Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Top 30 Springsteen songs to add to your playlist before the next Australia tour

Springsteen and the band are coming back and this time they're sure to be playing to more people who may not have seen them before.

In Australia in particular this means plenty of fans could be hearing tracks performed live for the first time - whether they have previously heard of them or not.

And fans who have never been to an E Street Band show you'll be happy to know that Springsteen has more than just Born In The USA, I'm On Fire, Dancing In The Dark, and Hungry Heart in his song list. Unlike most Australian radio stations which seem to only have them.

In a bid to prepare for the upcoming Australian tour, I've put together a track list of studio and live recordings for fellow fans to listen to as a warm up.

The list is what I consider to be some of the best tracks you could want to hear on the tour after seeing the band several times including all ten dates of the Wrecking Ball tour in Australia.

Some are live and some are studio recordings - all are songs that sound great from the stage. 

The order is part preference, part what I predict we can expect on the next run of shows in February and part the list of songs worth adding to your playlist if you don't have them already.

1. High Hopes - High Hopes (2013/2014)
A great crowd pumping tune that is the title track of the new album. It's gonna get played.

2. Because The Night - Live 1975-1985
One of the best live songs with a brilliant guitar solo, usually by Nils Lofgren, but at Hanging Rock 2, Bruce took on solo duties himself.

High Hopes in Sydney, March 2013.

3. Badlands - Live 1975-1985

No live show would be complete without shouting along to this classic. It gets the entire pit jumping and this live version is a blast.

4. Prove It All Night - Live In New York City
A stand out live track. Australia got this song several times, and twice with the acclaimed '78 intro. The best example of a studio song taking on new life in it's live format.

5. Thunder Road - Live Hammersmith Odeon, London 1975

A haunting rendition of this Born To Run opener with the crowd joining in. Just as it will be again.

6. Rosalita - Live 1975-1985
Often brought out to close the concerts, you don't want to embarrass yourself by not knowing those fastly-spoken lyrics, or why her momma don't like me.

7. Spirit In The Night - Live 1975-1985
When he asks you one question, you better have the answer. This song can make or break a concert for some fans it's that popular.

Bruce blasting the solo on Prove It All Night '78

8. Atlantic City - Live In New York City
A blistering performance of this track which when it comes out with a full band on stage will blow you away.

9. Murder Incorporated - Live In New York City
Again, like Atlantic, this live version is incredible, fierce and pounding. Not played every night, so you'll appreciate it when it does arrive.

10. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out - Live 1975-1985
Recently used to tell the story of the band and remember Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici. This is a classic rendition with the energy to keep everybody going.

11. Jungleland - Born To Run

You need to know this song, the passion it invokes and the heart-wrenching tribute it has come to be when performed by Clarence's nephew and rising star Jake Clemons.

12. We Take Care Of Our Own - Wrecking Ball

Fast becoming the motto of #BruceBuds and E Street Fans who line up for hours and days to get a front row spot in the pit. It's worth your time to build the comradery that comes with being part of something huge.

13. Wrecking Ball - Wrecking Ball

The live version takes this song to another level, so you want to get a good grounding in it beforehand.

14. The River - The River
All about the lyrics. You'll want to know them when the time comes to go down to the river. It's a show-stopping moment.

15. Youngstown - Live In New York City
Up there with Atlantic City and Murder Incorporated, but also with  Tom Morello on board this version is as close as you'll get to a recording of their Ghost Of Tom Joad version. Hopefully we'll see it again.

16. Hard To Be A Saint In The City - Live 1975-1985

With Steve Van Zandt back there has to be a good chance of hearing the live duelling guitars on this tour.

17. Lost In The Flood - Live In New York City
A haunting song - this was my live request at three shows in March 2013. It never got picked up. Until of course the next night when I didn't bring it and Bruce knocked it out the park. One of my favourites, hoping to hear it again.

18. Ghost Of Tom Joad - Ghost Of Tom Joad

This song was played every night of the Wrecking Ball tour in Australia, of course this was because Tom Morello was on board and brought with him the incredible electric version. Before that one gets a studio release in January's High Hopes, make sure you give the original plenty of airplay - so you can be blown away when it appears on the tour next year.

19. Incident on 57th Street - The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle

This one always takes me by surprise. Every show I've heard it I've always forgotten about it and been amazed just how well every other person around knows it. It's a great one that will probably sneak up on you in the setlist so get to know it first.

20. The E Street Shuffle/Having A Party - Live Hammersmith Odeon, London 1975

This another song that Tom Morello injected a brilliant electric buzz into. At one point during the song he pulled out the plug of his guitar and jabbed the plug into his free hand to create the sound of the Shuffle. Another one to look out for as he returns with the E Street Band.

