The word of the day is expectations.
I make this the word of the day because this is all I had going into this show. Expectations. You see, this was the last concert I wanted to see before I die. Seriously, the only one left. I saw Clapton. I saw U2. I saw Pearl Jam. This was it. And you know what? It didn't disappoint. Pretty amazing for the only concert I could ever want to see. This has been a quest of mine for years. I'd heard of the legendary live Bruce shows, but I wanted to make sure I saw him with the entire E Street Band the first time I saw him. This led to years of waiting - I skipped the Seeger Sessions tour, the Devils and Dust tour, and countless other shows...waiting.
And finally Magic came along. The CD itself blew me away and I knew seeing Bruce live was now or possibly never at the rate I was going. After finagling tickets through multiple mutual friends, I got two seats at MSG - one for myself and one for Jack the Rabbit who made the trek down for the night.
The night was amazing. He opened with "Radio Nowhere" which elevated the song's credibility for me after hearing it live. I had a few requests, a few far reaches, and one demand. Overall, I couldn't have been happier with the set list. My one demand, "Born to Run" was dutifully played in the encore, leading to frenzied dancing, fist pumps, and screaming by JTR and myself. I would say the only surprise non-play was "Thunder Road." I really expected him to play it, but he may have played it the night before.
That disappointment fell by the wayside as he surprised the hell out of JTR and me when he broke into "Jungleland" out of a serene "Meeting Across the River." Easily one of my all-time favorite songs, "Jungleland" was totally unexpected since it's such a lengthy song, but nevertheless, Bruce and Clarence dove right in and played the hell out of it. Easily the highlight of the night for me. Other great songs: "She's the One," "The Promised Land," "Badlands," and "American Land" (pattern?). Some may already know my affinity for Celtic music so ending the night with an Irish song I could drink to all night was the perfect way to cap it all off.
Again, this was my first Bruce experience live and I knew all the hype that went along with it, raising my expectations to a new level. Yet by the end of the show, I was more than satisfied. I still don't understand how a 58 year old man can run around stage screaming all night, night after night, and still bring the energy and passion that he exudes. I was exhausted and hoarse by the end of the night and I was stuck dancing within my 2 sq. ft. seat area. Bruce was all over the place, howling at the crowd and increasing the intensity of the show.
Everything I wanted at this show was there. From the homo-erotic doubling up of Bruce and Van Zandt on the same mic to Clarence blasting away on his horn in his oh-so-cool manor, I was so happy.
(Side note: old people need to let loose. This just made me so sad when Bruce was rocking out and half the crowd was only standing because they couldn't see over the people in front of them if they sat. Sing! Dance! Go crazy! It's The Boss for chrissakes! See Pearl Jam if you want some crowd involvement...)
To validate my love for this show, I'll let you decide for yourself what you missed out on. Below is the entire concert, provided so nicely by our friends at nyctaper.com. Please visit their site and catch some other great shows. This show was originally lossless and I know it's a no-no, but for us Mac users and for the good of everyone else out there, I converted the files to .aiff for easier use. Enjoy!
*songs currently uploading...check back soon!*
**Nevermind, these files are huge...go to nyctaper and grab them for yourself in .flac format...there are free programs out there for converting them if you want to, just google it**