The reports from the second concert in Philadelphia vary, but all agree that the show had a spectacular first half, then taking a dip and following a more standard setlist, more centered in festive songs and greatest hits. The two faces of Bruce Springsteen in one show. Taking a look at the setlist is hard to imagine how Bruce could keep pace after such a fast-paced and furious start, with five songs in a row off Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Celebrating “Labor Day” Bruce opened with an appropriate acoustic version of “Factory”, followed by an unstoppable 4-pack with “Adam Raised a Cain,” “Streets of Fire”, the 1978 version of “Prove it All Night” and “Something in the Night”. An unbeatable streak that set the bar very high. After the usual songs off Wrecking Ball Bruce delivered a 3-song set devoted entirely to songs off his debut album, with “Spirit in the Night”, “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?” and “Saint in the City”, followed by the beautiful and always welcomed “Frankie”.
From there on the pace and intensity of the show decreased, and Bruce focused on more on hits and party songs (“Darlington County”, “Working on the Highway”, “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day”, “Lonesome Day”, “The River”, “Badlands”…). Until the encore, very trimmed if compared with recent performances, which featured an amazing “Jungleland” and ended “American Land”. The 2nd night’s set was twenty minutes shorter than the first night. Still, we can’t call “short” a 3-hr 20-minute performance.
Veteran reporter Caryn Rose has summarized the show perfectly in the excellent article published in her Jukebox Graduate blog: “It was not a perfect Philly night 2, but it was tremendous in its own ways, and more than enough.”