| Fenway Set List Night 1
Intro: Take Me Out To the Ball Game
|Fenway Set List Night 2
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (taped with crowd singalong)
What a week in Boston. Yes, there were the obvious, unbelievable highlights — among them a subtle, beautiful “Frankie,” the U.S. debut of “Prove It All Night” with the searing ’78 intro, and a heart-tugging “Jungleland” featuring Jake Clemons’ incredible take on his uncle’s classic sax solo. But beyond that, if these shows don’t cement Wrecking Ball as Springsteen’s most consistent album since Tunnel of Love, I don’t know what will.
In concert, the one-two punch of “We Take Care of Our Own” and “Wrecking Ball” is tremendous, “Jack of All Trades” trenchant and moving, “Death to My Hometown” pounding and striking (a big improvement after a bit of a logy start earlier in the tour) and “Shackled and Drawn” simply stunning. Plus there’s “We Are Alive,” which starts off showcasing Bruce’s solo strengths and turns into a band tour de force. It’s simply the best a Springsteen album has translated on the concert stage in years, and further evidence of his continued relevance.
The Boston shows overall were a reminder of how the themes of Wrecking Ball — loss, living with ghosts, bringing new faces into the fold, moving on while honoring the past, a refusal to go gentle into that good night — have made this one of the most emotional and satisfying Springsteen tours, well, ever. The depth and breadth of the material, the willingness to dive head first into uncharted waters and Springsteen’s amazing, seemingly indefatigable drive, energy and devotion to the audience never cease to amaze.
How does he do it? We’ll never know — let’s just hope he keeps doing it for as long as possible.
Blogness on the Edge of Town
A hot summer night, girls in their summer clothes, the boys of summer on the road and Boston’s Fenway Park empty and waiting for a party. Bring on the band, Bruce Springsteen and the ever-expanding E Street Band were ready. Perfectly paced, fabulous sound and a performance that matched almost any of his modern era performances. If you have missed this tour so far, delay no more, buy a ticket and get to a show.
Fenway last night was transformative. JL’s iconic “I’ve seen rock and roll future” review was really a personal meditation that began with how he needed to feel young again, and Bruce’s rock and roll that night at Charley’s Place did it for him. That’s what 8/15/12 was for me. It could not have been better. It just couldn’t.
‘Prove It ’78’, ‘2:45’, ‘Frankie’, ‘Knock on Wood’, ‘Detroit Medley’…even the rain came at a perfect time. The last time I saw that arrangement of ‘Prove It’ and ‘2:45’ in the encores I was 17 years old at MSG 34 summers ago. Springsteen has, simply put, taken his art to another level this summer.
Believe the reviews. Last night was that good. On to Philly, DC, MetLife, and Hartford in October. All I can say is they’ve got a tough act to follow. I will never, ever forget my 90th Springsteen show.
Piece de Resistance, indeed.
Fenway 2 was absolutely ridiculous. One of the best ever, and I really mean it. It’s fuckin’ 4 a.m and I’m still awake. That’s how stunning Fenway 2 was.
This was my 196th Bruce show since 1977 and if it’s not at the very top of my list, it’s very, very close. The set list, mostly improvised, I think, was absolutely SICK. Bruce was superhuman and the band sounded awesome. And when it started raining, Bruce seemed to ramp it up, seemingly wanting to make it an epic show. It was all of that and more.
I have seen many great renditions of Backstreets over the years, but I think this was the best version ever. And Prove it All Night, with the long guitar intro, brought me and my wife back to the shows we saw on the Darkness tour. Virtually every Bruce original was delivered with fire and genuine feeling and, oh God, those covers! Knock on Wood was out of this world. Bruce indicated that he’d never played it, but my incredibly knowledgeable friends Jeff and Brian told me he’d played it with Eddie Floyd in Memphis in 1976. Oh, yes, Quarter to Three was also insane.
Being in the pit for this one was a priceless experience. I’m from Boston area and had many friends in the pit, but I want to thank all the fans from Barcelona, Spain who adopted me as their pit buddy and danced with me and sang with me. I’m sure they thought I was nuts, but they went crazy, too. For my wife and I, this was one of the best nights of all time. And I’m thrilled to see that other fans had similar reactions and experiences
Being a big baseball fan, it is such a treat to see Bruce become one of the boys of summer playing these ballparks, especially the historic ones like Fenway (and Wrigley coming up). We were dancing with the ghosts (that Bruce talked about) of Cy Young, Jimmie Foxx and, of course, Johnny Pesky; we were playing in the outfield like Ted Williams, Carl Yaztrzemski and Tris Speaker; we were exorcised like the ghost of Babe Ruth. Being a big Mets fan (sorry Boston), it was incredible to stand where my favorite player – the late, great Gary Carter – hit two home runs over the Green Monster in game 4 of the 1986 World Series. And Bruce accomplished the same feat – he hit two home runs in Boston – way over the Green Monster out onto Landsdowne! The first night was a three-run shot and the second night was a no-doubter grand slam. From what I heard, these shows were at the same level of the recent European shows. What I experienced – from the set lists to the energy and passion of Bruce and the band to the excitement and joy of the crowd – I certainly believe it. There were too many specific special moments to list. It can best be summed up by trying to capture that transcendent feeling that was there; just like the feeling of playing ball when you were a kid, out there sweating and smiling without a care in the world.
Bruce Springsteen’s first performance at Boston’s Fenway Park since 2003 illustrated his clear ability to take in his surroundings and use them to heighten his performance and fans’ experience. After entering to a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” Springsteen paid homage to recently deceased Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky during “My City of Ruins” and included the Boston (pronounced “Boss-town”) hometown favorite “Dirty Water” in the encore. As usual, Springsteen did not disappoint, performing a fast-paced set list replete with high-energy numbers, brought to a fitting conclusion with fireworks set off from atop Fenway’s legendary Green Monster. While the first show may be best remembered for its setting, the concert the following night will be recalled for its all-around inimitability. To compound his unique surroundings, Springsteen (with a little help from sign-requests) produced a refreshing set-list which proved a throwback to years past. Featuring early 70’s tunes (“Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?” and “Thundercrack”), now buried versions of more standard songs (a piano-only opener of “Thunder Road” and “Prove It All Night” with the guitar-laden intro from the 1978 tour), as well as the resurrection of some unique concert pieces (“Frankie,” “Quarter to Three” and “Knock on Wood,” the latter not performed by Springsteen since 1976), Springsteen’s second show was truly one to behold. His energy again proved unflagging and his enthusiasm un-waning. Springsteen held exacting control over the band’s sound and kept the audience on their heels, meaning very few paid much attention to the rain that began to fall, ironically, during “Waitin’ on A Sunny Day.” Springsteen’s second Fenway show was a clear triumph, an indication that Springsteen still has the creativity and the E Street Band still has the skills to produce unique and unforgettable nights of rock and roll.
Springsteen Summer-Fall Tour 2012 Book Sale: Extended!
Discover the Limited Edition Bruce Springsteen book, The Light in Darkness.
The Light In Darkness is a collector’s edition, we are almost sold out. Less than 225 copies remain. A great companion piece to The Promise box set, it focuses on the 1978 Darkness on The Edge of Town album and tour.
Read about the iconic concerts from fans who were there- the Agora, Winterland, Roxy, MSG, Capitol Theatre, Boston Music Hall, The Spectrum and over seventy more!