"It's a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people" - Woody Guthrie
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Thursday, 5 April 2012
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball Tour - What Have We Learnt So Far?
Eleven dates into the first leg of 'The Wrecking Ball Tour' and what have we learned so far from Bruce Springsteen and the East Street Band?
Firstly, the new album is getting a lot of attention in the setlists each night. At the warm up shows they played eight tracks at the Apollo and SXSW ('We Take Care of Our Own', 'Wrecking Ball', 'Death to My Hometown', 'Jack of All Trades', 'Shackled and Drawn', 'We Are Alive' and 'Land of Hope and Dreams' ) and on the "official" opening night of the tour in Atlanta they did ten ( those already mentioned plus 'Easy Money' and 'American Land'). Three nights in at Tampa Bay Times Forum 'Shackled and Drawn' was dropped (which is a shame as I really like it).
After the first nine shows he seems settled on eight tracks ('We Take Care of Our Own', 'Wrecking Ball', 'Death to My Hometown', 'Jack of All Trades', 'Easy Money', 'We Are Alive' 'Rocky Ground' and 'Land of Hope and Dreams' - though he did drop it on night two of the Philly shows and reinstated it for the DC show and the first night of two at New Jersey).
Fourthly, Jake Clemons, nephew of The Big Man is getting a lot of love from the fans and is continuing to grow into his place as a member of The East Street Band.
Fifthly, and finally, during the playing of 'My City of Ruins'Bruce is calling the "Roll Call" and most nights the gist of his little speech in the middle of the song is this: "Tonight's story is about hellos and goodbyes. It's about the things
that leave us and the things that stay behind."
After a roll call, he
asked, "Are we missing anybody?" and evoking both Clarence and Danny,
"If you're here tonight and we're here tonight, then they're
So what we learn is that whilst there is a celebratory feel to the shows there is also an act of remembrance of those who have past as well as a welcoming of new friends into the fold, and with a 16 piece band that's a whole lot of people laying down the guantlet night after night and showing that Bruce Springsteen is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the live performance.
Lots then to look forward to for the rest of the tour.