You can’t start a fire worryin’ about your little world fallin’ apart

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Ratinan Stadion, Tampere; June 2nd, 2009

Today was the day of seeing Bruce Spingsteen in Tampere and yes, it was worth the trip! The first gig of the tour for me and only Bruce’s second concert in Europe after Pinkpop. I had no idea of the setlist, I didn’t want to know beforehand. What I did know is that Bruce kept up collecting signs with requests as well as the small platforms that go into the audience from the ‘Magic’ Tour.

It was not as hot as yesterday, but didn’t rain either – pretty much perfect concert weather. I didn’t want to get up when my alarm rang, but did anyway and arrived at the stadium at 8:15 – was #210 in line which is a lot, considering that last year in Helsinki the numbers were still below 100 at noon. These fan organized lines and numbers ensure that those who were in line first, get to enter the stadium first or get a wristband for the pit first. The first person in line takes care of taking down people on the list and checkin them during “roll call” at regular intervals. The queue was well organized and roll call happened only every two hours. I got to go back to my hotel in-between and finally stayed at the stadium after 13:00. They did not give out wristbands for the pit beforehand, but we all walked in and nobody tried to cut the line. Therefore, I got a spot near to one of the outer platforms in front row. I could have gotten a bit closer to the center (and still would have been front row), but I opted for a spot where I would be closer to Bruce if he came to our side.

He has a rather wide stage and depending on the show either three or (as today) 5 small platforms in front of that stage, the biggest one being in the center. During the show he goes out there to be in touch with the audience and when you are standing at the platform there is no barrier separating you from Bruce. Thus, this is the spot where everyone wants to be.

The atmosphere was relaxed, people were calm and I could sit down until shortly before 19:00. Showstart was 19:20. The show kicked off with ‘Badlands’ into ‘Radio nowhere’ and then ‘Prove it all night’. A strong start, but it took me forever to get into it, because my view of the main stage wasn’t that great. Unfortunately there were a few rather tall people to my left and blocked my view so I could not see Bruce at all time (well, only on the screens). ‘Out in the Street’ was fun and ‘Outlaw Pete’ as pretty epic with Bruce in full storyteller mode, even though he didn’t say anything, just sang.

‘Hungry Heart’ brought mixed emotions. I hate that song with a passion, but it was the first time Bruce came to “our” platform. He seemed to like it there too, because he kept returning, while hardly ever going to the one on the left side of the stage. Lucky me. So first time I saw Bruce up close I did get into it – finally. I even could ignore the fact that the one loudspeaker on our side was broken and only worked half the time and a guy behind me sang along too loudly and horribly out of tune (I don’t claim I sing any better, but maybe not as loudly).

Overall the setlist was not that unusual, I would call it solid. The new songs work quite well live, so do the old ones and the mixture of them was a good one. Somewhere during the show he collected signs from the audience and played a few requests, one of them a great cover version of a song I didn’t know ‘The Dark End of the Street’.  ‘Cover me’, ‘Because the Night’ and ‘Thunder Road’ were requests as well.

Next to’Because the Night’, one of my all time favorites, I loved the cover of ‘Hard Times’ most. It was so beautiful, it made me cry. I just stood there and let the tears flow. Very cleansing. I had already choked up during ‘Thunder Road’ and surprisingly ‘Born to run’. I felt the “tramps like us..” line with my entire being tonight. ‘Lonesome Day’ and ‘Dancing in the Dark’ took on a whole new meaning as well.

The show was really long and towards the end – only in Finland – ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ was played. He did that last year in Helsinki so I was hoping for a repetition: how cool is it to hear that song in June? 😀 I loved the show and it was a great start to my personal tour. Off to Stockholm tomorrow.

Setlist

Badlands
Radio Nowhere
Prove It All Night
Outlaw Pete
Out in the Street
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Seeds
Johnny 99
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Raise Your Hand
Cover Me
Because the Night
Thunder Road
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
The Dark End of the Street (by James Carr)
Kingdom of Days
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born to Run

Encore:
Hard Times
Bobby Jean
Land of Hope and Dreams
American Land
Glory Days
Santa Claus is coming to town
Dancing in the Dark

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