Sunday, August 3, 2008

Springsteen in the rain - aftermath

The man (and the band) puts on a hell of a show. We got PUMMELED by rain and even some hail. At one point it was coming down in sheets and we couldn't see. Even our lame ponchos didn't keep us dry. Once Springsteen came on stage, however, all was forgotten and forgiven. Three hours later, we were happy and tired :)

Best shirt at the concert, by far:

Ugh, you can say that again.

Here's the write-up on the concert from I couldn't have said it any better:

Another U.S. concert goes into the midnight hour, with the Gillette Stadium show not starting until 9:20, again with "Summertime Blues." Weather, not traffic, was the culprit this time, with a huge storm drenching the surroundings -- Bruce told the crowd, "We were dodging lightning bolts coming up here for about an hour and a half!" But after delaying the start until one last downpour was through, there was no rain for the entirety of the show (unless you count water running off the stage roof into the pit). And as Bruce said after "Spirit," "I think a little rain agrees with you guys."

It was a shorter show compared to the three nights in Jersey, not quite cracking the three-hour mark, and judging by the cross-offs on the handwritten setlist (including an unplayed "Racing in the Street" after "Mary's Place"), it seemed Bruce had to put some effort into how to trim the show a bit. But they still blew way past Gillette's 11:00 curfew, rocking "Rosalita" until ten past 12. In between, it was another party show -- all release, little tension -- with even more granted requests than usual bringing a pair of tour-debut covers and more rarities to set this night apart.
The biggest mind-blower came after "Tunnel of Love," as Springsteen collected signs and complimented their "professionalism." One in particular made him chuckle: "The band will not be ready for this one... oh, they will not be ready!" It was "Little Latin Lupe Lu," a song they've only done a couple of times since the '70s -- and as opposed to some sign requests that probably would get played anyway, there's no way Bruce would have called this one up otherwise. But it seemed the band was ready after all, the song sounded great -- and the professionalism of the sign sure didn't hurt Bruce's performance. As he pointed out, the sign had the "Lupe Lu" lyrics printed on the back (in a Bruce handwriting font, no less) with "Key of F" written at the top. "That's appreciated!" he laughed, and he wasn't kidding -- he made sure to have the words where he could see.

"Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street" (its second tour performance) and "Hungry Heart" followed, both by request, and then it was another cover special for the occasion. Not "Dirty Water" -- though there was plenty of that on the ground -- but another one almost as foreseeable: "Who'll Stop the Rain." Bruce sent it out to Bill Belichick: "This is for the coach. He's out there tonight. He didn't bring a sign, though!"

Unusually, Bruce gathered more signs as the encore began, and kicked it off with another fan choice: "We have here the rarely played and even more rarely requested..." and he turned the sign around to reveal "I'm Goin' Down." That was another second tour performance, going into "Jungleland," by request for a birthday in the crowd. Thinking of nearby Boston, Bruce asked before "American Land," "Do we have any Irishmen out there?" The tepid response must have reminded him that this wasn't Boston, though, as at the end of the song he hollered, "Boston! Massachussets! Rhode Island! Connecticut! Wherever the fuck we are! You've just seen..." And on this night, it might have been a little late, but you could add rain-stoppin' E Street Band to the list.


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