One of the best things about a Bruce Springsteen concert nowadays (besides the fact of being at the show, for over three hours, with such a great artist and his incredible band) is the unpredictability factor. Last night’s show in Omaha featured six songs off the Nebraska album. Opening with three of them in a row: the bullet mike, explosive full band version of “Reason to Believe”, followed by the zydeco “Johnny 99” and the classic “Atlantic City”, then joining the crowd on “Hungry Heart”.
The rest of the show was as unpredictable as the opening. “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?” (in place of “Spirit in the Night”) was followed by “Sherry Darling” (sign request) and the always majestic “Lost in the Flood”, with its thunderous guitar solo at the end. And more off Nebraska arrived, with “State Trooper” and the swing version of “Open All Night”, as performed on the Seeger Sessions tour.
Later on the set, after “Raise Your Hand”, Bruce had room for yet one more Nebraska song, the wonderful “Highway Patrolman”, one of the best songs off that album, and it was followed by the emotional “Backstreets”, one of the highlights at any show, before ending with “Badlands” and “Land of Hope and Dreams”.
The encore brought his eternal classics, with “Thunder Road” and “Born to Run”, then “Dancing in the Dark”, which featured Bruce himself on the drums at the end of the song, during Jake’s sax solo, as a fan asked to dance with Max. It was followed by the tour premiere of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”. Bruce put on his Santa hat and remembered Clarence saying “Big Man, we need you!”, before closing the evening with “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”.