Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Melbourne Rod Laver Arena - 2

Ticket: GA (Priority, #28 in line)

Springsteen changed the game again for show 2 in Melbourne as the band came on stage with all the house and stage lights beaming, before a rallying cry of "Melbourne, get off ya bums!" and the thumping opening of Badlands.



There was no time to pause and catch a breath, or to think about what the setlist might be for the next three hours as he kept the show running at lightning speed.

Which for me, hyped up on flu meds, vitamins and power drinks was something of a relief as it gave me all the energy I needed for the seventh concert on this tour.

Heading for a request in the third song - Cadillac Ranch made a fun debut on the Australian tour.
But not as fun as the request for Red Headed Woman, which Springsteen joked would be a challenge, taunting the E Street Band as he reminded himself of how it went.

"The band have no idea what's gonna happen!"
"And Tommy is shakin' in his boots!", he cried.

The result was a solo intro to the song before the band joined in, Soozie Tyrell and Nils Lofgren also taking a few solos after Springsteen checked if they were ready.

Again in the front row it was a great insight into how the band are constantly kept on their toes by Springsteen - and you can watch all them study Springsteen's every nod and hand gesture as he leads them through each song or setlist change.

And what was clear last night is that despite being a nightmare to keep up with, or even hitting the occasional bum note, the band still enjoy expecting the unexpected when it comes to following their leader.

At one point last night, when Lofgren was about to head out into the crowd to join Springsteen, you could clearly see Tom Morello ask the E Street guitarist if he was going.
Lofgren replied by asking Morello if he wanted to do it instead, but the Nightwatchman laughed and backed away.

Morello couldn't back away from the limelight too far though, as his incredible skills as Steve Van Zandt's stand-in has earned him a place in many fans' hearts.

Particularly one fan who held up a sign during Dancing In The Dark and instead of taking the arm of Springsteen, wanted the Rage Against The Machine star to break out some moves - which he was happy to oblige in what became an entertaining highlight of the night.

As did an excellent rendition of Thunder Road and Downbound Train.
Although for me the highlight was Because The Night leading straight into She's The One... two great tracks that showed both Springsteen and Lofgren at their best on stage.

With so many requests out there now spotted by Springsteen, and some clearly being taken seriously, there's still time in Melbourne to break out some much-loved classics.

Setlist:

1. Badlands
2. We Take Care of Our Own
3. Cadillac Ranch (Request)
4. Wrecking Ball
5. Downbound Train (Request)
6. Hungry Heart
7. Spirit in the Night
8. My City of Ruins
9. The E Street Shuffle
10. Red Headed Woman (Request)
11. Because the Night
12. She's the One
13. Open All Night (Seeger Sessions)
14. Working on the Highway
15. Darlington County
16. Shackled and Drawn
17. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
18. The Ghost of Tom Joad
19. Thunder Road

20. We Are Alive
21. Born To Run
22. Dancing In The Dark
23. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
24. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out