Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Springsteen in Adelaide - Show 1

For his first night in Adelaide, Springsteen made sure that the burning hot South Australia city had a personal experience, complete with heartache, regret and of course redemption.

Themes perhaps shared with many of those in the crowd who had, like Perth, waited 40 years for the spirit of E Street to be unleashed in their city.
And they're probably even more shared by those devoted fans who have spent night after night holding up signs  for Human Touch, Back In Your Arms or If I Should Fall Behind - and to be told by everyone else in the pit 'he'll never play that' - only to miss Adelaide from their tour dates.

Those three songs, on a night in which Spirit In The Night was introduced with jokes about former lovers, and alongside the bruising Jack Of All Trades, really showed Springsteen's ability to reach into the heart of an individual among a crowd of thousands.
Not before he had everyone on their feet for a good time though.

Summertime Blues was the surpising opener, and followed immediately by a sign request for Detroit Medley, in honour of Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons.
Max Weinberg had an early drum solo as My Love Will Not Let You Down came before tracks from High Hopes and Wrecking Ball established a steady pace.

Here Human Touch was one of the stand out performances of the night. Starting slowly but winning over any doubters with Springsteen's guitar solo to drive it home.
It was another brilliant three-song pillar that held up the middle of the night when it was followed by Spirit, and Back In Your Arms. When, after a little coaxing, Springsteen had most of the crowd admitting they too had fucked up something good in their lives. Before telling them sometimes you just have to get on your knees to fix it.




Springsteen's vocals and accompanied by Roy Bittan's piano and Jake Clemon's sax, meant that this song was one of the highlights of the show. And maybe even won over those who questioned the dedication of those who wave the sign every night because they are determined to hear it played.

Another sign request favourite was also answered last night with the Prove It All Night ('78 Intro). To established fans this needs no introduction, but instead comes with a lot of pressure to hear Springsteen play the immense solo as perfectly as he did 36 years ago. 
Although I wasn't around then, from what I've heard it's fair to say he did and the end result was an incredible rendition, with Nils Lofgren on reliably excellent form for his part.
Also worthy of mention are the Australia 2014 debuts of Darkness On The Edge of Town and Mary's Place - both getting the crowd back in full voice.

There were a few stumbles for Adelaide's first show however.
Springsteen's solo guitar in Ghost Of Tom Joad seemed a little out of pace at times, and no one seems to know what happened during Waitin' On A Sunny Day. During his lengthy walk around the crowd Springsteen disappeared from the screens, the sound was patchy and even the band looked confused for about a minute until he resurfaced and headed back to the stage.

The encore however soon blew away any problems.
Starting with the AC/DC cover Highway To Hell, which has become a YouTube sensation since it opened Perth's night 3, it smashed the crowd and never looked back.
When the acoustic guitar appeared for the solo closing, now a common feature on this tour, it was If I Should Fall Behind that brought the entire arena into a stunned silence.
The most powerful and moving solo song of the tour, Springsteen's vocals were again at their very best.




Setlist:
  1. Summertime Blues
  2. Detroit Medley (request)
  3. Badlands
  4. My Love Will Not Let You Down
  5. High Hopes
  6. Just Like Fire Would
  7. We Take Care of Our Own
  8. Wrecking Ball
  9. Death to My Hometown
  10. Jack of All Trades
  11. Human Touch
  12. Spirit in the Night
  13. Back in Your Arms (request)
  14. Heaven's Wall
  15. Darkness on the Edge of Town
  16. Prove It All Night ('78 intro)
  17. Mary's Place
  18. This Is Your Sword
  19. Darlington County
  20. Shackled and Drawn
  21. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
  22. The Ghost of Tom Joad
  23. The Rising
  24. Highway to Hell
  25. Born to Run
  26. Ramrod
  27. Dancing in the Dark
  28. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
  29. Shout
  30. If I Should Fall Behind (solo acoustic)
  31. Thunder Road (solo acoustic) 

Run time - 3 hours 30 mins. (approx)

Tour so far: 114 songs in 4 shows, 69 different.