The European Grand Finale

Expectations were high for the final round of shows in Europe, those 4 gigs in Spain. San Sebastián was the first one, on July 15th, and lived up to those expectations. It was a truly excellent performance with many highlights, including the opening song, «Tunnel of Love», plus «Growin’ Up», «Sandy» and a memorable «Incident on 57th Street», the best we have ever witnessed. The final guitar solo was just plain perfect. Patti Scialfa’s presence on these last four shows made Bruce do a few songs that feature more of Patti’s voice and perhaps softened a bit the set list (we’re thinking of «Tougher than the rest», «Brilliant Disguise», «Cover Me»…).

Madrid and the first night in Barcelona were clearly shows for the masses. Despite a few rarities, Bruce definitely went into «greatest hits»-mode, skipping songs that had been standards on the Magic tour (was this the Magic tour any longer?) like «Gypsy Biker», «Magic» and even (heresy!) «She’s the One» which was missing every night after San Sebastián. More and more songs from Born in the U.S.A. were featured instead.

Madrid had «Cover Me», «Bobby Jean», «Cadillac Ranch», «Trapped» and very inspired versions of «Jungleland» and «Summertime Blues». First night in Barcelona featured «The River», «Glory Days», «Janey Don’t You Lose Heart», «Bobby Jean», «Waitin’ on a Sunny Day», «Hungry Heart», «Brilliant Disguise» and just a couple of the so-called «rarities»: «Backstreets» and «Jungleland». The crowds were really enthusiastic every night, chanting, doing waves, singing along and having the time of their life enjoying the 3-hour energy delivery from Bruce and the E Street Band. Come encore time, lots of family members went onstage, including Garry’s daughter and Springsteen’s children Evan and Jessica, plus assorted friends.

The final night in Barcelona things changed a bit. 15 songs were changed from the previous night, and the show opened with a very strong «Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out» that put everyone on their feet. The show featured a mix of hits and vintage stuff, with «Light of Day», «Spirit in the Night», «Summertime Blues», the tour debut of «I’m Going Down«, a great «This Hard Land» followed by the powerful duo comprised of «Youngstown» and «Murder Incorporated», and a fantastic 7-song encore that included «Thunder Road», «Detroit Medley», a tremendous «Rosalita» and a 10-minute delirious «Twist and Shout». A great 3-hour show, but not the one colossal night most fans were expecting for a tour closer.

Later, looking at the set list fans found out what was missing. Bruce directly skipped the great duo of «Because the Night / She’s the One» which was supposed to follow «The Promised Land». And a bit later, in the «rarity» spot after «Mary’s Place», his set list said «Drive All Night / Racing in the Street», which were, unfortunately, both skipped to go straight into «The Rising». It was good, coulda been better, no doubt. Perhaps the ‘funny’ signs asking for all kinds of stuff made for the weird setlist changes, perhaps it was the enthusiastic chants after «Mary’s Place» that made Bruce think it was not the right moment for a song like «Drive all Night». We’ll never know, and probably 90% of the audience wouldn’t care at all for a song they probably have never heard about.

See complete set list from San Sebastián

See complete set list from Madrid

See complete set list from Barcelona July 19th

See complete set list from Barcelona July 20th

Top Photo: copyright 2008 Belén Teruel

Barcelona 20-07-2008 video: Willem

http://www.vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1381482&server=www.vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Twist and Shout, Barcelona ,20-7. from Willem on Vimeo.

Barcelona 19-07-2008 video: Willem
http://www.vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1388404&server=www.vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
American Land,Barcelona , 19-7. from Willem on Vimeo.

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