The hits just keep on coming. I wonder what goes thru his mind, something like, yeah we were great in Hartford, but we love the energy in Pittsburgh, so we need to step it up a notch tonight….and OK, I will pull some nuggets out of my hat and surprise everyone!
Show 14 on my own Wrecking Ball tour and tonight saw 6 more tunes that I hadn’t seen performed yet, including a few, never seen that before.
Looks like the tour has morphed into an opening of 3-4 songs right off the gun, meant to surprise/shock/awe and drive the audience into an early frenzy. It works, tonight it was the very rarely played “Don’t Look Back” from the “Tracks” collection, into the always powerful “Candy’s Room” and then the rocking “The Ties That Bind” and then setting Pittsburgh ablaze with Darkness on the Edge of Town classic and almost never played live, “Streets of Fire”, so we’re 20-25 minutes and 4 songs in, and the scorecard is already up to 2 for me on new tunes for the LB WB ’12 tour. And pretty sure that “Don’t Look Back” was the first time I’ve ever heard it live. Standard for the next half dozen songs, , but I must comment that the trifecta from Wrecking Ball of “We Take Care of Our Own”, “Wrecking Ball” and “Death to My Hometown” are perfectly placed and all seem destined to be long-time Bruce faves. The spiritual part of the show with “My City of Ruins” and “Spirits” is feeling a bit long and tired these days, wouldn’t be surprised to see that changed up soon, although the re-working of “Spirits in the Night” with a heavy evangelistic feel to it does make the song feel updated for the classic ’70’s version of it.
Request time, who knows if it is real or not, but let’s give in to our hearts and say it is. Tonight was Springsteen gold. First off, I see the sign Bruce is holding from my seat, I see double t’s and think it might say “Kitty’s Back” but knowing they had done that in HT. two night earlier, dismissed that thought. Bruce then hums a couple of bars to the band, since he said it has been over 30 years since they’ve played it…and then it hits me, “Pretty Flamingo” the mid 60’s classic by Manfred Mann and an early E Street Band staple of the mid 70’s, this was amazing, followed by another sign request and “Talk to Me” the Bruce penned, but recorded by Southside Johnny in the 70’s, and just released on the “Darkness” outtakes CD, one of my favorite Bruce/Southside cuts, it was great seeing it live, as only Bruce could deliver it, and then into the always incendiary and not played enough, “Adam Raised a Cain”. All 3 were 2012 first-timers for me, raising the nightly count to 5. The heat wasn’t finished as they went right from the power of “Adam” to “Because the Night” and “She’s the One”. At the conclusion of this 5 song barrage, I was physically spent, and welcomed the slower paced “Working on a Highway” into “Shackled and Drawn”. “Waiting on a Sunny Day” which is always bathroom break time, but came back in time to see the section of the song where Bruce picks a child out of the audience, tonight it was a girl of about 10, and a rarity, she could sing! And she belted out her sections, pumped her fists, swayed her hips and whipped the crowed into a frenzy, the best kid singer I’ve ever seen on the song…..her turn to stand and shout of “let’s go E Street Band” was great. The standard last section of “The Rising”, “Badlands” and “Land of Hope and Dreams”, never fails to deliver, LOHAD, or as many now refer to it as “the baseball song”, is for sure to be a Bruce mainstay. End of main show, time for the encores
An open of “Racing in the Streets” was perfect and if you’ve never heard this one live, go to Youtube immediately and give it a listen, amazing how this band can rework things on stage. The requisite “Born to Run”, and then the Pittsburgh treat. Bruce’s good friend and Steel City rock legend, Joe Grushecky and son Johnny join the band for “Glory Days” and another LBWB ’12 tour premiere, and I believe the first time I’ve ever seen it live “Light of Day” which many of you might know from the 1987 film of the same name starring Michael J. Fox. Some “Dancing in the Dark” and the show-ender of “10th Avenue Freeze-out” (which i might add, it is nice to see some photos of Danny now edited into the Clarence video tribute).
Pittsburgh was well worth the stop on this tour. Revving up for my big push at the end of the tour in November and December. Next stop Vancouver on 11/26. Stay tuned.