Living in So. Cal. it seems that every review has to start with a traffic report. Getting to L.A. can be such a bear these days. So, living 10 minutes from the Honda Center in Anaheim (I'm finally getting used to not calling it The Pond) is so nice. I spent more time on theofframp and getting into the parking lot then I spent on the freeway. So when I got there I called up my friend Rocky. We've known each other for half our lives but probably haven't sat near each other for a Bruce Springsteen show since the 80's; maybe never. "Where are you sitting?" I asked. "Section 223", she said. "What row?". "D". "What seat?". "2". "I'm in 5!". Before I could hang up, this guy is bugging me to sell my tickets. I finally look to see who it is and it's Randy. By the way,Meems, Randy says hi. He misses hearing you on the air and he wanted me to tell you about Kulakswoodshed .com ; a cool place in the valley where people go to hear music. He was thinking that if you ever got your band back together, it would be a great place to perform. Sorry, got off track...
Our seats were at about center court and only 4 rows from the floor, making us at stage level. Very good seats. Bruce started an hour late, which is normal for him and came out firing with a rockin' version of "Light of Day" and then continued to just rip through a high energy set list (see below, courtesy of Backstreets.com). Then came the surprises. First we got "Murder Inc.", always a killer. He slowed down a touch for "Magic" and then... "Trapped"! We were screaming at the tops of our lungs. What a great surprise. But the surprises didn't end there...
A couple of songs later we got "Because the Night" with Nils just killing the guitar solo. Maybe not a big surprise, but what followed shortly after was...
We had been hearing that "The Ghost of Tom Joad" was being rehearsed and Rocky wasn't too excited about that. But when Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine came out, it was obvious this wasn't going to be a potty break version of the song (sorry, when the E Street Band plays, and Bruce decides to slow down, people usually head for the bathroom... we are getting older). Tom did for "Ghost" what Nils normally does for Youngstown; turn it into a guitar solo piece for the ages. The whole place went nuts.
What could top that? Maybe hearing "Rosalita" for the first time in years. That put a huge grin on our faces. There were lots of people showing up on stage including Bobby Bandiera (a Jersey boy), Marty Rifkin and Marc Anthony Thompson. With the wife at home (actually both our wives were at home) Bruce (that would be him not me) was a flirting machine, letting women grab his legs (I even saw one woman grabbing his butt) during several songs. Of course, he didn't leave the guys out, letting then grab and strum his guitar (I think it was during Born to Run).
Generally, when Bruce plays two nights in one town, the second show is the best. He plays the basic show the first night and a more open show the second. The same things goes for multi-leg tours. This is the second time around and he has put aside some of the newer music to play some oldies. He really mixed it up last night and I can't wait for tonight!
Light of Day
Reason to Believe
Because the Night
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
Working on the Highway
The Ghost of Tom Joad (w/ Tom Morello)
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Out in the Street
* * *
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Born to Run
Ramrod (w/ Bobby Bandiera)
American Land (w/ Marty Rifkin and Marc Anthony Thompson)