Monday, September 23, 2013

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band rocked Rio

The two-year, 135-show, Wrecking Ball world tour finally came to a victorious close late last night at Brazil's Rock In Rio festival. Fans around the world got to join in the festivities as the show was being streamed live. Bruce was in top form (turning 64 today and still looking mighty fine!), the E Street Band was in top form, everyone was in high spirits, the fans were ecstatic -- many South Americans were probably seeing The Greatest Show On Earth for the first time, considering that Bruce and the band has not played the continent in a long, long time (25 years to be exact). Save for a rousing cover of a popular Brazilian song, the setlist, catered for a new market and festival audience, was a standard affair. There were no sign requests. I guess the one curveball was when he announced in Portuguese that they would be playing Born In The USA from start to finish. So the setlist may look 'boring' on paper, but actually seeing it translated to the stage, even if it meant watching on the iMac screen, was something else entirely. It looked like the band played with an intense fervor as if it were the last time they were gonna play these songs. Jake Clemons was especially on fire. Downbound Train was sublime as ever. It was fitting for Bruce to finish off with an acoustic rendition of This Hard Land [link]. It's got a certain farewell vibe to it, but farewell for now, not forever. As expected, he put more emphasis into the last verse by slowing it down, making the audience hang on to every single word and punctuation. It pretty much sums up what Bruce has been writing and singing about for most of his life.

Hey, Frank, won't you pack your bags
And meet me tonight down at Liberty Hall
Just one kiss from you, my brother
And we'll ride until we fall
Well sleep in the fields
We'll sleep by the rivers
And in the morning we'll make a plan
Well if you can't make it stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive if you can
And meet me in a dream of this hard land