We’re livin’ in the future and none of this has happened yet…

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Düsseldorf; June 16th 2008

Yesterday, it was Boss time again. It has been about half a year since I had last seen him and the ESB live and I was really looking forward to it.
So much stuff has happened in my life since then, not all of it was good. I really needed a getaway and Bruce has always provided that: A good time and the chance to forget all my troubles for a little while.

Having sworn I would not line up all day this time and later be angry when it all ended in chaos, I tricked myself into not getting there before noon. I was number 274 in line and met some of my tour family whom I had not seen for a while. The sun was shining and we had a good time. For a while at least.

I’ll leave out the stories about the usual chaos and my bad luck when it comes to getting in line and to picking a spot in the pit and get to the good stuff: I was on the right side in front of the screens about 5th row back and had a wonderful view. I even managed to take a few decent pictures even though Bruce never stopped in front of me (when does he ever? *sigh*).

The show was a solid 26.5 song set (I’ll get to that in a little while) with some unexpected highlights. No song that I had never heard before, but a good combination of crowd pleasers and some rarities. As predicted, no Wolfgang Niedecken in sight and thus, luckily, no ‘Hungry Heart’. I love Wolfgang, really, but the combination of him singing English with a Cologne accent and ‘Hungry Heart’, the song I dislike most is just too much. 😉

They started late as usual and Bruce walked out last to a great cheer from the crowd. The stage was rather high so I could see well despite some tall people in front of me. ‘Jackson Cage’ was the first song. I have never heard that one live and was hoping for it when I heard it during soundcheck. Great start, but about halfway into the song there was a power outage. The video screen went black and the sound from Bruce’s mic was gone. It took him a bit to realize that and the look on his face was priceless when he did. All the while, the others kept playing on – very funny. Some confusion on stage, some running up and down, then the power was back. Great cheering. Bruce “Maybe we should start with a different song. See of this one works.” They launched into ‘Night’ which is one of my favorites. Bruce greeted us in German and later he said (in German) that he wished the German national football (soccer) team good luck for that night’s game. ‘Radio Nowhere’ followed and I was just getting into it when the power outage struck again. Bruce, Nils and Clarence where praying to heaven for power while Steve stood by laughing. Bruce passed the time with collecting sign request for songs.

The power came back eventually and they started ‘Radio Nowhere’ again. Before that Bruce remarked “Yes, the E Street Band is 100% live”. When it was over, Bruce wiped his forehead in mock relief. Now the show had really started. After ‘Lonesome Day’ and ‘The Promised land’ ‘Spirit in the Night’ was the first request taken and a great version too. Loved it. Later, ‘Trapped’ followed, one of the songs I always cherish when its played.

The night was heavy on songs from ‘Darkness on the Edge’ of Town, but also offered a selection from ‘The Rising’ and some ‘Magic’. ‘Because the Night’ was a personal highlight for me and I also enjoyed to hear ‘Darlington County’ for the first time since 1999.

‘Girls in their summer clothes’ was introduced by Bruce as “For all the German girls”. Apparently we did not yell loud enough so he remarked “I’m an old man, give me a thrill.” Made me smile (and yell louder). I enjoyed hearing ‘Glory days’, ‘Dancing in the Dark’ rocked the place and ‘American Land’ was a good end to the show.

The place I wished I could have stood was the little stage in front of the big one. Bruce was there constantly, got very close and many women (and men) took the chance for a good groping. Just seeing the looks on their faces on the screen was wonderful. The happiest face I saw was that of a woman with the sign “Your harmonica please” – she got it and could not believe what had just happened. Such joy. Also very cute: A boy who got to sing during ‘Darlington county’. He stared a Bruce in utter disbelief. So sweet. I was really happy for those people, especially when I saw the numbers on their hands and knew they had probably lined up the night before the show to get to where they stood. It’s good to see those dedicated fans rewarded (and I am only a tiny bit jealous ;)).

All in all I loved the show and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Setlist

Jackson Cage & sound error, power cut, no sound at all
Re-start – Night
Radio Nowhere

again sound error
re-start Radio Nowhere
Bruce collected requests during the error

Lonesome Day
Promised Land
Spirit in the Night
Magic
Trapped
Prove it All Night
Darkness on th Edge of Town
Darlington Country
Because The Night
She ‘s The One
Living in The Future
Mary’s Place
Working on the Highway
The River
Devil’s Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Badlands

Encores:
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
10th Avenue Freeze Out
Born To Run
Glory Days
Dancing in The Dark
American Land

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