Concert Reviw: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at Madison Square Garden 11-7-09

The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle!!
It was like being home again. Another great night of Bruce at Madison Square Garden, a much more cozier venue than the huge Giants Stadium show I saw last month. The New York crowd was very enthusiastic last night and were on their feet all night long. In keeping with the entire album performance theme, tonight marked the first time ever that Bruce & the E Street Band played his second album; The Wild The Innocent & The E Street shuffle in its entirety.

As Bruce always changes set lists & pulls out surprises, he kept with his form opening the show. He announced "this was an out take from that album" as the band broke into THUNDER CRACK as the opener.
As for the WILD THE INNOCENT & THE E STREET SHUFFLE set,it was incredible. The E Street band was accompanied by a five piece horn section and background singers. You could tell Bruce was totally into playing this set as he & the band rocked. They did incredible versions of The E STREET SHUFFLE, with the horns section blaring and the crowd a dancing. SANDY- 4th of JULY (Asbury Park), had the crowd all singing the chorus, doing the best version of this song I've ever seen done. Then there was a fantastic version of KITTY'S BACK that just blew the roof off, each member of the band doing different solos, and finishing off with a spectacular musical climax. Roy Bittans piano solo on NEW YORK CITY SERENADE was beautiful accompanied by Bruce's acoustic guitar work. There was also one of the best versions of ROSALITA, I ever saw. The crowd went nuts as the band simple kicked butt.

I couldn't help, missing the presence of Danny Federici who would have been playing accordion on songs like WILD BILLS CIRCUS. Roy Bittan took the spot, with Steve on mandolin, Gary Tallent on Tuba & Bruce singing. It was a great version done real well.
During the request part of the show, Bruce grabbed signs from the crowd and did another surprise, this one from the first album; DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82nd STREET? Then a great rendition of GLORY DAYS.

Early in the show we got a spectacular performance of PROVE IT ALL NIGHT & then HUNGRY HEART which Bruce jumped into the crowd and did a crowd surf back to the stage. Incredible. There was nice face to face performace of HUMAN TOUCH done with his wife Patti , although it's not one of my favorite tunes. The encore featured WRECKING BALL which was written for the Giants Stadium shows and special guest appearance by Elvis Costello for the finale.

The band was incredible as was Bruce, they are probably the best live act in rock & roll at this point, probably ever. The sound was great, and it was a great way to finish off my birthday week which began with a trip to Ft. Lauderdale and ended with a great family dinner & the Saturday night Bruce concert.

I think the Backstreets review said it best, saying that it was impossible for Bruce to keep up the level of the performance after the album set. To me I just didn't think the rest of the nights set list was everything I could have wanted. It was a great show and great to see some of the different stuff, but I did miss alot of the classics. I envy those going to Sundays show which will feature the album THE RIVER in its entirety.

Prove It All Night
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
The E Street Shuffle
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Kitty's Back
Wil Billy's Circus Story
Incident on 57th Street
New York City Serenade

Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Raise Your Hand

Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
Glory Days
Human Touch
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born to Run
* * *
Wrecking Ball
Bobby Jean
American Land
Dancing in the Dark
Higher and Higher (with Elvis Costello)


Matt Runyon said…
I think that's a pretty good setlist. Bruce is one of those artists who has so many good songs to play that it's impossible to satisfy everyone. It'll be a heck of a show when he plays The River -- that's my favorite Bruce album.

Hopefully they're recording these sets. It would make a great boxed set!

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