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Setlists: 2006

December 12 / Red Bank, NJ / Count Basie Theatre
Notes: "The Bobby Bandiera All-Star Holiday Concert" lived up to its billing, as Bobby wrangled a whole host of New Jersey greats for a full night of holiday cheer. The show was a benefit for the PALS Support Group, a charity started by Terry Magovern in memory of Joan Dancy. After a few words from Dave Marsh about the good cause, it was right into nearly four hours of music: Tim McLoone and his Holiday Express kicked things off, followed by sets from the balcony-storming Mark Pender and LaBamba, Bandiera's smokin' Rock and Soul Revue, Southside Johnny, and Gary U.S. Bonds. The night's penultimate artist was Bon Jovi, who turned in a charming set of yuletide R&B, like "Please Come Home for Christmas," "Blue Christmas," and "Run Run Rudolph." Dave Gaetano tells us, "It was a fantastic evening of music. The night kept building and building. Everyone knows the vibe that is present when Bruce is going to be making an appearance, and that electricity was in the air from the pre-show reception right on through the last notes of the evening."

Yes, then there was Bruce, closing the show with a 35-minute set. Backed by Bandiera's Rock and Soul Revue, plus a big swath of Jukes making for an immense horn section, Springsteen brought the heat.

Flynn McLean writes: "Bruce was on fire from the minute he sauntered on stage last night, casually picked up an electric guitar, and launched right into the opening chords of 'Darlington County.' In a setting where he could have played it cool, he took it up a notch and had the entire theatre eating out of his hand. While many fans were just happy to see him strap on an electric guitar, Bruce showed that he could still make it talk -- the intensity of his playing, especially on 'Spirit in the Night,' not usually a guitar-driven song, blew everyone away. Bruce let the audience take over a couple of lines during 'Spirit,' much to its delight. The horns added a lot to 'Darlington' and 'Seaside Bar Song,' and, of course, 'Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,' which included Jon Bon Jovi. A fun 'Waitin' on a Sunny Day,' which Bruce dedicated to Terry, could have been better than in 2003.

"The finale of Santa Claus brought the surreal images of Bruce sharing the stage with the Grinch (not Southside Johnny, but a person in an actual Grinch suit) and a couple of Sesame Street characters. [It was a 'Flaming Lips-like scene,' says Gaetano.] Jon asked Bruce if he had been good this year, and Bruce responded by playing some hot licks on the guitar while Santa Claus bore witness. While we certainly enjoyed the artistry of Devils & Dust and the enthusiasm of the Seeger Sessions, last night reminded us of what Bruce does best: rock the house."
Setlist: Darlington County/Spirit in the Night/Seaside Bar Song/ Waitin' on a Sunny Day/Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Jon Bon Jovi)/Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (with all)
- photos by Kevin O'Keefe


December 2 / Sayreville, NJ / Starland Ballroom
Notes: The Seventh Annual Light of Day show was blessed with a suprise guest, as Bruce Springsteen, old friend of founder Bob Benjamin and longtime LOD supporter, showed up for a few songs to help the cause. "I think we've got a friend here," announced Marah's Dave Bielanko late in the band's set, and with that, on came Bruce, wearing a newsboy cap, denim and black work boots. He took guitar and lead vocals on the Eddie Floyd classic "Raise Your Hand," and traded licks with Dave's brother Serge on the Marah original "Reservation Girl."

Brought onstage to an oldschool R&B instrumental vamp, Springsteen reappeared a few songs into Joe Grushecky's set, performing a mix of Joe's tunes and his own material, highlighted by an extended "Atlantic City," "Darkness on the Edge of Town," and a rousing version of "Code of Silence" with Grushecky, that song's co-writer. The night ended with all the night's performers crowding onstage for the usual all-star jam, Bruce leading them in a singalong on "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" before thanking everyone for coming and driving off into the night.

with Marah: Raise Your Hand/Reservation Girl
with Joe Grushecky: Never Be Enough Time/A Good Life/Darkness on the Edge of Town/Talking to the King/Johnny 99/Code of Silence/Atlantic City
with all: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town


