This was published on a website by a guy named Petche who lived in Belgium. We used to chat on ICQ for hours about Bruce.
The Rising Tour:
At this point in time I had seen Bruce 13 times previously (now the total is 15) I don’t have the date of this concert and am too tired to look it up right now, but it was at The Forum in Los Angeles: It was incredible! As promised here is my review of a mesmerizing evening:
My overall impression is that this concert was different from any other he's ever done. The feeling of the night was solemn at times...quiet...respectful. Of course at other times he rocked the roof off the place.
It's amazing how you can sit in a crowd of thousands and feel like it's an intimate gathering...like Bruce showed up to hang with some friends and put on a show for them. Of course he did all his usual antics...jumping on the piano, bending over backwards (how the hell he can do that I'll never understand) and skipping around smiling and touching hands with the crowd....playing to the back often. He looked absolutely fantastic...he just keeps getting better. Was wearing the same outfit as always, same jewelry (not wearing a wedding ring I noticed). Patti looked really good too and everyone else looked the same. Soozie is HOT on the violin and added so much to it! I loved her!
Here's a few things I noticed: His voice had a whole new range for a few songs. It doesn't come through on the CD but you will know what I mean when you hear him in person...I never knew he had that voice! It was beautiful, amazing...totally a surprise.
Patti sounded better than usual. She seemed more relaxed than usual and she opened a couple of songs with a very moving vocal sound (don't know what to call it). The songs on The Rising seem to bring out her talents that, to me, were “hidden” in the past...for the first time I really appreciated her voice. Usually I just sort of smile and think “nice of him to let his wife sing.”
Of course the rest of the band was their usual selves...
Steven barely cracked a smile but had a mischievous look in his eye the whole time as he crept around the stage with his guitar. Max was on fire and never missed a cue. Clarence lit the place up with his smile and the best damn sax on the planet.
Oh that reminds me... During Prove it all Night Bruce made a mistake on his guitar solo...just a little one, and he got all embarrassed and just kind of smiled at us as if to say "oops". It was very cute, I love it that he is so down to earth and un-pretentious. He used Mary's Place to intro the band in place of the usual 10th Ave Freeze Out. It worked! He did his usual type of intros, called Patti the "First Lady of Love" but when he introduced Clarence he used the "F" word! I don't remember ever having heard him use it before, but I’m sure he has...He said something like "the fucking best sax in Southern California" it was very appropriate.
He didn’t' talk to the audience nearly as much as usual but his songs spoke volumes - he let the music carry the mood for the night. When he did switch into high gear he commented that the Forum (the venue we were at) had been bought by a church (true) and that we were going to initiate it with a RIGHTEOUS HOUSE PARTY, and man, did we ever!!!!
One other thought just popped into my mind...he was talking to the audience asking us something (sorry can't remember exactly what!!) and it was a question like "why should I keep playing?" or something...and Steven grabbed the mic and said "cause your the Boss". That floored me completely! Of course the crowd went crazy but from what I know he does not like to be called the Boss so it was really a trip to hear Little Steven say it!!!
He opened with The Rising. Perfect way to get the night off on the right foot, rocking yet with a purpose in mind....we were there not just to enjoy but to remember. Next was Lonesome Day, one of my favoirtes. Then he jumped into a very long and energetic Prove it All Night...always great...got everyone up and joining in. Next was The Fuse, it was much more intense live Then a very slow acousic version of Atlantic City.
At this point he asked the audience for SILENCE. He said "I know you can do it, and I have patience". He stood there and waited for the few jerks who had to scream to get it out of their system then began an acoustic version of Empty Sky that was AMAZING. Patti backed him up. It was so quiet during the song...all eyes were glued to him. He was so serious, so somber, so moved by what he was singing. I cried so did my sister and the guy next to her.
He followed this up with Your Missing...another moving, tear jerker that made me feel the pain of the person who lost someone. Awesome...perfect. Then he changed the mood back by transitioning with Sunny Day and moving into Promised Land...once again we were back on our feet dancing and smiling. Then very quiet and mysteriously he started Worlds Apart...he and Patti were incredible during this song (I am so glad they are married, it makes a huge difference). Clarence played some traditional Middle Eastern instruments during this song that made it come alive...
Next was Badlands with the usual audience participation - Whoa woa woa woa.... Then he played Bobby Jean, kind of a slow version. I was not expecting it, it was good. Then he did Mary's Place with the intros in the middle...very, very fun but I have to admit I missed 10th Ave. Next Counting on a Miracle. Ok, to be honest if I could change one thing about the concert I would replace this with something old like maybe Darkness or my personal favorite - She's The One. Next....Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh....need I say more???? Thank God he played it, I NEED to experience it. We went nuts...."show a little faith, there's magic in the night, you ain't a beauty but hey your alright and that's alright with me...." my favorite line of all times.
Then he did Badlands, great as always and the perfect follow up to Thunder Road. After that he got serious again and did Into the Fire....oh my gosh - you will die during this song. At the very end the lighting on his face was perfect...I can't describe it, you have to see it. After the song they all held hands, bowed and left. For Encore number one he burst into Dancing in the Dark (one of my least favorites but hey, who's complaining...I danced my ass off during the whole thing) If my ass wasn't dance off during that song....he next played RAM ROD!!! No kidding! It was the rockingest song of the night and everyone was WILD. Then he changed gears again and gave a little speech that I doubt he'll give over there in Europe about our civil rights, etc. etc. how we need to be vigilant, and intelligent and aware if we are ... Born in the USA. Then they left the stage again....of course at this point the clueless people got up and left not knowing the best was yet to come!!! For Encore number two he did your song - CITY OF RUINS - and it was perfect. It was moving, it was beautiful, it was hot. Then...big surprise to me, he did American Skin (41 Shots). Somehow it seemed to balance the evening and say "yes, we are patriotic, but lets' not forget that we have issues in America that need to be addressed" so 41 Shots and Born in the USA were in total contrast to all the 9/11 songs. I loved that! He has so much to say and the guts to say it. They left the stage again but, as you know, there was one last song to play. They came out and did a total surprise to me "Land of Hopes and Dreams". This was the absolute best song he could have chosen to end this night. It gave us hope, put things in perspective, gave us a chance to catch our breath and say our internal goodbyes before he left the stage one last time. The hardest part of seeing Bruce is knowing it's over...it's when the house lights come on and you are forced to leave. The energy remains, but the man is off stage. It's so bittersweet. I love him so much!!! No one else can do what he does, no one else compares. Very few people get it, but Peter you get it better than anyone I have ever met. I would LOVE for you to come to LA next summer - or maybe I'll fly to Belgium! Seeing him with you would be an honor!!!