21. Out In The Street - Live In New York City

Last time round this song was interchangeable with Hungry Heart. Bruce would use either one of these on a night to leave the stage with the crowd singing along and carry the beat along with him as he surfed the audience back to the stage. Hungry Heart is among half a dozen that get the occasional radio airplay, this one unjustly doesn't.

22. Death To My Hometown - Wrecking Ball

A great recent addition that adds the full sounds of the band. The live version brings out more of the guitars too. And with Stevie, Tom, Nils and Bruce all on the tour it could get a great work out.

23. City Of Ruins - The Rising

Used recently to introduce the band in an extended roll call while also urging the crowd into an eery silence for the 'ghosts of E Street', this song was powerful on release and has taken an even stronger presence in the line-up.

24. Radio Nowhere - Magic

Just a solid rock tune. Easy to join in, easy to enjoy. Play it loud.

25. Johnny 99 - Live 1975-1985
Another one that always took me by surprise and Bruce seems to really enjoy himself playing it. This live version is a great warm-up.

26. She's The One - Live Hammersmith Odeon, London 1975

An underrated tune that also gets a frequent playing on stage. For good reason too - the crowd participation is like that of Badlands in that it helps construct a whole new version of the song. So like Badlands, get to know your part.

27. Pay Me My Money Down - The Seeger Sessions, Live In Dublin

A Seeger Sessions blow out that brings the whole band into play, in particular the horns section. On first listen this rollicking folk tune may not appeal to everyone, but when the band get into it, it's impossible not to enjoy. Just ask the Brucettes from the first night in Melbourne who got pulled up on stage in their matching tops - I'm pretty sure they've never stopped playing.

Pay Me My Money Down, Melbourne 2013.

28. Backstreets - Born To Run

One of my all-time favourites alongside Lost In The Flood, and like that great tune it wasn't played every night. But when it was it brought the arena to a standstill. Prepare yourself in advance to give it the respect it deserves.

29. American Land - The Seeger Sessions
Another Seeger Sessions joyride that you might not think of, but gets thrown out when the band are in full swing and just don't want to go home. Good luck in learning the lyrics, it ain't easy to keep up but gets stuck in your head after a couple of plays.

30. American Skin (41 Shots) - Live In New York City

This silent-inducing, powerful live performance of this song is another show-stopping lesser-known track. With it getting a release on High Hopes we could hear it again soon.

Do you agree? What else should I add to the list? Let me know below...

Monday, 25 November 2013

High Hopes for a new Bruce Springsteen album

The rumours are, once again, true and a new album is indeed set to be released before Springsteen and the band return to Australia next February.

As teased last week the album High Hopes was announced today with a full tracklist.

Pre-order sites such as Amazon are already listing details that include a bonus DVD of the band performing the Born In The USA album live in London earlier this year.

For fans of this blog and those who saw the Wrecking Ball tour in Australia this year have good reason to be excited about the new album.

First of all, the excellent High Hopes is present – a brilliant highlight of the Australian-leg of the tour.

Then there’s the frequent addition of Tom Morello, Steve Van Zandt’s stand-in for the 10 down under dates in 2013. This of course includes the incredible Ghost Of Tom Joad that has been crying out for a CD release.

Along with this we also Just Like Fire Would – a cover of The Saints' song performed in Brisbane on the first date of the tour in Australia this year.

Amongst the other songs in the tracklist are the American Skin (41 Shots) already a highlight on Live In New York City release, and Dream Baby Dream, Suicide’s song Springsteen used in a video to thank fans who made it to the Wrecking Ball shows.

The lack of an album full of entirely new songs may disappoint some fans. But with the tracks in High Hopes the album feels like another ‘thank you’ to those who have followed him across the planet in the past few years (and decades). 

Meanwhile if you listen and look close enough you can already pick up on rumours already circulating of two albums being released within 12 months of each other. 

Track list: 

1. High Hopes (Tim Scott McConnell) - featuring Tom Morello
2. Harry's Place - featuring Tom Morello
3. American Skin (41 Shots) - featuring Tom Morello
4. Just Like Fire Would (Chris J. Bailey) - featuring Tom Morello
5. Down In The Hole
6. Heaven's Wall -featuring Tom Morello
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game -featuring Tom Morello
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad - duet with Tom Morello
11. The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream (Martin Rev and Alan Vega) - featuring Tom Morello

Album due out January 14.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

High Hopes for new Bruce Springsteen single

I've avoided joining in the speculation and rumours over a new album before next year's tour but the release of High Hopes next week is a massive indicator that there's more to come.

