Bruce Springsteen played Tuesday in the Canary Islands for the first time ever. Almost 30,000 people gathered at the Estadio de Gran Canaria in the city of Las Palmas. It was virgin territory so, obviously, that was not a place to unload lots of rarities. It was basically a greatest-hits type of show. There were four premieres: «Two Hearts», «The River», «Working on the Highway» and «Born in the USA».
The show opened with «We Take Care of Our Own», moving «Badlands» to the third slot, followed by «No Surrender». Just 4 songs and the audience was in awe, ready to rock, sweaty (it was also a very hot and humid day in Las Palmas), jumping, singing, dancing… the usual big party stadium show. Though most of the show was of the festive, participative kind, there were moments to dig into the older stuff, with some hot versions of «Seeds», «Prove it All Night» (with Steve doing the final guitar solo -probably for the first time ever-, and it was smoking and very much in the ’78 style) and the tour premiere of «Two Hearts», played after a sign request from a couple of Maine citizens that were at the show. For «Working on the Highway» (another tour premiere) Bruce walked down to sing it in the small stage. He stayed there for the next song, «Shackled and Drawn», and was joined by Cindy Mizelle for a little singin’ and dancin’.
As the show progressed the new audience got more and more into it, had a blast with the «Apollo Medley» and Bruce’s runs to the side ramps and the other side of the pit area. No crowdsurfing in Europe, but tons of audience interaction and close encounters, wich was received with awe and huge roars. «The River» was a clear highlight, done perfectly, almost note by note to the album’s version. Setlist-wise there’s not much else to say, and though this may not be the dreamed set list for most veterans (it certainly wasn’t mine), one has to acknowledge the performance of each and every song was brilliant, and both the audience and Bruce were on fire. And despite our complaints sometimes, the Las Palmas audience literally loved the «The Rising/Lonesome Day» segment. The main set finished with a fantastic version of «Land of Hope and Dreams», which seems to have taken the place of «Thunder Road».
«Born in the USA» (another sign request, and the first encore) was a blast. It was strong, huge, overwhelming, though I’m still wondering why he had to sacrifice «Rocky Ground» when he could have done both and no harm would be done (and it was so very welcome in Seville).
Next on: Barcelona, where he’ll play two nights in a row and, certainly, there’ll be lots of new songs to talk about.
Photo: Sal Trepat/Point Blank