Bruce Springsteen said goodbye to the Working on a Dream tour (but not to the E Street Band!) in Buffalo with a historic performance. 34 songs in 3 hours and 27 minutes of pure joy and ecstasy. A memorable night that exceeded any expectactions. The performance of Bruce’s debut album Greetings from Asbury Park NJ was superlative, but right after it ended the show never went down an inch, it grew and grew and grew in intensity, featuring a big variety of songs and a buch of rarities.
The highlights of the show (there were probably too many!) were a beautiful «The Angel» (with an unknown viola player), a magnificent «Growin’ Up» which included a long story about the day Bruce met Clarence, a crazy version of «Spirit in the Night», plus a devastating «Lost in the Flood» that let us completely stunned. Best ever version? Probably. Bruce’s and Max’s work at the end of the song (and the whole band, indeed) was simply mesmerizing.
Those alone were worth the trip and the show, but there were tons more. The initial «Wrecking Ball» (sounding better than ever) followed by an inspiring «The Ties That Bind», and the fun crowd-surfing on «Hungry Heart». And then the world live debut of the superb «Restless Nights», upon Stevie’s request as it was his birthday, plus a great «Surprise, Surprise», again dedicated to Stevie after guitar tech Kevin Buell brought a b/day cake onstage.
The requests section included «Merry Christmas Baby», «Santa Claus is Coming to town», the rare «I Don’t Wanna Hang Up My Rock’n’roll Shoes» (need he say more?) -last performed with the band in Saginaw, Michigan in 1978-, inmediately followed by a rockin’ «Boom Boom» and a megapowerful «My Love Will Not Let You Down». Moments later, Steve shone again with his vocals on «Long Walk Home», and after the usual «The Rising» and «Born to Run», Springsteen added an extra one to the main set, which ended with a tremendous «Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out» («the history of the band»).
Was that enough? Not for Bruce, who went on as if he never really wanted to leave that stage. Encores arrived, with more surprises and lots of energy to spend yet. A beautiful and fast-paced «I’ll Work For Your Love» opened the encore set, followed by «Thunder Road». By the time he got to the fabulous «Higher and Higher» (with Willie Nile as guest), there was no way to stop Bruce, who finally closed the set, the show and the tour with a fantastic long version of John Fogerty’s «Rockin’ All Over the World», with thanks to all his fans from every country in the world, and him naming every name of everyone in his crew and finally saying: «We appreciate you coming out to see The E Street Band. So we’re gonna say goodbye, but just for a little while, a very little while, because, because… I like it, I like it, I like it», and then resuming the song again to a glorious end.
photo: copyright 2009 Raul Nieto
Watch to believe…