A Quick Bruce Review

A set list and some quick notes for fans (apologies up front for the so-so photo quality – unretouched iPhone images!):

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at the L.A. Sports Arena, April 27, 2012

  • For You (solo acoustic): Bringing a group of extended family members out for a look at the stage and to take a couple pictures shortly after 7:30, Bruce grabbed an acoustic guitar and played to a half-full house. A really special performance for the early comers.

    Bruce's surprise appearance on stage with family members ended with him performing "For You" to about 7,000 fans an hour before the regular set.

  • No Surrender: Surprise opener with the house lights up.
  • We Take Care Of Our Own: The band owns this song already.
  • Wrecking Ball: The best review I can give about these two excellent songs from “Wrecking Ball” between “No Surrender” and “Badlands” was that, looking back, there was no drop off or lull in energy or power from the band or fans. They fit into the oeuvre rather nicely.
  • Badlands: It never, EVER fails. “For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside, that it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive …”
  • Death To My Hometown (with Tom Morello): My favorite song on the new record boosted even higher with the appearance of Morello
  • My City Of Ruins: Wow, he’s really turned this one from somber to powerful.
  • Does This Bus Stop 82nd Street?: A nice surprise and a fun diversion.
  • Jack Of All Trades (with Tom Morello): What was I saying about somber?
  • Youngstown: Nils Lofgren absolutely killed his guitar solo. Killed.
  • Prove It All Night: Always a personal favorite.
  • Darkness On The Edge Of Town: Probably my favorite selection of the night, since it’sone of my top 10 Bruce songs of all time and not a set regular.
  • Easy Money: Bruce and Patti duetting. Good times.
  • Waiting On A Sunny Day: The super cute four-year old girl in the glasses and the headband/earplugs that she was not going to lose no matter what stole many hearts with her stage side singing with Bruce.
  • Apollo Medley (The Way You Do The Things You Do/834-5769): “You always have to have some soul in your pocket.” I’d say they have more than a pocketful.

    Springsteen drops backwards into the pit to begin his crowdsurf back to the stage during the "Apollo Medley."

  • Racing In The Street: I think they broke this song for me last night. There is no way I’ll ever see a better performance of it. If I believed in god, I’d say Roy Bittan had a little bit of him/her in his fingertips last night.
  • The Rising: This is how I choose to “Never Forget” 9/11.
  • Lonesome Day: The horn arrangement really brought some new life here.
  • We Are Alive: Bruce’s talk about needing one more song for “Wrecking Ball” and trying to find a way for the dead to speak to the living was poignant.
  • The Ghost Of Tom Joad (with Tom Morello): Though many of us have seen this combo of players and song before, Morello’s singing and soloing gets me every time.
  • Land Of Hope And Dreams (with Tom Morello): A reliable set closer.
  • Rocky Ground: While I love the idea behind this song, something has yet to connect with me. And, even after seeing it live, I’m still kind of stuck.
  • Bobby Jean: Loving the fact that this show was a little “Born In The USA” and “Darkness” heavy on the older stuff.
  • Born To Run: The crowd seemed especially into it on this night for some reason.
  • Dancing In The Dark: Bruce has done a great job taking this song and resurrecting it, to the dismay of some uptight superfans.

    Saluting the Big Man, Clarence Clemons.

  • Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (with Tom Morello): “When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band …” Two-plus minutes of standing ovation from the entire Sports Arena.

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