Sunday, 9 February 2014

Springsteen at Perth Arena - Show 3

It was the opening we had been waiting for since the first Australian tour was announced.
Smashing out a cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell and straight into Badlands could probably open every night in Australia and keep people happy.

For the third and final night in Perth it was delivered to a roar of approval and set the tone for a Darkness-themed night with enough surprises and rarities to make the show the best of the tour so far.

Taking an early request for Streets Of Fire straight after Adam Raised A Cain, a few of us were beginning to wonder if we were in for a full album show for Darkness On The Edge of Town. When Candy’s Room was next we were desperately trying to remember the order of songs the four tracks appeared on the album. (I wasn’t even close).

High Hopes and Just Like Fire Would brought the excited Darkness fans back down to earth, just in time for Sprit In The Night to make its first appearance this time round – complete with a repeat of last year’s rally cry of travelling thousands of miles across ‘SHARK INFESTED WATERS!’

It was this song that led Springsteen to his legendary crowd surf instead of Hungry Heart in the previous two shows. With Jake Clemons joining him out beyond the pit and offering a departing handshake and salute before watching the crowd carry him back to the stage.
While fans of Darkness… were happy to see their favourites get a blasting, Born In The USA obsessives – of which there are a lot in Australia – received the gift of a thumping No Surrender followed straight away by Bobby Jean. With Downbound Train rattling through a short while later.

Springsteen would later come back to the album’s title track, which although would happily be left off a set list for many fans, gave drummer Max Weinberg time to shine in the spotlight with a furious solo.

If there was one song that the band, Springsteen in particular, got another kick out of playing after their impossible to enjoy opener, it had to be Open All Night.
The seat-rising track for the night had the entire band pumping, with the horn section on excellent form once again as the crowd fed off the energy and enthusiasm and directed straight back at the stage.
And with some fast, fancy footwork front-and-centre, Springsteen clearly just couldn’t get enough.

The energy returned later in the encore with a rollicking Seven Nights To Rock – in which Soozie Tyrell earned herself a lot of love in Perth after being successful in getting the crowd back on their feet to dance off her side of the stage.
Radio Nowhere also gave Perth Arena another surge of energy and Land Of Hope And Dreams made a welcome appearance. 

Even more welcome though was the long-awaited absence of Waitin' On A Sunny Day which has had more than its day in the Australian sun.

As if a deliberate theme for the Australasia tour, two stand-out highlights once again came from Springsteen’s solo sessions.
The often-requested but hardly-ever played The Promise saw Springsteen take over the piano for the start of the encore and blow the minds and hearts of the crowd with a visibly moving performance.

It’s easy to forget when he’s front of stage thrashing a guitar through Born To Run that Springsteen can cut straight into the souls of thousands of fans with just his voice and few piano keys.
It was an effect that returned for Terry’s Song. Another sign request treated to the show-closing acoustic guitar performance, before he finished on Thunder Road for the third successive night.

Springsteen gave Perth three shows for his Western Australia debut – the most of any other city on this tour – and with that came 83 songs  - 57 of them different.
One question on many people’s minds this morning is will Perth ever see the likes of that again? 

Setlist
  1. Highway To Hell
  2. Badlands
  3. Adam Raised A Cain
  4. Streets of Fire (sign request)
  5. Candy's Room
  6. High Hopes
  7. Just Like Fire Would
  8. Spirit in the Night
  9. Wrecking Ball
  10. No Surrender
  11. Bobby Jean
  12. Because the Night
  13. Downbound Train
  14. Heaven's Wall
  15. Open All Night
  16. Shackled and Drawn
  17. Radio Nowhere
  18. The Ghost of Tom Joad
  19. Land of Hope and Dreams 

  20. The Promise (sign request, piano solo)
  21. Born in the U.S.A.
  22. Born to Run
  23. Seven Nights to Rock
  24. Dancing in the Dark
  25. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
  26. American Land
  27. Terry's Song (sign request, acoustic solo)
  28. Thunder Road (acoustic solo)
Run time: 2 hours, 57 minutes

Tour so far: 83 songs in 3 shows, 57 different.