Not literally, but Max and Gary certainly brought the thunder tonight, as they led a furious E Street Band in what I believe was their 1st ever appearance in the Czech Repbulic. Bruce had alluded to playing here in ’96 during the Tom Joad solo tour and I don’t believe the band had toured eastern Europe before their break-up in ’89.
Speaking of Tom Joad, tonight was living proof of when you think you’ve seen everything, and a veteran of about 150 shows, then this happens; Bruce opens the show walking out w/acoustic guitar in hand and dedicates to Prague, “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, I have never seen him open an E Street Band show solo/acoustic. Much have been the revolutuionary spirit of the city and the lyrics. While I’ve Seen GOTJ this tour it was electric, so I am going to count this as a full tour premiere! Another full tour premiere, by sign request was the seldom played “This Hard Land” and there was a Lonnie tour premiere, also by sign request, of “Atlantic City”. That was sort of appropriate since I had bumped into, and said hello to Susan Sarandon in the hotel this morning. Also by sign request this evening was “She’s the One” where Gary was especially booming, with the bass line tearing the place apart and “My Love Will Not Let You Down”.
Add to those five, four more that hadn’t been played in Zurich on Monday, “Prove it All Night”, “Candy’s Room”, “Because the Night” and “Bobby Jean” which was also a sign request in the encore. The Czech’s ate up Nils’ whirling dervish, setting the stage ablaze solo on “Because”, put the place in a frenzy. Speaking of the Czech’s, it was pretty awe-inspiring to see 25,000-30,000 fans, who had never seen the band, and probably couldn’t get the music until the late 80’s, singing along, knowing all of the cues at to when to pump the fists, wave their hands, and sing out loud. Without a doubt the E Street Band is legendary here in Prague. One last note on Czechs and this went in Switzerland as well, the euphoria that greets “Born in the USA” is amazing, I suppose it is somewhat of a love statement to this country, because I don’t believe that they truly get the anti-American spirit of the lyrics, funny how the song which is rarely played now in the states, is an overseas staple.
Was also great to see “Spirits in the Night” becoming a staple again, the once crowd-stopped, regular #3 song in the set, is now a crowd-stopper again, but with a totally new arrangement and for different reasons, but still splendid after all of these years, also got the 2nd straight show with “The River” which is somewhat of a surprise.
Ok, off to Vienna in the morning for a show in less than 24 hours, and then home.