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Laura Anne
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 07:36 pm:   

Springsteen, that is.

Tickets arrived today -- we have seats for two out of the three shows at Shea Stadium. Last nights of the tour. We caught the first show of this particular tour, waybackwhen at the Meadowlands, so I'm glad we'll be seeing the last as well.

But it does raise the ugly question of addiction. How many shows in a tour is enough, and what's borderline stalking?

With these shows, we'll have seen Bruce six times this tour. It would have been eight, but we flew into Rome the day he was playing Milan (we did think about changing our tickets but I never want to do the Milan-to-Tuscany drive ever again) and we decided not to do one of the London shows because, well, there is a limit to how much money you can spend.

Besides, my old roomie the Deadhead would scoff at only six shows. And there were people at the ten night stand at the Meadowlands who were there every single night, versus our two. So I must be okay, right?

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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 03:59 am:   

Only six times. Sob. Springsteen has never made it this far, and I just missed out on seeing him at San Jose last year. I still hope to see him and the band before either he or I drop, but it's not looking good. :-(

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Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 06:22 am:   

It depends upon what your definition of okay is.

I believe the magic number to become a bonafide groupie/freak/deadhead is 13 . . . or is that how many hits of LSD before the gubmint officially classifies you as insane?
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Laura Anne
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 05:41 pm:   


Yeah, I was tempted to change my plane ticket for San Jose, too. But, again, sanity prevailed.

I suppose it would be cruel to mention that we still have one ticket unclaimed for the last show on Saturday, huh?

Yeah, thought so. Sorry.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 03:47 am:   


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Laura Anne
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 04:35 pm:   

Concert report: Friday

You know everyone's in a good mood when, coming out of the 7 train at Shea stadium,a cop holding a bullhorn hits the wrong button and a siren starts wailing. While the first cop looked embarassed and tried to figure out how to turn it off, another cop started running as though he's going somewhere fast, then threw his hands up and started running in a circle like a headless chicken, making I Am An Idiot expressions. We
laughed ourselves silly.

There were a lot of cops around, but I don't think they were expecting much trouble from this crowd, the rising scent of pot once we got into the stadium notwithstanding.

And on that note... I think it's safe to say that my friend who hasn't been to a concert since, oh, Janis Japlin had a good first foray into Springsteen-land. Bruce and the band put on a hell of a show.

You have to understand that typically he sticks to a playlist, and after a few shows you can figure, more or less, what about 80% of that playlist will be, and in what order. Not this stand. He opened with "Roulette."

Roulette! Max on drums like Vengeance unleased, and more of a light show than usual and the show as ON. Not all the songs were the best they've ever been played (when you've been to as many shows as we have you gravitate towards favorites and the "Born to Run" in the Meadowlands Arena where we almost took the roof off will always be the Best of Show ever for me) but they were all solid rocking and some of them reached into perfection.

We had no idea where he was going with every song. Some highlights were absolutely "Souls of
the Departed" (which used Shrub's "WMD" speech soundbytes for a very effective and chilling intro), "Candy's Room," "Roundevous," the intro into "New York City Serenade," and "Born in the USA" which had real resonance.

And a funky intro -- ""I can feel it coming, I can feel it coming" Bruce says as a Gary W. plays a low-down bass beat leading unexpectedly into a truly house-party "Pink Cadillac."

And, for a real plus (and damage to my knees) they brought out Gary "US" Bonds for a very long and playful "Twist and Shout." Ow ow ow ow I forgot I have bad knees. Not that I cared
at that point but the next morning it _hurt_.

I will say, however, that there was a real... elegiac sense to Friday's performance, and we expected (and got) the same and more on Saturday. More than just the end of a very long tour...maybe the last time they're on the road like this ever. I hope not.. but despite their energey level, none of the band's young any more. And arenas, much less stadiums, take a lot out of you when you play for three hours every show.

Concert report: Saturday

We saw the tour in on night 1, we'll see it out on night, what, 300? Something like that. "Last dance," Bruce announced early into the evening. And indeed it might be.

