Monday, 1 April 2013

Hanging Rock - Show 2

Ticket: GA Front Standing (No priority entrance)

A big night for the E Street Band in Australia deserved a big setlist - and that's exactly what they delivered for night 2 of Hanging Rock.

A Darkness double kick-started the night with the older established tracks coming out early, acting as a little reminder to ticket holders just interested in hearing the Greatest Hits package that an E Street Band show isn't that formulaic, boring or predictable.

It did seem however that other than change in the order, there wouldn't be many surprises for the tenth and final show in terms of new tracks.

Of course in true Springsteen live style, the moment I thought that I was proved wrong as requests for another rendition of Incident on 57th Street were finally answered and Jackson Cage was seemingly picked up from out of nowhere and delivered with pounding energy.

Jimmy Barnes was back for a second crack at Tougher Than The Rest, which proved a winner with the Aussies he warmed up beforehand.

Although at times I wondered if they had turned his mic down as his vocals were hard to hear over Springsteen's and it didn't sound as bad as the previous night's rendition.
That was until Springsteen took to the harmonica and Barnes did his wailing over the top.
Although I get the appeal of good, pub rock 'n' roll that's good to belt out after a few drinks, I can't quite get why Jimmy Barnes has such a big following.
The man has some good songs when he sings them, but his inaudible warbling just makes him more of Australia's version of a modern-day Meatloaf rather than the Aussie-Springsteen his fans think of him as.

That being said, the ten dates on the tour were unlikely to go by without at least one lowlight, so it's good that I have an easy option of choosing that song over any of Springsteen's other efforts.

Heading into the encore Springsteen was never going to leave a landmark venue like Hanging Rock without turning up the volume and smashing out a true rock anthem into the night sky.
Cue Born In The USA in all it's reverb-heavy, deafness-threatening glory and you have it.
More than 15,000 people - probably - belting out the angry tune that is a clear Aussie favourite would have blasted any spirits from the Rock- fictional or not.

And then the addition of two bonus songs, Rosalita again and Twist & Shout turned the show into a 29-track storm of a night to round off the Australia tour.

(Many seemed puzzled by Twist & Shout at the end - as many fans know it's been a favourite of his as a live cover in the early days and was one of the first songs he ever learned to play.)

Cue a promise to be back soon as rumours swirled in the GA camp that the band will be back within a year, and a nod to all the travellers from Perth - of which it seemed every other person at the shows had made the journey from WA.

Springsteen's show was promoted as the greatest on earth before he even picked up a mic in Brisbane 18 days ago.
He had a lot of expectation and anticipation to deliver something special after his last, mis-managed, under-powered tour of 2003.
And he did all that and more.

Fans that had seen him 50 times before said these shows were the best they had seen.
While others who were heading to their first Springsteen concert doubting the 63-year-old man who "sang the song Streets Of Philadelphia and that one on the radio that goes... 'Hey little girl is your daddy home...' " (I'm On Fire) were left converted, lining up at the merchandise stand on the way out trying to get a Born In The USA T-shirt.

One thing is for sure, if he is back in the next year or two, the fight for tickets is going to be even more tough.
Much Tougher Than The Rest...


1. Adam Raised a Cain
2. Candy’s Room
3. She’s The One
4. Something In The Night
5. We Take Care of Our Own
6. Wrecking Ball
7. Death To My Hometown
8. Hungry Heart (Request)
9. Spirit In The Night
10. The E Street Shuffle
11. Incident on 57th Street (Request)
12. Tougher Than The Rest (w/Jimmy Barnes)
13. Because The Night
14. Jackson Cage (Request)
15. Open All Night
16. Darlington County
17. Shackled & Drawn
18. Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
19. The Promised Land
20. Lonesome Day
21. The Rising
22. The Ghost of Tom Joad
23. Badlands

24. Born In the USA
25. Born To Run
26. Dancing In The Dark
27. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
28. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
29. Twist & Shout