VIDEO OF THE SHOW: Dude dives from stage after singing “Growin’ Up” with Bruce

Some great front row videos the Tuesday night Cincinnati show from EStreetMichael (including a great “American Skin”).  But the BEST of the night was the guy who sang the last verse of “Growin’ Up” on stage.  Apparently, he was a birthday boy, and did a pretty killer Craig Finn/Hold Steady take on the verse and wowed Bruce enough to cede the microphone to the guy (not quite Philly Elvis-takeover-the-show stuff, but what would be, right?).  The dude finished the song, threw his arms wildly into the air, turned to face the band, looked like he freaked out for a second or two, and then decided to take a running dive in to the pit of fans.  Truly great “wtf?” moment.

High Hopes
Death to My Hometown
Hungry Heart
Spirit in the Night
Wrecking Ball
Lost in the Flood
Because the Night
Heaven’s Wall
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Promised Land
Pay Me My Money Down
Darlington County
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Ghost of Tom Joad
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams
* * *
Growin’ Up
Born to Run
Bobby Jean
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Dream Baby Dream (solo)


Springsteen rocks rainy and chilly Dallas

Never underestimate the power of rock and roll, especially when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band produce it.

The irregularities for Springsteen and the band heading into the night? A free festival show, with the NCAA hiring the band to wrap up the tournament weekend.   A crowd probably heavily seeded with non-Springsteen live experience.  Rain.  Cold.  First show in a month for the band.  No Little Steven.  A slippery stage set up.

No worries.  Bruce and the band blew it all up outdoors as the crowd (and a little over 10,00 watching on the live webcast of the March madness Music Festival) witnessed a Born in the USA-heavy set, meant to please the masses, with moments of “only Bruce” occurrences. The cutest was bringing up a young man of about 12 years-old for the call-and-response at the end of “Glory Days”.  Bruce danced with many women, crowd surfed, stood atop fences to touch the hands of fans, and the performance has to be considered he highlight of the 3-day festival.   Jason Aldean rocked the country crowd on Friday night, but Bruce is Bruce and nobody is a better live rock and roll performer.

Patty Scialfa played with Bruce and band for the first time in nearly two years, adding sweet and soulful duet/background vocals to the acoustic “Thunder Road” set closer.

Highlights: The triple shot of “Atlantic City”,  a rollicking and Telecaster-centric “Johnny 99″ and “Darlington County”; The cover of “Shout” that ended the band portion of the night was a ten-minute performance lesson in how to wrap up with loose evangelical,”prisoner of rock and roll” nastiness; and “Cover Me” was a nice surprise, with Springsteen diving into the guitar leads. “Spirit in the Night” was great.

Not so much:  Even though I get why they opened with Van Halen’s “Jump”, after hearing the opening song nods to local city music heroes in Australia (“Highway to Hell”, “Stayin’ Alive, Royals”) this one was missing something.  He rebounded nicely (see what I did there?) with “Badlands”; Little Steve away filming his series “Lilyhammer.”  Though the E Streeters rocked in Sunday night, I like it when Steve is in the band.

1. Jump
2. Badlands
3. Death to My Hometown
4. Cover Me
5. No Surrender
6. Hungry Heart
7. High Hopes
8. Spirit in the Night
9. Wrecking Ball
10. The River
11. Atlantic City
12. Johnny 99
13. Darlington County
14. Working on the Highway
15. Shackled and Drawn
16. Waiting on a Sunny Day
17. The Ghost of Tom Joad
18. The Rising
19. Land of Hope and Dreams

20. Born to Run
21. Glory Days
22. Dancing in the Dark
23. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
24. Shout

News, Notes. Opinion.