Monday, 25 March 2013

Melbourne Rod Laver Arena - 1

Ticket (GA priority, #42 in line)

If Melbourne concert goers thought they were going to have time to gently welcome Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the first of three shows in the city, then they were hugely mistaken.

Going straight in with Out In The Street, Springsteen wasted no time in getting out with the crowd and getting them on their feet and going crazy over the show.

When he got back on stage he told his band the next song would be The Promised Land as it seemed he was going off the setlist already and more than prepared to shake things up a bit on night six of the Australian tour.

In fact the night showed you should never get complacent with what tracks you think Bruce Springsteen will pull out for the E Street Band.

After the incredible Prove It All Night with '78 intro in Sydney, Springsteen took a vote on a request to see if the crowd wanted it again - or Incident on 57th Street.

They voted for Prove It... and they got a more polished, incredible rendition by Springsteen who took his time to blast out the previously rarely performed intro before leading the band through to Nils Lofgren's solo.

Again Lofgren took the song and stole it from it's master for a few minutes as he spun around the spotlight with his guitar with more energy and enthusiasm then I have ever seen.

An earlier request vote also saw the crowd cheer for The River over Meeting Across The River, while Seeds and Something In The Night were the only songs to make their first appearance on the tour.

Back again was the angry, near-deafening version of Born In The USA, which seems to be one of the songs Aussie fans are dying to see.

Another, I'm On Fire, is getting plenty of requests and before the show started even had a slim chance of making it as a crew member taped down the lyrics to the song near the middle platform for Springsteen's mic-in-the-crowd performances. But to no avail as it, along with my second night pleas for Lost In Flood, were unfulfilled.

The crowd in Melbourne did seem to shape the night for first show.
Taking his now well-versed cry about travelling over 'shark-infested waters' Springsteen was met with a few cuddly and inflatable sharks from the front row.

Meanwhile a group of sisters, daughters and nieces from Perth - calling themselves the 'Brucettes' - behind this fan in the line, had the shock of a lifetime when they were spotted by Springsteen in their matching tops and brought up on stage for a dance during the Seeger Session's Pay Me My Money Down.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night however was the exclusion of My City Of Ruins with it's band roll call and moment of quiet for the ghosts of E Street.

Something that made setlist watchers across the world jump online to discuss why he left it out.

Meanwhile Springsteen's cover of High Hopes was back and has become a firm favourite with this tour down under. As with Spirit In The Night, and the Tom Morello-injected Ghost Of Tom Joad, which I honestly believe is impossible not to be impressed with no matter how many times you see it.

A night that only offered a few new tracks to those following the tour still stood up as one of the best yet.

But the way this tour is going, every night is ending with the feeling that despite seeming impossible the best is always yet to come.

1. Out In The Street
2. The Promised Land
3. Something In The Night
4. Wrecking Ball
5. Death To My Hometown
6. Hungry Heart
7. Spirit In The Night
8. High Hopes
9. The River (Request)
10. Seeds
11. Johnny 99
12. Prove It All Night ('78 intro) (Request)
13. Pay Me My Money Down
14. Darlington County
15. Shackled & Drawn
16. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
17. The Rising
18. The Ghost of Tom Joad
19. Badlands
20. Land of Hope & Dreams

21. Born In The USA
22. Born To Run
23. Dancing In The Dark
24. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out