Night 4 of my private Springsteen tour took me to Motor City. Have heard many great bootlegs from Motown, and a great rock and roll history here, so thought it an interesting place to go see the Boss.
Almost didn’t make it due to a Detroit cabbie who went 40 miles in the wrong direction before I got suspicious. Two hours later arrived at my hotel, just in time to leave for the show.
A little reflection first, while flying in i was thinking of my first Bruce show ever, way back in 1976, late October/early November at The Palladium in NYC, had 2nd row seats and went with Stu Metrick. I have a vivid memory of the show opening with “Night” then into “Rendezvous” and then into “Spirit sin the Night”, all without a stop. This was the classic E Street Band lineup with the Miami Horns backing them up. I had never experienced anything like it at a show, Bruce venturing into the audience during Spirits, running to the back of the theatre before returning to the stage. At the conclusion of “Spirits” I remember turning to Stu and saying that if the show ended now, it was the greatest concert I had ever seen! A love affair was born that night. Sidebar story, taking the train home that night bumped into casual acquaintances Stu and Billy, and that night also started two friendships that endure to this day…with many shared Bruce shows amongst the 3 of us.
Tonight, another two Bruce tour premieres, and two Lonnie tour premieres. Played for the first time on this Wrecking Ball tour were “Youngstown” and “Incident on 57th Street”. Lonnie premieres were “Candy’s Room” and “American Skin (41 Shots). Youngstown meant another blistering Nils solo and one of my favorite live songs ever, with one of the great visual lines Bruce has ever written in my opinion, “Them smokestacks reachin’ like the arms of God Into a beautiful sky of soot and clay.” Perfect imagery right there. “Incident” had been set-listed last week, but not played, one of the Bruce all-time classics and made the visit to Detroit well worth it. “American Skin” which has reappeared after the death of Trayon Martin, is as relevant now, as it was when written in the late 90’s, and featured another Nils solo. Candy’s Room, always great, and always a treat.
Tonight also saw “She’s the One”, “Trapped” and “Because the Night” remain in set, and a different arrangement on BTN. Since Nils already had his whirling dervish solo on “Youngstown”, he and Bruce traded licks tonight instead of Nils going solo, and that was a show-stopper for sure.
The highlights of the set list returnees were “E Street Shuffle” and “Thunder Road”. I have to comment that “Rocky Ground” featuring Michele Moore is becoming a show-stopper and such a change in music for Bruce and the band, but so superb…a real treat.
OK, tired and an early flight to catch tomorrow so that’s it for now. Opted not to go to Buffalo tomorrow night, also that was in my original itinerary, fingers very tightly crossed that I don’t miss something amazing. He wouldn’t do “Lost in the Flood” would he?