Out of all the songs he was going to open the Australia tour with, I never thought for a second that Bruce Springsteen would choose Frankie Fell In Love.
But in the first 30 seconds of him launching into the track, and with Stevie Van Zandt rocking the crowd the moment he came out, I was already won over despite my previous thoughts on the song.
High Hopes had a solid airing for the first night of the tour.
Both the title track and Australian cover Just Like Fire Would were quickly thrown out, and later in the night we heard the Tom Morello-injected Ghost Of Tom Joad and American Skin (41 Shots).
Also a vast improvement from the studio recording was Raise Your Hand – which came a little earlier in the set when Everett ‘Reverend’ Bradley accidentally started to play it, forcing a joking Springsteen to stop and swap guitars.
What made this song, the opening of which I don’t mind skipping on my iPod, was the way in which Springsteen used all four lead guitarists (himself included) to thrash out the chorus with Soozie Tyrell in the middle taking centre stage on the violin and backing vocals.
Not the strongest track from the album, but a real highlight of the night.
For me however the opening night of the Australia tour belonged to Springsteen’s earlier work.
Both E Street Shuffle and Kitty’s Back gave the crowd an incredible taste of The Wild and The Innocent… while showcasing how incredibly tight the 18 musicians are as one band.
With Springsteen leading the charge as orchestra conductor and lead guitarist on Kitty’s Back.
Not one to back away from the solo work, Springsteen twice took over duties by dismissing the band for a great, moving version of For You on Roy Bittan’s piano.
And again taking the show to the end with an acoustic solo of Thunder Road.
Also worthy of a mention are “Stevie’s Angels” – formerly The Brucettes – who managed to get an invite to dance on stage for Ramrod. These are the same family of Springsteen fans whose matching shirts and smiles landed them a spot dancing with the band in Melbourne last year during Pay Me My Money Down.
And of course Vel Holland who first joined the line outside the Arena on Friday and was already crying tears of joy before the concert because she was finally getting to see a Springsteen show. Pulled out to join him for Dancing In The Dark, Vel wasted no time in leaving her impression on the rock star.
Overall it was a fantastic opener for the tour, and just thinking about what songs could make the setlist for the next two shows in Perth is enough to build plenty of excitement.
More on Perth’s first Springsteen show: Springsteen rocks Perth Arena
1. Frankie Fell In Love
2. High Hopes
3. Just Like Fire Would
5. Hungry Heart
6. E Street Shuffle
7. Kitty's Back
8. Wrecking Ball
9. Death To My Hometown
10. The River
11. Heaven's Wall
12. American Skin (41 Shots)
13. Because The Night'
14. She's The One
15. Working On The Highway
16. Darlington County
17. Shackled And Drawn
18. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
19. For You (request) piano, solo
20. Ghost Of Tom Joad
21. The Rising
23. Born To Run
24. Dancing In The Dark
25. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
27. Thunder Road (solo acoustic)