Born to Run – The Live Version

We went to see the Bruce Springsteen show in St. Louis on Sunday. I planned to blog about it last night, but the story of the cancellation of last night’s Kansas City show because of the death of Springsteen’s cousin and road crew manager had just broken and it seemed best to wait a day.
In addition to extending my sympathies, I did want to note that I specifically noticed the performance of the road crew during the show – they seemed especially professional and attentive. As we waited for the show to start, I noticed the attention to safety as the crew crawled up the ladders into the lights.
As long-time readers of this blog know, I’ve seen Springsteen play live many times and I can fairly be characterized as a big fan. I’m not going to write anything like a review here – just sketch out a few notes and observations, especially for my friends Jim and Dr. Jeff – and note that this show is definitely worth seeing if it comes to your town.
I knew before we went that Springsteen would be playing the entire Born to Run album from beginning to end in order during the show. I also suspected before I went that that performance would be among the highlights of shows remembered as I look back in future years. It will indeed be.
This show features the E Street Band and we got the full E Street Band experience, with a wide-ranging rocking show that featured all of the players from time to time. I’ll also note that you do start to wonder if this will be the last E Street Band tour or, at least, how many more there will be. Danny Federici is gone already. It’s an older group, to be sure, but they have tremendous energy as a band.
Here’s the set list:
Wrecking Ball
Seeds
Prove It All Night
Hungry Heart
Working On A Dream
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Night
Backstreets
Born To Run
She’s The One
Meeting Across The River
Jungleland
Waiting On A Sunny Day
Working On The Highway
The Promised Land
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Badlands
No Surrender
For You
Roll Over Beethoven
Surprise Surprise
Detroit Medley
American Land
Dancing In The Dark
Rosalita
Highlights:
1. Born to Run – The Live Version. Bruce’s intro was simple and to the point. It’s interesting to realize now how much really depended on this album selling. It would have been the third strike if it hadn’t and none of the other records might have come after. Bruce made a reference to that and the fact that it is a young person’s record. As the album unfolded, I was struck by how little it sounds like the rest of the music that came out at the time. Standout moments included a breath-takingly good version of Backstreets, the moment the lights come up on the entire audience in Born to Run, the trumpet work on Across the River, and an elegiac version of Jungleland to end. Bruce brought out the guys in the band who created the record (with a reference to the missing Danny). I’d call it a great gift to long-time fans and one of the great memories I’ll have of his shows.
2. I could have made a zillion predictions for what he might play and never come up with the solo piano version of “For You” he played by request. Quite a rare treat and a compelling performance.
3. Nils Lofgrin’s guitar solo in Prove it All Night – almost other worldly – I’ve never seen/heard anything quite like it. I’m a big fan of Bruce’s solos in Prove it All Night over the years, but this one was a stunner and worthy addition to the history of solos in the song.
4. The sequence of Lonesome Day, The Rising, Badlands and No Surrender, which to me seemed to follow a compelling logic. At the end of each song, I was thinking that I wished he’d play the next song, and he did.
5. Rising Just a great St. Louis moment – playing Roll Over Beethoven, by request, in Chuck Berry’s hometown.
It was almost 3 hours, basically non-stop, and quite enjoyable. As I say, worth checking out if it omes to your town, especially if he will be doing one of the entire album segments. And, Bruce’s dynamic energy at age 60 is an inspiration.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Comments

  1. Jeff Barteau says

    Saw the Chicago show last month, with the debut of complete BTR. Totally agree with your assessment of that section of the show. Even better there was acoustic bass on Meeting Across the River played by Richard Davis, reprising his role on the album (remember those?). Topping the night off for me was riding back to Rockford from Chicago with Richard and his wife as they returned to Madison. That was a non-stop hour and a half conversation that seemed to last ten minutes.
    Would have loved to see and hear the solo For You.