"Now I been out in the desert, just doin' my time
Searchin' through the dust, lookin' for a sign
If there's a light up ahead, well brother I don't know
But I got this fever burnin' in my soul
So let's take the good times as they go
And I'll meet you further on up the road..."

No, he didn't play "Further On (Up The Road)" but he may as well have. The band hit at least one song from just about every album (and remember what I was saying about "Born to Run?" We may have a new contender for top spot... or at least a tight second), "Because the Night," the emotional knockout of "Empty Sky" leading into "You're Missing" while plans fly low past the stadium on their landing approach to the LaGuardia, a 'tribute' to Bob Dylan (with Dylan!) of "Highway 61," one of the best "Rosies" it's ever been my pleasure to hear ("Rose, I'm _home_!") and a grand finale of cover tunes ("Quarter to 3" and "Twist and Shout" with Gary Bonds and everyone else in the known universe on stage). A little over three hours and the crowd would have stayed around for another three if Bruce were willing and able. I think he was willing, but able may have been another story.

Strange concert. Great concert, but strange, because even people who didn't go into it thinking "this is it" were getting those vibes towards the end. Especially when Bruce started to get a little teary-eyed himself while thanking the fans who had turned out so often for so long.

I can't see Bruce hanging it up entirely.. but the days of long tours may indeed be over.

But hey, if he gets the jones again, all he has to do is call the Meadowlands and arrange a ten-stand stay at the venue of his choice. People[like the woman who flew in from Iowa for the evening] will be there. Me included.

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Laura Anne
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2003 - 04:57 pm:   

Friday setlist:

Roulette/Candy's Room/The Rising/Lonesome Day/The Ties That Bind/Brilliant Disguise/Empty Sky/Waitin' on a Sunny Day/Rendezvous/Another Thin Line/Souls of the Departed/Because the Night/Badlands/Prove It All Night/Mary's Place/New York City Serenade/Into the Fire

First Encore: Janey Don't You Lose Heart/Pink Cadillac/Born to Run/Seven Nights to Rock

Second Encore: My City of Ruins/Born in the U.S.A./Rosalita/Dancing in the Dark/Twist and Shout

Saturday setlist:

Code of Silence/The Rising/Lonesome Day/Roulette/Night/I Wish I Were Blind/Empty Sky/You're Missing/ Waitin' on a Sunny Day/Johnny 99/Another Thin Line/Tunnel of Love/Because the Night/Badlands/Prove It All Night/Mary's Place/Back in Your Arms/Into the Fire

First Encore: Light of Day/Bobby Jean/Born to Run/Seven Nights to Rock

Second Encore: Highway 61/My City of Ruins/Land of Hope and Dreams/Rosalita/Dancing in the Dark/Quarter to Three/Twist and Shout/Blood Brothers
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Laura Anne
Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 05:16 pm:   

Thinking about why I am so, hrm, okay call it what it is, fanatical about Springsteen. And I decided (pretty easy, actually) that it's because he's a writer's songwriter. Each one of his songs tells a complete story, even the short-short "I'm on Fire." And then you get "Johnny 99" and "Brilliant Disguise" and "Atlantic City" and the heart wrenching "Streets of Philadelphia"...

And then you get to "Thunder Road" --

"You can hide `neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a savior to rise from these streets..."

or "Jungleland" --

"The Rangers had a homecoming in Harlem late last night
And the Magic Rat drove his sleek machine over the Jersey state line
Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge
Drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain..."

and for sheer poetry of words I'd match it against any writer out there.

But maybe that's just me. I _was_ Barefoot Girl when I was a teenager, so there's an instant reaction there. What I can tell you is that for many months I was using a quote of his about writing for a sig file:

"You're mining, soul mining. And sometimes you're just not around the rich veins, and a long time can go by. And then all of a sudden, boom! You hit one."

Anyway. Random thoughts had while waiting for the cops to wrestle a disorderly and possibly psychotic out of the PATH station so we could all go home tonight.

