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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bruce on the loose

I've often said the measure of a Bruce Springsteen concert is not the Boss' performance (which always is good), but the set list.

That being the case, Thursday night's show at the Times Union Center in Albany was amazing. Bruce seems to have a soft spot for Albany -- playing unexpected songs every time I've seen him there -- and this gig was no exception. The first treat was the 1-2-3-4 punch of "Reason to Believe," "Darkness on the Edge of Town," "Candy's Room" and "She's the One" -- a rare combo for this or any Bruce tour -- and the stunner of the night was "4th of July, Asbury Park" played back to back with fellow 1970s chestnut "E Street Shuffle" ... the former not played live since mid-2003, the latter since the final night of the 1999-2000 tour.

No "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (it's a bit early yet), but also no Yoko (I mean Patti Scialfa), who's been skipping occasional nights on this tour. That's a tradeoff I can live with -- especially because it meant the solo song by Mrs. Springsteen that's been turning up at some shows, "Town Called Heartbreak," was MIA.

"Girls in Their Summer Clothes," from Bruce's new album, "Magic," was interesting in that he cued the audience to sing the first chorus -- something of a gamble with a new song, but it worked.

Also nice was the inclusion of "American Land," an Irish reel of sorts, from the second pressing of last year's album "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions."

For those who care, here's the Albany set list (24 songs in two hours and 15 minutes). Songs with an asterisk (nine of them!) are from "Magic."

Main set

Radio Nowhere*
No Surrender
Lonesome Day
Gypsy Biker*
Reason to Believe
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Candy's Room
She's the One
Livin' in the Future*
The Promised Land
I'll Work For Your Love*
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
E Street Shuffle
Devil's Arcade*
The Rising
Last to Die*
Long Walk Home*


Girls in Their Summer Clothes*
Thunder Road
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
American Land



Blogger David in DC said...

There aren't even words for how jealous I am.

Monkeyboy's first Bruce show was on the tour with the Seeger Sessions Band. It was at an outdoor amphitheater.

We skipped the indoor shows in DC at the Verizon Center (or as we sometimes call it inside the Capital Beltway "The Phone Booth".) RFB was afraid for his ears.

I'm desperately hoping Bruce follows the traditional pattern of doing a foreign tour after he's done with the indoor venues in North America and then coming back to do stadiums and other outdoor venues.

That set list is awesome.

RFB joins me in denouncing the Yoko comparison.

But you're a good egg, nonetheless.

November 19, 2007 at 4:56 PM 

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