High Hopes is of course the Tim Scott song from his 1990 album with the Havalianas, and previously released on Springsteen's Blood Brothers EP.

More recently it was reworked, added some Tom Morello fire, and brought out on the E Street Band's Wrecking Ball tour. For me personally it was the third best highlight on their tour of Australia this year.

Which makes the release of the song as a single on November 25 a massive boost for fans in Australia.

Last time the song was an incredible start to the second show in Brisbane - I reckon it could be top of the list for kick-starting the tour in Australia come February 5 in Perth.

Until then, check it out here:

Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes (2013) from Dievel on Vimeo.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

#BruceBooks: The Light In Darkness

There are two types of Bruce Springsteen fans who have been rocked by a live E Street Band show. Those who caught the band on the Darkness 78/79 tour, and those who wish they could have.

So legendary are those 115 concerts from May 1978 to January 1979, and so pivotal was the period in Springsteen's music career that books, album re-releases, outtakes and documentaries have all delved into the Darkness-era in recent years.
Photographer and Springsteen-book author Lawrence Kirsh's limited edition book The Light In Darkness is one that puts the fans and the incredible impact of Springsteen's fourth album centre stage.

Recalling details of how they ended up in the audience for one - or several - shows, every stop of the tour is covered through the personal memories of a fan.
With more than 100 stories, common themes run throughout - how they discovered Springsteen, how many didn't appreciate Darkness upon first listen only to later find it an influential favourite, and how seeing the band live changed their life.
These tales are joined by more than 200 fantastic photographs from the shows that provide a glimpse into everything about  the experience of the tour - from the style and intensity to the expressions of everyone in the band. 
Something that could be taken for granted today with the abundance of Springsteen fans' blogs, such as this one, that seek to do the same thing through recaps of a show and photos from a phone snapped from the pit.

In a world dominated by comprehensive online resources easily detailing Springsteen's concerts and shows in minute, visual detail, one of the most impressive things about this book is how it does the same with great images and props from the era.

So when fans recall hearing the '78 version of Prove It All Night or how they felt when Springsteen broke the established conventions and left the stage to join them during Spirit In The Night, anyone who has been to an E Street Show can relate and picture themselves right there at the show more than three decades earlier.

Admittingly while after 50 pages in some of the stories can become tiresome as they repeat the similar tales of discovering Springsteen and seeing their first show. But the impact of the album and the tour itself is never lost. And as the structure uses short stories to follow every concert venue, the book is perfect for casual readers wanting to dip into the legendary shows from time to time, rather than take in the entire tour at once.

Although focussing on the fans, the chronological visit to the tour also creates a picture of how Springsteen and the band developed surrounding the release of Darkness and the troubles they overcame. 

What has been frequently touched on in other biographies about Springsteen's legal battle and the direction he took afterwards are given a new and unique perspective through the eyes of dozens of concert goers instead of a single writer.

It is the details surrounding what has become accepted as a crucial time in E Street history that stands The Light In Darkness out amongst the increasingly heavy shelves of Springsteen books currently out there.
Not only a worthy companion to documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, but also an excellent answer to those who constantly question fans lining up for hours outside venues for the best pit position for every concert they can get to.
Part of what makes this book such a fun addition to the expanding collections is how fans share their exclusive part in some of the final shows that the band would play in smaller venues. Offering experiences that many concert-goers today dream of.
As Kirsh said “The book will give readers at least a small perspective of what we experienced in 1978.”

“The connection and bond made between performer and audience during this tour set the stage for all future albums and tours to come.”

Like the album that inspired the stories within, this book is one fans will no doubt return to again and again.

The Light In Darkness is a limited edition book only available from www.thelightindarkness.com 

But be quick, when I contacted author Lawrence Kirsch for photos to use in this review he informed me there were only 120 copies left. Those 120 remaining books also come with half-price shipping and the author's signature upon request.

All photos from the book:The Light In Darkness ©theLightinDarkness.com

Friday, 11 October 2013

Dream Baby Dream - Bruce Springsteen thanks Wrecking Ball tour fans

As fans in Australia and New Zealand eagerly await the return of The E Street Band next year, Bruce Springsteen has penned a thank you letter to the crowds who joined them on the Wrecking Ball tour over the past year and a half.

He also recorded a version of electro-punk duo Suicide's song Dream Baby Dream with video highlights from the tour. 

Anyone who lined up for the GA pit on the 10-date Australian tour in March might recognise some familiar faces in the video.

