Monday, 24 February 2014

Springsteen at Hunter Valley - Show 2

You know when Garry W Tallent comes on to the stage busting out some sweet dance moves that you're in for a fucking brilliant night.

The E Street Band started the night with Curtis King, drummer Max Weinberg and organist Charlie Giordano taking up their instruments and providing a beat for the rest of the band to step into position.

Then outcame Springsteen again asking that question: "Where's the wine?!"
No repeat of the previous night's opener, this time Michelle Moore soon accompanied him up front as the mysterious woman in Ed Burden's Spill The Wine. 

Once again starting up a party for the 17,000 Hunter Valley crowd steeped deep in one of Australia's fine wine regions.

My Love Will Not Let You Down followed as the re-energised, refreshed and recovery-lapsed crowd joined the band in every hand-raising fist pump.

The energy of night 2 didn't let up as the pouding Death To My Hometown spilled into an angry Seeds and Out In The Street ended with an early request for Rosalita - once again not being saved to end the party, but to build it up even more.

The subsequent duo of High Hopes and Just Like Fire Would has become a regular feature after the first burst of songs from the band - but the band don't treat it like a nightly routine. Tom Morello in particular always marking his stamp on the stage.

Night 2 was a great night for the horns section too as a request for Johnny 99 and then later on Pay Me My Money Down just two of the several occasions they became centre stage.

Meanwhile Heaven's Wall  once again belonged to Soozie Tyrell as she playfully battled with the four lead guitars on centre mic.
The real highlights started however when Springsteen announced one they 'hadn't played for a while'.

And he wasn't kidding. Even after the fans cheered for the opening bars of Brilliant Disguise Springsteen made the band start it again to get them all back in time. 
It didn't matter, the crowd was hooked from the first moment with the popular, and rarely played track.

Taking that enthusiasm further the band played straight into Human Touch. Again the audience was stunned with the sound from the whole band, playing at their best, as Springsteen brought out his extended solo for the song and Tyrell swapped stage spots for Morello for her acoustic guitar and backing vocals. Springsteen giving her a shout out afterwards as everyone knew she was having a great night.

For die-hard fans that would have possibly satisfied their desires for a few special numbers, but of course there was more to come.

I'm Goin' Down came with a hilarious quick series of scenes with Stevie Van Zandt as Springsteen repeatedly asked if he was the problem in the song's failing relationship.

The constant thirst for Born In The USA was also met, but only after the band started the encore with the 'signature song' of late Danny Federici - 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).
Again the stunned crowd were in awe as Springsteen led the band through the epic The Wild, The Innocent... track as Roy Bittan stepped away from his piano to take up accordian duties next to the lead man.

The encore continued with some familiar favourites before Springsteen granted one final request, normally asked for by 'guys who've just been dumped'.
Taking solo acoustic duties for I Wish I Was Blind he again reminded everyone that he wasn't just able to orchestrate an 18-piece show band for three hours, he also had the power to bring a hillside of 17,000 people to near-silence - probably while thinking about an ex they secretly and selfishly hope to never see happy with a new lover.

It was the harmonica of a solo acoustic of Thunder Road that brought everyone back to the show for the final goodbye, Springsteen's vocals still on fire right to the end.

1. Spill The Wine (Cover, Eric Burden & War) 
2. My Love Will Not Let You Down
3. Death To My Hometown
4. Seeds 
5. Out In The Street
6. Rosalita (sign request)
7. High Hopes
8. Just Like Fire Would
9. Johnny 99 (sign request)
10. Heaven's Wall
11. Brilliant Disguise 
12. Human Touch
13. I'm Goin' Down
14. Pay Me My Money Down
15. Shackled And Drawn
16. Radio Nowhere 
17. The Rising
18. The Ghost Of Tom Joad
19. Badlands 

20. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
21. Born In The USA
22. Born To Run
23. Ramrod
24. Dancing In The Dark
25. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
26. Rockin' All Over The World 
27. I Wish I Were Blind (sign request, solo acoustic)
28. Thunder Road (solo acoustic)

Show length: 3 hours 5 mins.

Australasia tour so far: 10 shows, 276 songs, 108 different