Friday, January 18, 2013

Tom Morello to replace Steve Van Zandt...

...only for the Australian tour, that is. This news still came as a total shocker. We all know that Steve is currently filming the second season of his mob show, Lilyhammer, in Norway, and we thought he'd be done in time for the tour in March. So apparently not. He will rejoin the band for the European tour. I can't say I'm disappointed, just a little bit. On the other hand, I'm elated that Bruce chose Tom Morello to fill in; I've always dreamed of seeing Tom perform with Bruce. Previously, the only times people got to see Tom with the E Street Band were in Southern California mostly, and two nights in Chicago's Wrigley Field, and at Hyde Park in London. Now he'll be playing nine full shows with the band thousands of miles away!

My concern is that Tom's and Steve's style of playing are WORLDS APART, so I'm kinda worried how Tom is gonna fit in with the band's signature sound. But they do share one thing in common....both of them can't sing that well! I got absolutely no problem with that though. But Steve knows his shit; he knows harmonies, he knows horns, he's a bandleader. So now, you have two of the greatest guitarists in the world on both sides of the stage...Nils Lofgren and Tom Morello. Again, how's that gonna work out for the band? And will there be changes to the setlist to 'cater' for Tom? Will it be more 'guitar-centric'? Will Bruce break out any rare songs in that case? One thing's for certain though -- they will play The Ghost Of Tom Joad rather frequently in Oz, and also probably rotate between Jack Of All Trades and This Depression, in which Tom guested on the record.

I'm sure a lot of Aussie fans are feeling sad and pissed that they won't get to see Steve onstage. The band have not played here for the past ten years, and I'm sure there will be a lot of first-timers at the shows, who definitely want to see the complete E Street line-up. I feel sorry for them. In fact, this will be the E Street Band's third (and possibly final) time in Oz, and Stevie would've only made it down under once (The Rising tour). He left before the Born In The USA tour, remember? Part of what makes an E Street concert so unique from others is the chemistry and interplay between Bruce and Little Steven. It's indelible. And it happens a lot during each show, night after night, more so on this Wrecking Ball tour, in light of Clarence's passing. Take for example Manchester, 22nd June 2012, now that was SICK. Us fans live for these kinds of stuff. But whatever it is, no doubt the Aussie shows will still be legendary, with Tom bringing a new kind of energy to them.

Rage Against The E Street Band. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City, Nils and Tom ten minute guitar duel, anyone?