This is round 2 of a 3 rounder for me. We had seats in the upper level, but row 8, and in the corner. It turns out that it is actually closer then the back of the lower level in Oakland. I love the Sports Arena!
As we started to go in, I heard someone yell, "Bruuuuce". Well, I've gotten used to ignoring my name at Springsteen shows, but I turned anyway. It was Randy and Sue. I always know that at the L.A. Bruce shows I'm going to run into old friends. It is one of the many reasons I love these shows.
Things did not start out good for The Boss on this evening. The show opens with circus music playing as the band walks out. The music kept stopping and starting (not supposed to happen) with a loud scratch like they were having a connection problem every time it started back up. And later in the evening (was it at the beginning of Backstreets, I can't remember) it got worse as the low end, probably from the bass guitar got way out of hand and sent vibrations through the cement walls of the arena.
Otherwise, it was a great show. The audience started out really loud and excited for an L.A. crowd. But, watching from the upper level, they seemed to relax as the show went on. By the end though, with the Born to Run into Dancing in the Dark combo, they were up and singing/screaming.
This was a first night show, which generally has been considered not as good as the second night shows. Probably because I've spent too much time listening to the tour boots, but it seemed just too familiar. There were no tour premiers this night either. But it was an excellent show with great moments.
The heat! Did I mention the heat? We were sweating before the show even started. Bruce brought it up a couple of times and even brought water out to the crowd. At least one girl fainted from the heat (I guessing it was the heat). Bruce was very nice and even asked about her during the show.
There are lots of things I love about this tour. He has taken the folky "Reason to Believe", and turned it into a blazing blues number that brings down the house every night. Think, Chis Isaak's "Baby Did a Bad Thing", starting with just harmonica and drums and then exploding with the band joining in. Gypsy Bikers culminates with Bruce and Little Steven trading blistering guitar solos. During "Magic", there are two vertical screens and the video camera picks up Bruce on one and Patti on the other. Very cool effect. Many of the new songs really come to life in concert. I especially love how powerful "Devils Arcade" comes off.
I'm crossing my fingers that I'm in the pit tonight. If not I'm going to be very pissed at a couple of SFX people who made promises last night. Meanwhile, here is the set list, brought to you by www.backstreets.com .
Reason to Believe
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
Town Called Heartbreak
Working on the Highway
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
* * *
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark