Thursday, April 05, 2012

"The Mission Of The E Street Band Remains The Same"

Those were Bruce Springsteen's words the other night, during a spectacular three-hour tour de force that was the Wrecking Ball tour's DC-area debut.

The set list pretty much speaks for itself, but I'll add in a couple of observations.

Bruce really nailed the tribute to E Street members past. With this tour being the first time on the road without Clarence Clemons, it was unclear how this moment could be recognized appropriately. The band intros, conducted unusually early in the show, put any fears to rest right off the bat. My City of Ruins served as a great platform for welcoming new members and remembering those who are no longer up on stage. And, then, at the very end of the show, the stopping of Tenth Avenue Freeze-out at the key line ("When the change was made uptown/And the big man joined the band") allowed the entire Verizon Center to give it up for Clarence, for what seemed like at least five minutes.

There were not a lot of aficionados in the crowd. The set list featured three rarities dating back to the 1970s, the kinds of numbers that usually have the hard core fans freaking out. The other night it was Seaside Bar Song, Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?, and a full-band version of The Promise, none of which I had ever seen live, despite a ridiculous number of shows in my back pocket. Yet the reaction, at least around our section, was pretty restrained, despite some really outstanding, unexpected performances.

We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Seaside Bar Song
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
Jack of All Trades
Adam Raised a Cain
Easy Money
She's the One
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promise
Apollo Medley (The Way You Do The Things You Do/634-5789)
American Skin (41 Shots)
Because the Night
The Rising
We Are Alive
Thunder Road
* * *
Rocky Ground (with Michelle Moore)
Out in the Street
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Land of Hope and Dreams
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out


PS: These great pictures were taken by White House photographer Pete Souza.


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