Madrid & Bilbao: E Street Power

Bruce Springsteen arrived in Madrid last Sunday and offered a good, solid show, in his first Magic tour show in Europe. The show included tremendous work from Nils Lofgren on «Tunnel of Love», plus a very well received «Thunder Road». Patti was absent in the first European show (also in Bilbao) so Soozie Tyrell took her place in front of the stage. This was the first E Street Band show ever without Danny Federici. We wish him well and a quick return to the band. Charles Giordano, seating for Danny, did a pretty good job considering the little time he had to learn and rehearse all the song. Hats off to him.

(photo: Madrid 25.11.2007 Enric Nonell/fotofotos.com)

Bilbao was a complete different story. Bruce was playing in town for the first time ever and got a tremendous reception. The band was ready, and he was on fire. The result was a spectacular show. It was one of those nights. From beginning to end there was no weak performances or throwaway songs. «Radio Nowhere» and «Night» set the tone of the show: intense, rocking, irresistible. «Jackson Cage» and «Reason to Believe» were a blast, followed by an explosive «She’s The One». In the central ‘rarities’ spot, a nice «I’ll Work for Your Love» (at a faster tempo than in Madrid the previous night) followed by a very intense and emotional version of «Backstreets». Next was the most rockin’ and exhuberant take on «Darlington County» that you can get, followed by particularly good versions of «Devil’s Arcade» and «The Rising».

He was sweatin’ profusely, inter-playing with Nils and Steven quite often, jumping down to the front of the pit many many times, enjoying the warm and strong reception he was getting. And then came the encores. «Girls in their summer clothes» sounded fresh, dedicated to «all the girls from Bilbao, and one from New Jersey!». Next was «Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out» in its original, non-extended version and played with frenzy. This started a period of 25 minutes of non-stop playing . As «Tenth» was finishing and the crowd was roaring, Bruce started playing a familiar guitar intro… «Kitty’s Back», totally unexpected and out of the blue. This was the real ‘magic’ moment of the night, with terrific solos from each band member. They all shone. We were transported back to 1975. Next were «Born to run», «Dancing in the Dark» (both with lights on and big excitement in the audience AND the stage) and a powerful «American Land» to end, with lyrics being shown on the screens (a wise idea). After the show ended, Bruce spent a good two minutes behind the stage waving goodbye, bowing and sending out kissed to the people seating in the sides of the stage. He sure loved the show. Can this get any better? Watch out tonight, Milano!

Photos below: Bilbao 26.11.2007, copyright 2007 by René Van Diemen

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