoustic Empty Sky and the subtle private sorrow of a softer You re Missing , to the near cataclysmic Mary s Place we were on a bipolar-coaster ride through the night. My God, Ramrod ends with a faux reluctant return; reminiscent of James Brown s cape shrouded breakaways to center stage, that led an impromptu jam and closing number of Twist And Shout! I am now convinced that Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band should be a controlled substance and prescribed to anyone that needs to rise up out of their own quagmire.

So why would anyone want to kill Bruce? According to several security personnel at the show, Bruce has had threats on his life. Before the sound check, the arena was sniffed by Canines that indicate on the scent of explosives. I met a couple that acquired backstage privileges and got their copy of BTR signed by all members except Bruce and were given a set list for this nights performance. They said that Bruce had Police and plainclothes security personal at his door due to concerns for his safety and he was unable to come out and mingle. I met a group of folks from England that had been on a package deal that gave them all amenities for catching the 3 Florida shows. They were asked to not display their several foot wide British Flag during the show. There were no American flags visible either. There was a Canadian flag at the ceiling but this after all is a place where Hockey is played, a precedent to caution. Bruce and the band did exit the arena with a Police escort, sirens wailing. Funny thing that with all the security at the concert, Bruce still paused the motorcade at the backstage ramp to shake hands with a few fans before speeding off into the night. Son of a breach. Ironic it is that the last show I saw at this arena was The Rolling Stones, No Security. Clarence of course, left separately in a limousine. His retina appeared to withstand the rigors of another show. With all the precautions, the audience was hardly aware of any increased security and the show was not affected.

The new songs were greeted with grand respect or exuberance depending on the feel of the tune. Featured from the latest album were the title track

The Rising which opened the show followed by Lonesome Day . Empty Sky and Youre Missing provided an early soft side to the show but we were quickly brought to a new plateau with Waitin on a Sunny Day , the Hungry Heart of the 2k s. It brought us up several notches and featured The Boss swinging on the mic stand like Gene Kelly on a lamp post in Paris. During this tune Bruce s stage antics included proof that the knee is still good by doing the running slide. I never thought I would see that again. Worlds Apart featured Patty s vocals in a haunting distant harmony to Bruce s. On the album as well as on the show, Worlds Apart was the most unique song and most departed from the norm. Mary s Place raised the roof and was used as the song to introduce the band. A very abbreviated introduction when compared to last tours 10th Avenue Freeze Out intros. Counting On a Miracle followed with Into The Fire and My City Of Ruins appearing in the last half.

It has taken two tours but I have now heard all of Born To Run live. Night was a great surprise as was a thud rocking, true to form She s The One . Biggest surprise? How about New York City Serenade with Bruce solo on Piano or Hard To Be A Saint In The City ? I have read about it but was still very pleased to hear it. From Darkness was Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Badlands . For the pop lovers, Born In The USA had several picks including the title song which Bruce called a song for peace , Dancing In The Dark and approaching one of three encores, Glory Days. So the band takes a bow after Land Of Hope And Dreams and Ramrod which features some play with words between Bruce and Miami Steve. What time is it Steve? Well, Tony Soprano ain t here so it must be Bosstime! Steve replies, leading a deafening reaction from the crowd. So they all took the bow and left the stage. All but The Professor, Roy Bittan. He remained playing the basic R&B progression known as the boogie-woogie. Just when you thought that was it, he kicks it up a notch letting us know that it ain t over. The band has mounted the stage in the dark, Bruce pierces the darkness of the unlit stage with haunted lighting from below his face. The band goes back into Ramrod, ends it and then Bruce and the Band attempt to leave. They huddled he played an overacted attempt at departure, turned quick and came back for Twist And Shout. It was mayhem. It was exhilarating. It was freedom. It is now a ringing in my ear, a lifting of my soul and laryngitis. Go Bucs!

Darren O'Dell wrote: Well, I rolled out from my house in Tallahassee and made my way to see my good friend Ben in Ft. Lauderdale on the Friday before the show Sunday in Tampa. We stayed up all night listening to Bruce and others while talking over old shows attended. I rolled over to Tampa on Sunday morning taking the Alligator Alley Expressway where recently the young men were pulled over for expected terrorist activities. I pulled into downtown Tampa around 6:00 and hurried to the Arena. I had a seat about fifteen rows up on the Big Man's side. Many fans came pouring in about 8:15 from the Bucs game. Out came the band and Mr. S. ready to rock. The Rising was spirited and I was overtaken by the crowds knowledge and appreciation for the tune. Things cruised until Night knocked me off of my feet and then promptly up on my toes! I loved Waitin on. and Worlds apart and then a double blast of Greetings...YEHAAA Does and Saint man child hittin with a double shot. The highlight for me personally was Bruce introducing BITUSA as a prayer for PEACE and laying it down with all the power and conviction I had grown up imagining that song would have live.

Dee wrote: The man keeps on getting better. I've seen him many times over the years and he never disappoints. Still plays a long time (2 hours 50 minutes). I wondered how some of the new songs would be live, but was pleasantly surprised at how well they were. Stunning vocals between Bruce and Patti during "World's Apart), my least favorite song on the new album. The band was introduced during "Mary's Place", which really got the crowd moving. Was very pleasantly surprised with "Night" and "Darkness on the Edge of Town". As usual, "Badlands" was very energetic, but the arena rocked during "Born to Run". Maybe even the city rocked. I've never seen it so boisterous. The encores, including "Born in the USA, Glory Days" were great, and "Ramrod" was a great surprise. Except for a few slow songs, we were all on our feet singing and dancing. My voice still hasn't returned fully yet. Now my husband (who'd never seen him live before) understands why I've been such a big fan for so many years.


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