November 21 / Belfast, NIR / The Odyssey
Notes: Like the Devils & Dust tour-closer almost exactly one year ago, this final show of the 2006 tour was a family affair. Evan and Sam Springsteen took the stage to announce, "Ladies and gentlemen, Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band!" They were back to close the main set -- along with sister Jessie, a friend apiece, and a nanny -- to help out with vocals on "Pay Me My Money Down." Patti Scialfa got a special shout-out, before "If I Should Fall Behind." After explaining to the crowd that they had to bring the kids with them because they "can't trust them" at home, Bruce kept up the silly and dedicated the song "to my lovely love. My lovely love! I just made that up -- off the top of my head! Isn't that romantic?" Bruce had warm words of thanks, too, for his extended family for much of the year, the Seeger Sessions Band. "This is sort of a finale for a little while," he told the crowd during the encore, adding, "This has been one of the nicest musical experiences of my life." And considering his life, that's saying something. But it wasn't a bittersweet night (despite Soozie appearing to tear up as the encore began), just a kick-ass finale that cleared the bar set at the last Dublin show, with a crowd to match. As opposed to the traveling-fan crowd in Dublin, this was an audience made up largely of locals, and it brought a different kind of energy to the room. When Bruce dedicated "When the Saints Go Marching In" to the city of Belfast, the cheers suggested it was met by people with a stake in the game. Set highlights included the tour premiere of "Mansion on the Hill," in a familiar arrangement, and an audibled "For You." "This is a song from my first album in 1972," Bruce said to intro the latter. "I was a wee lad of ten years old. I was very precocious -- a natural genius sort of thing." Only its second tour appearance, it was one of the most "rocking" performances this band has tackled. "For You" demonstrated their capacity to explore other musical dimensions, should Bruce tap them again -- and his comments over these last few nights suggest that he intends to. For now, they closed the show, and the tour, with the song that started it all, "We Shall Overcome," and a few final words, "Thank you. We'll be seeing you!"
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/O Mary Don't You Weep/Jesse James/For You/Mansion on the Hill/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/The River/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: My City of Ruins/Blinded By the Light/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land/We Shall Overcome

November 19 / Dublin, IRL / The Point Depot
Notes: Sunday was a day of blistering wind and rain in Dublin -- but that was outside the venue. Inside, Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band heated things right up, for what was clearly the best of these three nights at The Point. "Your mama's gonna get mad at me if you get sick," said Bruce. "All of you that survived the elements out there, this will get you warm... this is for you." Or should that read "This is 'For You'"? Yes, it was the tour premiere of another early classic, up there with the effective Seeger Sessions reinventions of "Blinded" (also played tonight) and "Growin' Up." Cameras were still rolling, but perhaps with two nights of solid filming under his belt, that left Springsteen more free to connect -- and it was a magical night in terms of crowd/performer interaction. Ticket-holders were let in early to get out of the cold (and to catch "Mansion on the Hill" being soundchecked); one show-goer tells us that from the early entry on, the crowd was "just out of control -- it was beautiful, and scary too. A sea of humanity." The band's energy and performance escalated to match, and this night found them particularly sharp, as musicians and as showmen. Er, showpeople. Patti in particular was a hit with the Dubliners, receiving tremendous applause. Still not much talk from the man himself, but a nice segue between "Long Time Comin'" and "Jesus Was an Only Son": "Another song about parenthood. Kids go their own way... Just not too fast, but they will one of these days." He dedicated the song to his "fabulous son Evan... love, Daddy." "The Ghost of Tom Joad" was a duet with Frank Bruno, with Bruce and Frank trading verses, and some beautiful horns over harmonica at the end. The encore opened with "the song that got us started," "We Shall Overcome," last played at the very beginning of this leg. And a final goodbye: "Thank you, Dublin, it's been a great three days!"
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/The Ghost of Tom Joad/O Mary Don't You Weep/Jesse James/Further On (Up the Road)/Erie Canal/For You/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Jesus Was an Only Son/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: We Shall Overcome/Blinded By the Light/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

November 18 / Dublin, IRL / The Point Depot
Notes: There's been a lot of talk from Bruce on this tour. Maybe... maybe too much talk. But not here in Dublin. Once again, Springsteen stayed fairly mum on the second night of this three-night stand, letting the music do most of the talking as cameras rolled. Two tour premieres, both highlighted by beautiful vocal contributions from the Seeger Sessions Band: "Highway Patrolman," and "Shenandoah." The latter was also a world premiere -- hard to believe it's taken this long, but with that, every song from the We Shall Overcome album (including the bonus tracks) has now been played live. "Open All Night" was significantly shorter tonight -- the scat-off stayed in, but not everyone had to be given a moment this time -- and less was more. (And it still clocked in at ten-and-a-half minutes.) While keeping his banter brief, Springsteen did take a moment to dedicate "Bobby Jean" to the fans that have been traveling to see these shows, and to express his appreciation. With a little good-natured ribbing as well: "Doesn't your family miss you? Don't your co-workers wonder where you've gone? They must!"
Setlist: Old Dan Tucker/John Henry/Johnny 99/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Bobby Jean/If I Should Fall Behind/My Oklahoma Home/Highway Patrolman/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/The River/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: Shenandoah/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