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Michael Walsh
Posted on Thursday, October 09, 2003 - 09:27 am:   

It's been too long since I've been to see Bruce.
I am soooo jealous.

The first time I saw him was shortly after Born To Run came out. Georgetown Univ, McDonough gymnasium.

Opens: Backlit, guitar slung over shoulder, back to the audience, harmonica in hand and he opens with Thunder Road. Talk about a sucker punch. Just incredible.

"There's magic in the night."

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Laura Anne
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 09:43 am:   

from an e-mail I got this morning:

Two New Springsteen Releases Set for November Release from Columbia:

"The Essential Bruce Springsteen" Definitive 3-CD Set Out November 11 Marks First Ever Career-Spanning Collection, Includes Never Before Released Outtakes and Live Recordings

"Live in Barcelona" Double-DVD Out November 18 Contains Entire October 2002 Barcelona Concert, Plus Bonus Featurette With New Interviews and Footage from U.S. "Rising" Tour Dates at Fenway Park, Giants Stadium, and More
Set for release in November from Columbia, 'The Essential Bruce Springsteen' 3-CD set and the DVD set 'Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live in Barcelona' explore Bruce Springsteen's prolific career and unmatched live show, on the heels of his most successful world tour ever.

The 'Essential' set, Springsteen's first ever career-spanning collection, includes songs from every Springsteen album since his debut. Set for release on November 11, the set comes packed with a third bonus CD of rarities and previously unreleased tracks. The double-DVD 'Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live in Barcelona,' out November 18, captures the experience of Springsteen and the Band's record-breaking 2002-2003 world tour, and includes new interviews in addition to bonus footage of this year's historic performances in Boston's Fenway Park and New Jersey's Giants Stadium.

'The Essential Bruce Springsteen,' featuring two discs of Springsteen's best-known songs, is the first such collection to range from early classics "Blinded By the Light," "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," and "Rosalita," to his most recent hits such as "Mary's Place," "the Rising," and "Lonesome Day" from his 2002 release 'The Rising.'

The 'Essential' set will also include a third, limited-edition CD with rarities and previously unreleased recordings, each one annotated by Springsteen in the album's liner notes. The bonus disc includes songs never before released commercially, including "None But the Brave," recorded during the 'Born in the USA' sessions at the Hit Factory in New York City; live recordings of "Held Up Without a Gun" and Jimmy Cliff's "Trapped" from the breakthrough 'River' tour; the acoustic, country-blues version of "Countin' on a Miracle"; a home recording of "County Fair" recorded shortly after the 'Nebraska' album; and more.

The collection is part of a series of 'Essential' sets released by Columbia Records. Previous releases include 'The Essential Bob Dylan,' 'The Essential Johnny Cash,' 'The Essential Clash,' and others. 'The Essential Bruce Springsteen,' however, is the first in the series to include a bonus rarities disc.

'Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live in Barcelona,' includes the entirety of Springsteen and the Band's October 2002 concert at Barcelona's Palau St. Jordi, a show which prompted the Spanish newspaper El Pais to rave "The Boss made the walls of the Palau St. Jordi tremble." In addition, the set contains the featurette "Drop the Needle and Pray: The Rising on Tour," packed with never before seen material, including new interviews, footage from this summer's US stadium tour at Fenway Park and Giants Stadium, and a photo montage chronicling 'The Rising' tour.

The 2-DVD set contains almost three hours of footage, with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound audio recorded and mixed by 'The Rising' producer Brendan O'Brien. The concert in Barcelona, portions of which were broadcast on MTV Europe and CBS, was widely considered among the most exciting of the 120 dates on Springsteen and the Band's acclaimed 'Rising' world tour dates. Together with the bonus material and U.S. footage, the DVDs are a compelling document of one of the most sucessful concert tours of all time.

The executive producers of 'Live in Barcelona' are Jon Landau and Barbara Carr. The DVDs were produced by George Travis and directed by Chris Hilson. Thom Zimny, whose editing on the 2001 HBO concert special "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band," won an Emmy, also edited 'Live in Barcelona.'

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