Note: Friend of Blogness Iain Muir is attending multiple shows — his first ever — during Springsteen’s Australian tour, and has offered to share his impressions here. Below, the report from Melbourne, nights two and three. (You can view the full setlists here and here.)
Night two was much different compared to night one. The nerves didn’t really kick in until we got into the pit. We noticed the lights came on about 20 minutes before Bruce came out, so I and the people around me thought one of two things: It’s going to be LOHAD or Badlands, and we were correct (kinda).
From the get go, everything was crazy. The crowd was much better than night one I found. But I guess when you open with a song as historic and upbeat as Badlands, it’s too hard not to get pumped up.
The girl who had the Cadillac Ranch sign was right beside me and she was ecstatic he played it. It was also her first show, and you could tell it was something special for her and something that she will never forget. She was also a re head and Bruce acknowledged her once again during Red Headed Woman. Was fun watching her night unfold, as things just seemed to get better and better for her.
I was thrilled personally to hear Downbound Train. One of three songs not to make an appearance off BITUSA at that point (the others being I’m Goin’ Down and My Hometown), and it was great. That opening riff is a killer and one of my favourite pieces of Bruce’s music. An intense performance that held the crowd perfectly.
The double shot of Spirit and City works perfectly. As City didn’t get a run on Sunday, and Sunday being my first show, it was my first time hearing it. And boy, I am glad I did. The way Bruce can silence a room of 15,000 people is astounding. The atmosphere completely changes once the intros begin, and when he said “I’m in a sad mood tonight,” a few people around me said “awww.” Then he went on to “Are we missin’ anybody?” I got a little teary eyed and thought it was a great moment over the three nights. He certainly knows how to pay his respects and makes fans feel like they knew both Danny and Clarence too. An extremely fitting and moving tribute.
Shuffle was again new and a whole heap of fun. Ted, a 350-odd-show veteran, said it was one of the best versions of Shuffle he has seen. I thought it was great fun — the band just goes for it and jams out to the max. Watching Max and Everett “duel” is great fun too. Everett’s congo drum has an awesome sound and watching his expressions during the duel is a joy to behold.
Joad again soared and Morello takes it to another level. Thunder Road is just one of those epic concert moments you won’t understand unless you’re there. I think everyone in the pit sang it word for word. Incredible sight and experience. Finally Rosie came out and everyone just went ballistic. I now understand everyone’s joy in hearing Rosie live.
After talking to many of the veterans, and even “rookies,” the consensus was that night three was going to be epic. And boy oh boy did it deliver.
He came out with a different guitar and I knew it was a song we hadn’t heard. “Long Walk Home” began and straight into “Radio Nowhere,” you got the vibe Bruce was sorta pissed off. My Love soared and the place was on fire. The energy in the pit was electric and it wasn’t going to be turned off anytime soon. Everyone was feeding off each other’s energy and things just got better and better.
There has been one song that everyone has been dying to hear – Flood. The roar of appreciation from people in the pit was fantastic. It is definitely one of the most intense things I have ever witnessed in concert. Just absolutely flawless. His guitar was about to catch fire, it was that hot. Absolutely brilliant.
The triumvirate of Candy’s Room, Youngstown and Murder Inc. was out of this world. It all flowed perfectly. It was like it got more intense as each of those three songs ended. He kept taking it up a notch. Youngstown was epic, just absolutely epic. His shriek at the end of Murder Inc. was awesome. Tom dominated and is definitely holding his own on stage.
Jungleland is literally the greatest thing I have seen in my entire 24 years of existence. As soon as Bruce signaled to Roy, I wept throughout the intro and the first two verses. It was just beautiful. Just absolute perfection. I have dreamed of hearing it live ever since I first heard it when I was 18. No amount of superlatives can do it justice. If you’ve heard it, you’ll know what I am talking about. It is something you need to see to believe. Perfection in every essence of the word.
Night three blew everything out of the water.
Hanging Rock is the next stop on this unbelievable ride. Bring on more BOSS TIME!