November 17 / Dublin, IRL / The Point Depot
Notes: The Seeger Sessions Band pulled into Ireland to start a three-night Dublin stand, no longer the ragtag collection of fine individual players they were some months ago, but a tight unit here toward the end of the tour -- a band. In fact, as Springsteen made the introductions tonight, he said, "You'll see them again" -- and he seemed to be implying further on up the road, not just the next couple of shows here at The Point. Tonight the band included Patti Scialfa once again, her first show since October 5 in Verona. She was back just in time for the cameras to roll -- as we'd heard a few days ago, this Dublin stand is indeed being filmed. Cameras were unobtrusive, but numerous. With Patti back, that also meant the return of "If I Should Fall Behind," and the women once again scatting to open "Open All Night." Then the men took it at the bridge. And then the ladies... and then the men... yep, it was a regular scat-off. (And it added to the tour bloat that has affected "Open All Night," lasting three times as long as at the beginning of the tour. Or it least it felt that way.) We previously mentioned the marvelous pipes of Lisa Lowell, and this is a good time to say that Cindy Mizell has been getting more much-deserved time in the spotlight, too -- joining the redheaded women for the "Open All Night" scat, as well as a having a stunning feature role in "This Little Light of Mine," a total crowd pleaser. One concert-goer tonight tells us that "This Little Light" into "American Land" "kicks ass... If you can't stand on your feet during that, there's something wrong with you." And by that point in tonight's show, nothing was wrong with anyone. Tonight's crowd was fairly subdued, though, compared to the last visit here; and up on stage, likely concentrating on nailing the performance for the cameras, there were no tour premieres and not much talk from Bruce. But before "Devils & Dust" Springsteen spoke, as he has been, about how very close the recent U.S. elections were, and he went on to reference Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel It Can't Happen Here: "I'm not so sure it didn't." And at the end of the night: "We'll see you tomorrow, Dublin!"
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Growin' Up/If I Should Fall Behind/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: My City of Ruins/Blinded By the Light/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

November 14 / Sheffield, GBR / Hallam FM Arena
Notes: The final Seeger Sessions show in England may not have quite reached the heights of the London stand, but the location-appropriate tour debut of "Youngstown" packed a mighty punch. "I haven't done this one," Bruce told the Sheffield crowd. "I guess they don't make that much steel here anymore.... Then again, they don't make much in Youngstown anymore, either." Springsteen also continued to pack in the originals, with ten on this night including "Blinded," "Adam Raised a Cain," and, in place of "Long Time Comin'" for the first time, "Growin' Up," dedicated to Patti and the kids. "Patti wouldn't think I've reached maturation, either." And as if to prove it, a bonus "Froggie" closed the show.
Setlist: Blinded By the Light/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Adam Raised a Cain/The River/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Youngstown/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Atlantic City/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Growin' Up/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: Bring 'Em Home/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land/Froggie Went A Courtin'

November 12 / London, GBR / Wembley Arena
Notes: Night two of two in London, maybe even better than night one. Less political commentary, but another incredibly strong performance, with a less reserved crowd and an extremely energized Bruce and band taking the whole thing higher and higher. Numerous setlist changes from Saturday night, of course -- "John Henry" returns, "Dan Tucker" steps out -- most remarkable being the number of Bruce originals. Four of the first five songs came from the Springsteen songbook, including the tour debut of "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" with a Seeger Sessions spin; in all, there were 11 Bruce songs in the mix. Once again they followed the standard show closer "American Land" with a bonus track, tonight's being the rarity "Man on the Flying Trapeze." Springsteen intro'd the song with a bit of the song's history he gleaned from Google, including the origin of the leotard... and told the crowd, "An epic story, and tragic, too. Feel free to bust out and sing along -- that's what folk music is all about!"
Now that the tour has come back to English-speaking territory, we're getting a better sense of just how impressive the performances are on this leg. (Europeans, please don't let the language barrier stop you -- if you caught a show on this leg and you'd like to tell us about it for the magazine, by all means send us an e-mail so we can be sure to have yours covered well. We try not to be "ugly Americans," but if you can read this, your English is certainly better than our Italian, Spanish, etc.!) We're gathering that it's a very different show than what we saw Stateside over the summer and, as always, one that can't be judged by setlists alone. The band is mind-blowingly tight, the arrangements continue to evolve, and there are plenty of new "bits," like the horn players taking over the Andrews Sisters scat portion of "Open All Night," or the spotlight on Lisa Lowell for a soulful, yearning verse on "Saints." The Devils & Dust material plays very well, especially "Long Time Comin'," which has become a favorite focal point of the show. With any luck, we'll all get to bear witness to what this show has become -- we're told that all three nights in Dublin are going to be filmed. Fingers crossed for a DVD from this music's motherland... time will tell. In the meantime, for the real live experience, there are just five shows left -- get there if you can!
Setlist: Blinded By the Light/Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?/John Henry/Johnny 99/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The River/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: Land of Hope and Dreams/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land/Man on the Flying Trapeze

