This One Was For Us

23 Apr

Where to start about night two of Bruce Springsteen’s two-night homestand at the TD Banknorth Garden?

The show was longer (just about exactly three hours); it had more of an emphasis on his older, less mainstream material; the band covered “I Wanna Be Sedated”; I had a better seat; and man oh man, can that Jay Weinberg play!

And as if that wasn’t enough, the Dropkick Murphys joined Bruce on stage for the encore, amping up an already boisterous “American Land.”

Oh, and did I mention Jay Weinberg and his amazing skills on the drums?

Wow.

Yes, night two featured some of the same thematic elements and schtick as night one (including the same jokes about Patti Scialfa falling off a horse not being related to Madonna’s similar fall), but it also featured a different-enough set list that, for me, made it feel like an entirely different show. (Check out the handwritten set list below; it looks like the show could have been even more different.)

It was great to hear “Spirit in the Night,” “Thunder Road,” “Glory Days,” and especially, “Jungleland,” during which Clarence Clemons did another one of his awe-inspiring solos.

I continued to be impressed with “Outlaw Pete,” and loved the way the simple effect of smoke made the song so much more dramatic.

I was intrigued by how little Bruce played off Working on a Dream (only three songs tonight; “The Wrestler” took the night off).

Oh, and did I mention Jay Weinberg yet?

When Max goes off to serve as Conan O’Brien’s bandleader on The Tonight Show in June, 18-year-old Jay (his son) will be sitting in full-time on the drums. Until then, Jay comes out for four songs at the end of the first set.

Both nights, he ratcheted up the energy level instantly, picking up the tempo and taking “Radio Nowhere” to places unknown, and making “Lonesome Day” more hard-driving than ever.

The kid can really pound those drums, and you got the sense Wednesday night that as good as Max is, he felt like he had to raise his game during the encore, which he did on “Land of Hope and Dreams.”

Jay was back for “American Land” and “Glory Days,” and wow … he just goes nuts on those drums. I know it’s sacrilegious to say, but I’d love to see the E Street Band when Jay plays full-time. What exciting shows those will be this summer.

Not that this one was lacking for excitement.

There was the Dropkick Murphys’ surprise appearance for one thing (bummer, they didn’t do “Shipping Off to Boston” or “Tessie”), and the granted audience request of “I Wanna Be Sedated” for another. (For the record, if you’re interested, the other two requested songs were “Spirit in the Night” and “For You,” both from Greetings from Asbury Park.)

Then there was one extra song tacked on to the end of the show after “Glory Days.”

Then, of course, there was “Born to Run” again. I swear, if you’ve never seen Bruce live, and never experienced the sensation of hearing the opening chord, seeing the house lights go up, and watching as the entire audience raises their fists and sings along to every single word, then you just have no idea how transcendent live music can be.

Springsteen gets the entire audience in the palm of his hand, and he just whips everyone into a frenzied state. It’s awesome. It makes the entire show and every penny you pay for it completely and totally worth it, no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

I’ve never been to two Springsteen shows two nights in a row (here again is my night one review), but I’d definitely do it again.

On his way off stage, Bruce said this to the crowd: “You guys never disappoint.

You still stoke the fire in our belly when we get here.” The feeling is mutual.

I’m going to remember this week for a long time, and I’ll be counting the days till Bruce comes back again.

(Again, the concert photos are courtesy of Backstreets.com.)

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4 Responses to “This One Was For Us”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Big Man Was a Friend of Mine « Martin's Musings - March 27, 2012

    […] Every time you heard “Jungleland” live, it was awe-inspiring. Stunning. Powerful. An out-of-body experience. […]

  2. Meet Him in the Land of Hope and Dreams « Martin's Musings - March 27, 2012

    […] 4/23: Here’s a link to my night two review. Share with your friends: Pin […]

  3. He’s the One « Martin's Musings - March 27, 2012

    […] It added up to an experience that felt significantly different from the shows I saw back in April (night one and night two). […]

  4. He Took Care of His Own « Martin's Musings - March 27, 2012

    […] Jake play was like watching Jay Weinberg sit in with the band three years ago: It gave the band (now 16 people strong, plus Springsteen) new life, new energy, and a renewed […]

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