Tonight I count my lucky stars! There were two tour premieres tonight, and they might be my two favorite Bruce songs of all-time. “Spirits in the Night” and “Backstreets”. Backstreets might be Bruce’s greatest live song, but I am biased on that, but one of many that tore the roof off of the newly renovated Madison Square Garden.
An overall great night, old friend Joey was in from Frisco and had dinner with him to start the night, and he certainly caught a great show, Billy and Stu were there, just like old times, except we were across the arena from one another. And then what are the odds on this, guy sits down next to me, literally in the seat next to me, and it is an old dear friend, who I last saw in 1990! Incredible to see old buddy Jimmy as well. And I had the privilege of taking a relative Bruce virgin, in good friend Alexandra, who it seems loved the experience. Gov. Christie was in the house as well, sitting just a bit in front of me, have to say, I don’t agree with him politically, but the man rocked all night, good for you Governor.
Back to the show, before I get to the nuggets of tonight, here 3 weeks later, some subtle changes. First and foremost, Jake Clemons involvement is growing rapidly, Bruce says his name regularly now, and refers to his as “Jakey” like a little brother. But Jake is now coming more to the front stage for his solos, as he seemingly is easing into uncle Clarence’s slot. He is trading vocal licks with Bruce, dancing with Bruce, and it certainly looks there another “Big Man” is emerging. Bruce now introduces the E Street Horns and E Street Singers by name, which was overdue. During roll call in “My City in Ruins” when Bruce got to the “did we forget anyone” a spotlight shined on the spots that were once occupied by Clarence and Danny, a very nice touch indeed.
The set list, well it was night two, which always brings out the surprises, and it was MSG as well, so you knew it was going to be special. 3 hours on the nose, how they do it is beyond any comprehension, but I digress. Tonight saw the aforementioned Spirits and Backstreets, plus Out in the Street, and She’s the One, and Thundercrack, and Trapped and Because the Night and Rosalita, it was a tour de force.
Well that is three down for me, seven more to go, including Thursday night in Motor City.
And I reiterate, for those who ask me why I go to so many shows, I can say if I would have read about this show, and not seen it, I might have had to open a vein. Can’t wait for Thursday.