Apart from the excitement that the video and letter brings as Springsteen writes about the increased passion of the band from the extensive tour, it also clearly signals the end of the Wrecking Ball tour. 

Meaning next year's tour starting in Perth on February 5, are hopefully the start of a new global tour on the back of a new album of material. Something we all know is coming soon after Springsteen previously said he recorded material in Sydney during the tour in March.

Check out the letter at brucespringsteen.net

Thursday, 10 October 2013

How to see Bruce Springsteen in Perth for $10...

OK, so yes it's a competition and it's all about the luck of the draw.
Literally. Because it's a prize draw.

But not just any prize draw - it's a draw for a pair of tickets to every event at Perth Arena. for a year, starting from November 10.

That means you get to choose one of Bruce Springsteen's three confirmed shows for just $10.

And not to mention you also get Leonard Cohen - November 13, Muse - November 30, Fleetwood Mac - November 22/23, Alicia Keys - December 5, Bon Jovi - December 12... all before Springsteen's February shows. (Check out Perth Arena for more events)

The Golden Ticket draw is all about charity and raising cash for hospital Radio Lollipop and helping them move to Perth's new children's hospital.

Unfortunately you don't get tickets to every single show if there is more than one of the same act, but the rules say you can choose which show you go to. 

In Springsteen terms, where the tickets are not only sold out but at least $150 to 200 for the best seats, anyone still looking to go should buy a couple of Golden Tickets before considering buying tickets from re-sellers.

All the details are here - Golden Ticket -  but make sure you get your tickets by October 31.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Springsteen 2014: First extra date added for Australia tour

A second date at Perth Arena for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band has been added to meet the demand of the rockstar's WA fans.

Frontier Touring announced this morning the second concert, on Saturday, February 8, was added "due to overwhelming response to this week's pre-sale" which sent ticket website Ticketek into meltdown on Wednesday.

The show will be the day after Springsteen's first ever concert in Perth on Friday, February 7.

Both shows will go on sale to the general public at 9am on Monday.

After Perth, the tour will head to stops in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Hunter Valley and Brisbane. 

So in short... 9am Monday is going to be mental in Perth.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Springsteen is coming back to Australia.. (But you knew that already right?)

Bruce Springsteen is OFFICIALLY coming back to Australia.
This can mean only one thing.... POWER SLIDE!!!!!

Tickets to the 2014 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour go on sale Monday, August 26 at the local times listed below:
Feb. 7 – Perth, AU – Perth Arena – on sale Aug. 26 at 9 am -ticketek.com.au
Feb. 11 – Adelaide, AU – Entertainment Center – on sale Aug. 26 at 9 am -  ticketek.com.au
Feb. 15 – Melbourne, AU – AAMI Park – on sale Aug. 26 at 9 am – ticketek.com.au
Feb. 19 – Sydney, AU – Allphones Arena – on sale Aug. 26 at 10 am -  ticketek.com.au
Feb. 22 – Hunter Valley, AU – Hope Estate – on sale Aug. 26 at 10 am – ticketmaster.com.au
Feb. 26 – Brisbane, AU – Entertainment Centre – on sale Aug. 26 at 12pm – ticketek.com.au
Mar. 1 – Auckland, NZ – Mt. Smart Stadium – on sale Aug. 26 at 9 am – ticketmaster.co.nz

Bruce Springsteen back to Australia in 2014. And this time he's coming to Perth...

Fans of Bruce Springsteen who missed out on the rocker’s Australian tour could be in luck with reports The Boss is returning down under in February next year with another tour starting at Perth Arena.

Rumours have been circulating fan forums since the end of the Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball tour in Australia in March that he would return within a year after a series of 10-sell out shows.

On Wednesday night fan sites waiting for an announcement went into meltdown after a release from Triple M radio station said Springsteen would play Perth Arena on February 7 next year before heading around the country for another tour.

The webpage was quickly taken down moments later, but a search on Google still showed results that the radio station and Frontier Touring had details of the 2014 concerts.

Facebook group Bruce Springsteen Perth, previously a campaign group to bring The Boss to WA, even managed to collect screen grabs of the website listing dates for Perth, Adelaide – which also missed out on this year’s tour, Melbourne, Sydney, The Hunter Valley and Brisbane.

Frontier pre-sale tickets are reported to go on sale Wednesday, August 21.

The Triple M web leak also suggests that the reformed Hunter & Collectors will support Springsteen for the Melbourne show, listed for AAMI Park.

 Stay tuned for updates, and follow Bruce Springsteen Perth for more.