A wee reminder of why we love to go to more than one concert and wish we had the money to do more!! This is the report of Glasgow and Coventry from the official Springsteen website! Glasgow was fab, Coventry would have been amazing too
June 19, 2013
Notes from the road: Glasgow
The E Street Band took the stage under a bright summer sun matched only by the bright shiny Scottish faces. This was only the third time Bruce has played a show in Glasgow, but with as much fun as he was having on stage, he ought to come here more often. The show opened strongly with “We Take Care of Our Own,” followed by “The Ties That Bind.” Scotland was loving it, and Bruce seemed to pick up on the energy — he dove into the crowd and started pulling out signs before the second song was even over.
So the requests began early. Bruce granted “Jole Blon” first, the Cajun traditional he reworked for Gary U.S. Bonds back in ’81. Next, a sign request for “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City,” played with vein-popping intensity. Roy’s piano playing was stunning, but when Bruce and Stevie traded guitar licks it was truly jaw-dropping. The intense pace kept up with “Radio Nowhere,” and “Bobby Jean” rounded out the sign requests —it might have been the prettiest version of “Bobby Jean” heard in recent memory.
On this anniversary of Clarence Clemons’s passing, it was especially poignant to have “My City of Ruins” back in the set. The horn section shone on this one, with Ed Manion digging deep to hit that last note. As Jake came in, the camera panned over several signs in the audience acknowledging The Big Man. But it wasn’t sad. It wasn’t sad at all, even though tears were shed. There was a lot of love bouncing off the stage and through the audience and back as we all shared in the joy of his memory.
“My City of Ruins” seemed to wring out the fevered intensity of first part of the show; after that it got very loose and playful with “Spirit in the Night” and the second jaw-dropping moment of the night, “E Street Shuffle.” Reverend Everett Bradley really showed his stuff, his percussion instruments making this 40-year-old song sound like something brand new.
Then it was back for more song request signs. One, politely asking for a pick, received a positive reply, which made the young man asking very happy. “I’m on Fire” played next made us all happy. Bruce kept it slow with “Tougher than the Rest,” by request of a young woman in memory of her father.
Next was a trio of gangster songs, “Atlantic City,” “Murder Incorporated,” right into “Johnny 99.” It was during the last of these that vocalist Curtis King revealed the most unusual instrument ever seen on the E-Street Stage: a bell affixed by a strap to his butt that rang with the right dance move. It was so unusual that when Bruce saw it, he actually stopped singing. As the camera zoomed in on Curtis’s butt-bell contraption Bruce said, “They like to surprise me!” He was laughing so hard he had trouble getting the next line out.
“Open All Night” got everyone’s butts our of their seats, just as Bruce predicted, and the audience stayed there for Darlington County, which had some great audience interaction; Bruce took the phone away from a young woman in the audience and told the person on the other end, “She’s busy right now — really busy!” Now that the audience was up, they danced and sang through the rest of the set, culminating in “Badlands” into “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
After a fun series of encores, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out” might well have been the end of a really great show… but this party was going to fast to stop now. “We ain’t goin’ home yet!” Bruce hollered, and he launched into “Twist and Shout” followed by a big hit for Scottish singer Lulu, the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.”
A visibly tired Bruce — this was a three-and-a-half-hour show, after all — ushered the band off stage, and then he came back for what he called “a rock ‘n’ roll lullaby,” a closing “Thunder Road,” solo acoustic and simply beautiful.
With so many song requests played in Glasgow, you have to wonder if there will be a show in the future that is sign requests start to finish. If anybody could pull that off, it’d be Bruce and the E Street Band.
June 21, 2013
Notes from the road: Coventry
Everyone knows what a great guitar player Bruce is, but when he took the stage alone at the top of the night for a solo version of “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” he reminded us that he also plays a mean harmonica. This set the stage for the evening’s showcase of instrumental wonders to come as the multi-talented E Street band took their places for “Long Walk Home.” Without a break or a breath they dove into “My Love Will Not Let You Down,” during which Bruce collected up a bevy of audience signs requests. He held up the first one and said “I like this,” revealing a sign that said “Play Anything.” Knowing his friend needed a boost, Bruce shouted, “Come on Steve,” and they were off into “Two Hearts.” If this week’s death of Steve’s “other Boss,” James Gandolfini, surely weighed heavy, it was good to see some rock ‘n’ roll catharsis work its magic.
The requests continued with “Seeds,” “Trapped,” and a particularly special one, the E Street premiere of “Long Time Comin’.” The sign read “For my new born baby Ruben,” prompting Bruce to give some practical parenting advice: “Don’t frick it up, now, don’t frick it up,” he said with a chuckle. Before playing the song, he told a funny story about how people create two-sided signs, hoping at least half of it will get his attention — the “Play Anything” sign, for instance, had “I’d look good playing your guitar” on the other side. “Sometimes they are just trying to cheer you up,” he said, showing a sign proclaiming, “Miami, still looking good!” which prompted a Stevie! Stevie! chant from the audience.
During the “Hungry Heart” sing-along, a fan in crowd caught Bruce’s attention with a sign asking, “Bruce, can I have a man hug?” Yes, you can… he was rewarded with not one but four hugs, and a little dance too. Bruce was working hard to keep his fans happy, including the little boy who was called up on stage next. Whle the lad was retrieving his sign, Bruce said he was practicing for hosting a Saturday morning television show — “for when this all goes to hell!” No chance of that happening any time soon based on the reaction to “The River,” the song on nine-year-old Joseph’s request.
After all these signs, Bruce said it was time to change things up a bit and announced that Born to Run would be played in its entirety, dedicated to “Our great friend James Gandolfini.” “Thunder Road,” of course, kicked it off, and with horns wailing left no doubt that this wasn’t the lullaby version of the song. “Backstreets” with “Sad Eyes” worked into the middle… remember how you would listen to this album over and over to cure a broken heart? With this version of “Backstreets,” an audience of enraptured Brits learned that it still works for that.
A blistering “Born to Run” and high-energy “She’s the One” made “Meeting Across the River” — played with only Bruce, Curt Ramm, Roy Bittan, and Garry Tallent on stage — seem all the more hauntingly mesmerizing. Jake Clemons captivated the audience with a note-perfect solo on “Jungleland,” and Bruce proved that he still has the best howl in rock ‘n’ roll.
Thirty seconds later everyone was listening to what their butts were telling them, up and shaking it to “Pay Me My Money Down.” There was a lot of fancy dancing by the horns and colorful New Orleans-style umbrellas hoisted by the choir. It was an absolute visual and aural delight that reset the stage and got everyone ready for the dance party to follow.
Cindy Mizelle, featured on “Shackled and Drawn,” just gets better and better, her honey-sweet voice blending perfectly with Bruce’s gruffness and then soaring to encourage us all to rise up. “Lonesome Day” returned to the setlist, the “It’s alright” refrain like a comforting pat on the back to a troubled friend. “We are Alive” seemed to do the same. The encores brought us out the other side, pure rock ‘n’ roll bliss from the heart-thumping, chest-pounding “Born in the U.S.A.” through “Raise Your Hand” and “American Land.”
Just brilliant, is that not the final persuasion you need to take that Belfast ticket Frosty?
Thanks for the mail and will reply later.
GG, Iain says there is a place to sell your tickets either at Badlands or Backstreets. I will have a wee look and let you know which one!!