Friday, 15 March 2013

Brisbane Entertainment Centre - 1

Ticket - GA (With front row/pit wristband)

It's somewhat difficult for me to give an objective view of the first of ten Springsteen shows coming my way.
Because no matter who you are or what you think of the quality of each song performed, when your front row, in the centre under the microphone, it will always be the greatest show ever.
Even after lining up for hours no one expected just how close they would get to Springsteen in the first show of 2013, and the first in Australia for a decade.
Having only seen the E Street Band in stadiums and festivals the indoor arena stage seemed smaller to start with but without any divide or space for security to stand between the audience and the band, everyone stood there for two hours before the show began, knew they were in for something special.

Entering in darkness, and exploding into We Take Care Of Our Own, the magic was set for the next 3 hours 10 minutes.
Springsteen shared his regret for not being back for a decade after a previous world tour didn't travel down under and gave the crowd a mix of the old, new, classic and
Tom Morello proved his worth as Steve Van Zandt's replacement - a joke of the night from Springsteen that he was filming Lilyhammer in Norway and basically playing himself was met with a roar of riotous approval.
Whilst Van Zandt's comic appeal is missing doesn't mean the band doesn't have fun.
Watch out for Jake Clemons' interaction with everyone in the band - especially when he jokes around at the back pretending to throw a football 'right by yer' to the E Street choir during Glory Days.
Morello no stranger to E Street gave a blistering solo on Ghost of Tom Joad which will not only - hopefully - be a staple of every show on this tour, but also threaten to remain a highlight every night.
That's unless of course you're one of guys or girls that Springsteen pulls up on stage, dances with, sings with, hand shakes, high-fives, points at, waves to, or crowd surfs over.
If there's one thing clear from the start of this tour is that everyone in the arena is involved in the show.
You in the back? He'll head over to you.
Behind the stage with cheaper seats? Don't worry, the view is clear sound is good and they play to you guys too.
Springsteen came here to do what he has done hundreds of times, yet to watch him so closely you can see that the professional musician and band leader doesn't stop.
He keeps, going, even if he looks like he's about to collapse from exhaustion he asks if you want one more song - and then of course gives you two.
I headed into the arena after flying in from Perth and with less than 10 hours sleep in three days. Every time I felt that I couldn't take standing up anymore he kicked into another song and the pain and exhaustion went away.

Highlights of the night included Nils Lofgren on Because The Night, the E Street Shuffle, the amazing Spirit In The Night, and the tributes to Clarence 'Big Man' Clemons and Danny Federici. At one point bringing the 12,000 crowd into pure silence, while later screenshots of the two were so moving there was unlikely to be a throat without a lump or an eye without tears on their way.

Another highlight for many was Springsteen's cover of Australian band The Saints' Just Like Fire Would - although I will confess to not recognising the song myself.

There are nine more shows. Nine more times to hopefully see Prove It All Night, Backstreets, Darkness On The Edge of Town, Cover Me and maybe even Lost In The Flood.

Until then, here's what Brisbane had:

We Take Care of Our Own
Just Like Fire Would
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
Hungry Heart
My City of Ruins
Spirit in the Night
The E Street Shuffle
Jack of All Trades
Murder Incorporated
Johnny 99
Because the Night
She's the One
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Apollo Medley
The Rising
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Thunder Road

We Are Alive
Born to Run
Glory Days
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out