November 11 / London, GBR / Wembley Arena
Notes: The Seeger Sessions Band pulls into London firing on all cylinders, an absolutely smoking show with new arrangements and original material sounding daisy-fresh. "John Henry" was a rare no-show, with both "Blinded" and "Atlantic City" front-loading the set, and a stunning "Growin' Up" later on. But the highlight had to be the world premiere of a brand new Springsteen song, called "Long Walk Home." Introducing the ballad as a "work in progress," he described it as addressing the state of U.S. democracy, about fixing what's broken, with a mention of the mid-term elections as one step on that walk, returning "some semblance of sanity" to the country. Bruce also revealed that he was inspired by his previous night out at Shepherd's Bush Empire: "I went to see Lucinda Williams last night, she's an excellent songwriter. Between whoring and liquoring up, I write songs... I'm gonna take a chance, this is a new one." An audibled "Froggie" closed the show, dedicated to a little girl in the front row.
Setlist: Blinded By the Light/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Growin' Up/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Jesus Was an Only Son/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: Long Walk Home/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land/Froggie Went A Courtin'


November 10 / London, GBR / Shepherd's Bush Empire
with Lucinda Williams

Notes: For those at Lucinda Williams' London gig, it was a Sweet Old World indeed, as her "special friend" Bruce Springsteen made an impromptu appearance. Some showgoers at Shepherd's Bush Empire might have suspected something was in the air, on this "night off" between Springsteen shows -- Nick Corr tells us of spotting Seeger Sessions players Frank Bruno, Charlie Giordano, and Curtis King in the bar before the show. But the crowd as a whole was clearly surprised -- and wildly excited -- as Springsteen came out with an orange/red Gibson for the final two songs of the main set, "Disgusted" and a stretched-out "Joy." Robert Baldock reports: "Bruce stayed mostly at the back of the stage, but stepped up for some typically coruscating guitar solos. He didn't take the microphone at any stage, but he looked like he was having a ball trading licks with Lucinda's guitarist Doug Pettibone. By way of introduction, Lucinda said that this was 'the best night of my life!' The audience seemed fairly chuffed too. He finished with a flourishing bow to Ms. Williams as he exited." Bruce and his band are in London for two shows, tonight and tomorrow night at Wembley Arena.
Setlist: Disgusted/Joy


November 9 / Birmingham, GBR / NEC Arena
Notes: As the tour returns to UK shores, the main set remains the same as the previous show in Antwerp. But we haven't heard anyone complain, certainly not about that new "Blinded By the Light" opener. And shaking things up at set's end was a special guest appearance by E Streeter Nils Lofgren. Nils, currently touring in the UK, joined in the fun on "Pay Me My Money Down." The encore extended to six songs, with an impromptu "Froggie Went A Courtin'." David Griffin tells us, "Any concerns that covering another artist's material was a sign of having lost some creativity were wiped away in a breathtaking two-and-a-half hours of remarkable music in Birmingham last night. The most astonishing performances were the re-workings of 'Blinded by the Light,' 'Open All Night,' and 'Bobby Jean,' and it was great to see Nils join Bruce and the band for 'Pay Me,' having seen him solo acoustic the previous night in a small club in Nottingham in front of a crowd of less than 200." Dave Jones adds: "The only word to describe the event is joyous. I haven’t sung that many gospel songs since I went to church school, and the sight of 13,000 plus people singing and dancing to 'Froggie' was truly surreal."
Setlist: Blinded By the Light/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The Ghost of Tom Joad/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Jesus Was an Only Son/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land/Froggie Went A Courtin'

November 7 / Antwerp, BEL / Sportpaleis
Notes: The final Continental gig of the Seeger Sessions tour, before Bruce and the band cross the channel for the final eight shows in Great Britain and Ireland. The Antwerp show opened with a surprise debut, "Blinded By the Light," and included a nice mix of other rarer originals: "Bobby Jean" ("an old song for my young fans)," "Further On (Up the Road)," The Ghost of Tom Joad," and "Fire."
Setlist: Blinded By the Light/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The Ghost of Tom Joad/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Jesus Was an Only Son/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: Fire/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

