Bruce, Charlotte, NC 4/19/14. “It got a little wild tonight”

A direct quote from Bruce, it did get a little wild tonight, taking 8 requests over the course of the 3:10 minute show. Again why I go, 10 songs that weren’t played during my Australia trip, and at least 5 that I had never seen performed live.

It opened with an extreme rarity, “Iceman” a track from the Darkness sessions that didn’t make the cut, a great song with basically just Bruce and Roy on the duet. Followed by two tracks from the new CD, “High Hopes” and “Just Like Fire Would”. Then it basically became bar band time. Bruce has always called the E Street Band a great bar band, and tonight that’s what they were. First “Cadillac Ranch” with its Carolina reference was a given, but then it was request time and back to back requests were both firsts for me, and certainly were two songs that one can imagine Bruce and the Band playing at 3P in front of 20 people sometime in the late 60’s/early 70’s on the Jersey Shore. First up “Louie, Louie” and then “Mustang Sally” both rollicking. A solid “Badlands” followed, and then two more requests, “No Surrender” and “Out in the Street”. Crowd-surfing time during “Hungry Heart”, not one of my favorites, but understandably a staple. Then 3 more sign requests answered. First up “From Small Things (big things someday come), then a great version (bar band time) of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and the always killer “Racing in the Street” with the usual brilliance of Roy on piano and Max on drums.

A trifecta off of Wrecking Ball CD with “Jack of All Trades” first time this tour for me, “Wrecking Ball” and “Death to My Hometown”. Still room for one more request, this one ” My Love Will Not Let You Down” also off of the “Tracks” compilation of unreleased material, back to Wrecking Ball for “Shackled & Drawn” which now has gospel overtones to it, finishing up with the wonderful Cyndi Meisel wailing away and then into “Waiting on a Sunny Day” complete with cute little girl singing the chorus with Bruce, could always do without this one, but a crowd favorite. Then it was revving it up time.

Tom Morello is along on this tour and that makes “The Ghost of Tom Joad” a staple now and I couldn’t be happier, I would pay the price of admission just to see this song live every night. Morello is some kind of alien, the only explanation, the usual pairing of this with “The Rising” and then the main set closer, another tour premiere for me was “Light of Day” from the film of the same name which raucousness kept with the bar band tone of the night.

Encores start with the 9th request of the evening, “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. Another tour premiere for me with a great and poignant story leading into it. Bruce told of two Jersey Shore musicians who were heroes to him as he grew up and both had died in Viet Nam, inspiring him to write “The Wall” which is on the new High Hopes CD, a beautiful song. A born doubleheader followed with the very rarely played in the U.S. “Born in the USA”, followed by the always played “Born to Run” a fun back to back duo with arguably his two most famous songs ever. “Dancing in the Dark”, “10th Avenue Freeze-Out” and more bar band music with “Shout” finished the main encores. Band departed leaving Bruce alone on stage with a upright electric piano to finish solo with the haunting “Dream Baby Dream”

Goodbye Charlotte. Thanks to my good friend Kay Hall for arranging tonight’s tickets and a lovely evening with her, her sister Velma and Velma’s husband George. Great night, next stop Ft. Lauderdale next week as my sister gets a great 60th birthday present!!!!

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