Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Greetings from Buffalo, NY... "The last show for awhile"

November 22- Buffalo NY. Last show of the 2007-09 "Magic and Working on a Dream" tour by Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band Tour.

A wonderful evening all around. After some logistical nightmares getting INTO the arena--seems as if they had everyone wait outside until the filed the GA seats, causing incredible lines and masses of people waiting to filter into the single ticket takers--the show started a little late. An excellent version of Wrecking Ball-the song is seeming to take on more and more meaning as he performs it in more places other than Giant Stadium---themes of loss, nostalgia, reflection and hope for the future seem to come out in the song more now than when I first heard it a month ago. Kurt Ramm's contributions are taking the song to another level to in my opinion Last nights version resonated especially. from there it was TIES THAT BIND and HUNGRY HEART--a nice one two punch. I especially liked Ties-- very heavy on the 60's guitar parts by Steve.

 A nice intro to GREETINGS which included references to this being the album that started it all--and then into the album. It was very good. Clearly, there are a lot of words shoved into those measures and the band did there best. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT and GROWIN UP were solid---the best part for me was taking the middle of GROWIN UP for a little "storytelling"--that was fantastic and it was basically the story of meeting Clarence. Illusions to King Curtis...."dark and stormy night"..."Asbury Park"....you get the idea, but it was good. Springsteen saying how Clarence came up on stage and said -- Clarence chimes in "I want to play with you"... It ended with Bruce and Clarence posing as they did for the BORN TO RUN album. And they kept the pose for awhile- a great moment. Really. The rest of the album was wonderful. For me, the highlight of the album set (and maybe of the whole show actually) was LOST IN THE FLOOD. It was played like I never heard it before. Intense...guitar solos....full E STREET BAND treatment...the idea of it being a "war" song really was made apparent to me. His vocals on that song blew me away.

After the album---a change of pace (I think SUNNY DAY and maybe PROMISE LAND)--- next highlight of the show was Stevie Van Zandt's birthday. Nice intro--- "he's....the same age as me" and then a birthday cake. As a special tribute, Bruce said, "here's one of Stevie's favorite songs and want to play it tonight for him" and the band went into RESTLESS NIGHTS---after that SURPRISE SURPRISE again dedicated to Steve...  I think after that it was getting the signs (GREEN ONIONS were played). I never seen so many signs...amazing. Many "Thank You" cards...literally a sea of posters in the GA section. And, an extended time collecting them from the audience. It seemed as if he was really enjoying the signs. After collecting---they did MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY and SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN--the sign for SANTA was great (Bruce sitting on Santa's lap) and he said "I'm going to put this one on my door back home"--- He then spent a little time talking about the people following him around to all his shows..."especially the Italians" and did I DON"T WANT TO HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOWS ("what the fuck you think I am...a mindreader? the next time put the goddamm lyrics on the poster") ;-) That went into BOOM BOOM and MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN---(the crowd was just yelling and enjoying themselves at this point, smiles all around). I think then LONG WALK HOME, RISING, and BORN TO RUN....Other highlights...."Let me tell you about my band"---and went into TENTH AVENUE as they took bows and went off stage.

 The encores were great---some highlights...a kid getting up and dancing with Stevie during DANCING IN THE DARK...hard to describe the energy at the end going from DANCING IN THE DARK to ROSALITA to HIGHER AND HIGHER to ROCKIN ALL OVER THE WORLD---but he just kept asking the audience "Buffalo, can we take it any higher???" and with each song, he somehow did. Just amazing really--kind of like a frenzy at the end. He shouted more than once "we don't want to go home"...he wore out the crowd. He played well past 11PM and people were leaving and then coming back to their seats...just a great energy in the building.

Two favorite scenes in my mind at the end....Bruce holds up a single "THANK YOU" card (there were dozens maybe more than a hundred in the Pit and GA during the show---he grabbed one and looked into the camera and smiled with the THANK YOU card under his face. A great picture. I missed it. I hope it turns up somewhere- just a great look on his face. Another great scene was him pulling down a banner that was hung behind stage by some fans. It said "It may be only rock and roll, but it feels like love"---and he made sure the cameras caught that and he displayed it in front of the stage--nicely done (After the show I saw the roadies carefully fold that banner up).

End of the show---Springsteen came out on the side of the stage---signed an autograph or two--a couple of band members came out behind him. Last image I saw, Bruce and Clarence walking walking toward one of the arena exits to get them off the arena floor. Springsteen was rubbing Clearance's shoulders as Clearance was sitting in his golf cart driving slowly.

Last show for the E-STREET BAND---I don't think so. But, may the last we see of a regular contribution by some members. We'll see.

A great night---well worth the trip up and spending time in Buffalo.

Picture: "It's only Rock and Roll--but it feels like love"- enough said. 

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