Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live at the Apollo

1. We Take Care of Our Own
2. Wrecking Ball
3. Badlands
4. Death To My Hometown
5. My City Of Ruins
6. The E Street Shuffle
7. Jack Of All Trades
8. Shackled And Drawn
9. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
10. The Promised Land
11. Mansion On The Hill
12. The Way You Do The Thing You Do
13. 634-5789
14. The Rising
15. We Are Alive
16. Thunder Road
17. Rocky Ground
18. Land Of Hope And Dreams
19. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
20. Hold On, I'm Coming

Thanks to SiriusXM for broadcasting the show live to worldwide audiences. Judging from tonight's setlist, this may not look like a proper full show (no Born To Run nor anything from The Promise), but it will become another milestone in the live history of the E Street Band, in light of Clarence's passing. Soul music has always been synonymous with the Apollo Theatre, and Bruce and the band recognized that, covering three of the genre's classics, The Way You Do The Thing You Do (The Temptations) and 634-5789 (Wilson Pickett) during the middle of the set (and had Bruce singing from the second floor balcony to the delight of the audience [link]), and ending the two-hour show with a short Hold On, I'm Coming (Sam & Dave). This may seem like a 'one-off' thing, but I hope Bruce decides to continue playing these songs -- the horns and the singers were on FIRE.

Lotta songs from the just-released Wrecking Ball, including the premieres of Shackled And Drawn, We Are Alive and Rocky Ground, another highlight which had gospel singer, Michelle Moore doing her rap. The new stuff translates well onstage. Land Of Hope And Dreams turned out magnificent as usual, and this arrangement incorporates the best of the current studio and the familiar live versions from recent years. My City Of Ruins made a surprising return, and early in the set too; this rendition being more Motown/Stax-inspired. Bruce used this opportunity to introduce the band, and each one took a short solo. Then the first of many emotional moments came, as Bruce asked "Are we missing anybody?", and then responded repeatedly "The only thing I can guarantee tonight... if you're here and we're here, they're here." What a way to honor the lives of Danny and Clarence.

The ultimate tear-jerker came during Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out. On a good day like this, it's one of the best pieces of live music you'll ever hear in your life. "When the change was made uptown, and the Big Man joined the band"....and then the band completely stopped playing. The crowd cheering went on for like a minute before the entire horn section came back in with Clarence's signature sax lick. This HAS to done on every single show of the tour. The new sax players, Eddie Manion and Jake Clemons faithfully recreated, for the most part, Big Man's solos on Badlands, The Promised Land and Thunder Road. When the tour is in full swing later this month, we should be expecting longer and more varied setlists. CLICK HERE to read the concert review of Backstreets' editor, Chris Phillips, who was lucky enough to attend tonight. Sunderland and Manchester couldn't come soon enough.