Friday, September 18, 2009

The Boss comes to Greenville!

On Wednesday night I had the rare opportunity to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in concert. This was the first time they had ever played in Greenville and they put on their normal high energy, almost three hour long show. This was my second time seeing Bruce, and even though he will turn sixty soon this show was even better than the first time almost seven years ago.

The only drawback to the show was the sound in the Bi-Lo Center. Most of the high stuff sounded garbled, but that didn't take away from the total experience. It did however contribute to the ringing in my ears that didn't subside until last night.

One of the interesting things that Mark Johnson and I noticed before the show was the diversity of the crowd. There were folks there who are probably collecting social security, elementary age children, bikers with full leather, guys who came straight from work at the bank, long hair, short hair, and everything in between. (I even heard there was a preacher there!) One thing everyone there had in a common was a love for the music. I would guess that the place was 95% full, and when the band played "Born to Run" it was amazing to hear everyone sing along.

The set list featured two songs from the new album, several hits, some rare gems, a beach music tune, a couple of folks songs, some 60's R&B, and even a classic song from the British invasion. The band was great as usual and featured Jay Weinberg on drums. Jay's Dad Max is the regular drummer, but due to his day job (as Conan O'Brien's band leader) he had to let Jay sit in for him. The kid just turned 19 and he made his old man proud I'm sure. Clarence Clemons looked pretty good considering that he is due to have back surgery when the tour is over. I guess that's what happens when your band is made up of guys who have been playing together for 35 years. Bruce was the amazing showman he usually is. From bringing two little girls on stage to sing, to wandering through the crowd, and climbing on top of the grand piano, he kept the crowd involved and raised the energy level in the whole building.

I had lots of folks ask me yesterday if I enjoyed the show. My response has been, "It exceeded my expectations, and my expectations were pretty high."

For those of you who are interested, here's the set list with my comments:

10th Avenue Freeze Out
Badlands - (I thought this would be first)
No Surrender
Hungry Heart - (the crowd sang the first verse)
Outlaw Pete - (new album)
Working on a Dream - (new album)
Seeds - (didn't expect this, rare selection)
Johnny 99
Atlantic City - (really glad he played this one)
Raise Your Hand - (during intro he went into crowd taking requests)
This Hard Land - (requested)
Satisfaction - (requested, the first time the band had played this Stones song)
Ramrod - (requested)
Waiting on a Sunny Day - (let two little girls sing the chorus on stage)
The Promised Land
Backstreets - (another one I didn't expect, very cool)
Radio Nowhere - (a heavier version than usual)
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born to Run
Hard Times Come Again No More - (old folk song written by Stephen Foster)
Double Shot of my Baby's Love - (brought the Swinging Medallions on stage to help)
American Land
Glory Days
Detroit Medley - (Devil w/a blue dress, Good Golly Miss Molly, CC Rider)
Dancing in the Dark - (I was sure this was the final song and then...)
Thunder Road - (This was perfect finish for what had already been a great show)

Now I've got to start saving my money for the next tour!

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