My report from the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert in Columbus, March 24, 2008, as published on the official Bruce Springsteen website.
Before the Cincinnati show, I told some friends that just once, I'd like to be "between the mics," that small portion of the front of the pit between Bruce and Steve. The lottery odds of that are rather small, of course, but last night my number came in. So, any veneer of objectivity I might otherwise pretend in a review will be absent in this one, there's just no way. My ears are still ringing, I'm operating on three hours sleep, I have a meeting with a new boss in half an hour, and, and... I'm feeling just fine.
Even taking into account a once-in-a-lifetime (so far) position, I've seen Bruce enough times (73) to know that last night's show was pretty hot. Right from the opening salvo of "The Ties That Bind," Bruce and the band were on a mission. Shaking things up just four songs in to the set, Bruce circled the stage multiple times to call out for "Adam Raised a Cain"; Charlie Giordano, unable to read Bruce's lips, missed the beginning of the song while getting the translation. Did it matter? Hell, no. I'll remember it for one of the more fiery performances I've seen, including Bruce tearing into his guitar solo at the end.
"Magic" was dropped from the setlist last night. That meant losing part of the spoken "message," though I believe it was covered well enough during "Livin' in the Future." With the relatively quiet number removed, the show had virtually no letups -- rockers and classics all. It also opened up the set a bit for a different selection from the Magic album, and last night's debut performance of "You'll Be Comin' Down" was more than worthy.
Highlights? Way too many to remember them all. "Something in the Night." Nils possibly topping the "Prove It all Night" solo from Cincinnati with a blow-out on "Because the Night." ÊBruce's guitar playing on "Adam Raised a Cain" and on "Incident on 57th Street." Every time Clarence played the bari sax. "Long Walk Home," with Steve's new vocals at the end. A cameo by Ed Manion on bari sax during "Born to Run," leading Bruce to say, "C'mon, Big Men!," and also producing the biggest, baddest sound I have ever heard for that song. And "Rosalita." Yes, "Rosalita"!
One bit of strangeness, likely to become a recurring event at Springsteen shows, was the song contest winner. There are advertised contests for several upcoming shows for fans to select a song. Last night the "winner" -- and who knows how many voted; no one near me was aware of a contest for last night's show -- was "Sherry Darling." Bruce asked who picked "this bastard," prompting Stevie to raise his hand (Stevie used another little gesture involving both hands a little later when Bruce announced "sexy time").
Everyone on stage appeared to be in high spirits, having a great time being with each other and giving Ohio everything they had. My favorite interaction was after "Sherry Darling," when Bruce found a sign in the pit that read, "Incident, Please," then, after holding it up, walking over to the piano to say to Roy, "Incident, Please!" Pure magic.
The Other Akin Comment
4 years ago