November 6 / Cologne, GER / Kölnarena
Notes: Bruce seemed very relaxed, beginning this final stretch of the Seeger Sessions tour after the one-week break. Again, no Patti -- "We have high school kids, you know," Bruce told the audience. Opening with "Atlantic City" again, Bruce took the crowd by storm, at least by German measures -- a lot of singing and dancing through a pretty standard setlist with no real surprises. "Growin' Up" was a warmly welcomed audible by the audience. The unavoidable Wolfgang Niedecken (a native Colognian) guested on "Pay Me My Money Down"; no harm on this one, compared to "Buffalo Gals" in Frankfurt in May. (report by Florian Spintler)
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Growin' Up/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/The River/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 30 / Stockholm, SWE / Globe Arena
Notes: Tobias Sonestedt reports: "Most likely as good as it gets with the Seeger Sessions Band. The music grabbed you by the throat from the first chords of 'Atlantic City,' and then it kicked you out in the cold with a smile on its face when 'American Land' was finished. Not having heard 'Further On (Up the Road)' in this way before, I felt that for the first time the lyrics really came through. It was beautiful, as was the not-so-predictable premiere of 'Jesus Was an Only Son.' It worked really well with the sound of this tour. And 'The River' hasn’t sounded this good since... way back. Many highlights, but it is his own songs that bring the extra punch. It's really nice to hear them in this way, and Bruce keeps proving how good a songwriter he is since they can be molded to fit pretty much any musical stage. Any time you get to hear 'Growin' Up' you feel special. Overall, it was a great show (and it was only a Monday), with a lot of energy both on stage and in the stands. A lasting memory that will keep us warm until spring."
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Growin' Up/Jesus Was an Only Son/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Love of the Common People/The Ghost of Tom Joad/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: The River/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 29 / Oslo, NOR / Spektrum
Notes: An equipment truck jackknifes on the way to Oslo, but damage is mimimal and the show goes on. "Atlantic City" moves to the opening slot and "Growin' Up" returns to the set; "Fire" once again opens the encore. A real highlight is the return of "Land of Hope and Dreams" -- Springsteen's modern contribution to the folk canon this show celebrates, and a natural for this tour -- which debuted in Barcelona and is played for just the second time here.
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Love of the Common People/Growin' Up/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The River/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Fire/Land of Hope and Dreams/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 28 / Copenhagen, DEN / Parken
Notes: A similar set to the previous show in Santander, including "Fire" to open the encore. Bo Clausen reports: "Although the national stadium had its layout changed, with the stage moved to center field and only 20,000 tickets sold, the stadium was a very big venue for a Seeger Sessions show. Bruce managed to energize the stadium, though he had to tell people in the seats to 'get their Danish asses out of their Danish seats.' 'Fire' was dedicated to 'all the beautiful Danish women,' and Bruce jokingly added that he was beginning to feel a bit like Julio Iglesias. 'Devils & Dust' was a beautiful, beautiful version, and 'Long Time Coming' felt very natural in its new musical disguise. 'This Little Light' truly shows how fantastic this band is."
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Love of the Common People/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Fire/My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 25 / Santander, ESP / Palacio de Deportes
Notes: Marty Rifkin's biirthday, and the whole crowd sang him "Happy Birthday" to him in Spanish. Sal from Point Blank writes: "After a delirious, spectacular show in Barcelona, Springsteen finished his spanish tour with a great show in Santander, the beautiful northern shore city. The audience took a while to get excited (for most people, except those in the front rows, it was probably their first ever Bruce show), but after 'Jacob's Ladder' everything changed and Bruce turned the audience into an ecstasy until the end of the show. 'Froggie Went A-Courtin'' was a welcomed extra encore, dedicated to all the people in Spain. Though 'Youngstown' was rehearsed once again during soundcheck (like in every stop in Spain) it was not yet added to the show. Instead Santander got some excellent versions of 'The Ghost of Tom Joad' and 'Fire,' plus a mesmerizing 'You Can Look' with the fantastic new ending."
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/All the Way Home/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The Ghost of Tom Joad/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Love of the Common People/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Fire/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land/Froggie Went A Courtin'

October 24 / Barcelona, ESP / Palau Sant Jordi
Notes: "Aquesta cançó és especial per Barcelona" ("This song is special for Barcelona"). With these words in Catalan, Bruce dedicated the tour premiere of "Land of Hope And Dreams" to the city where he started the '99 reunion tour and home of the Live in Barcelona DVD. As everyone could expect, the concert was a party from the beginning. An enthusiastic crowd, a surprised and fantastic band, and Bruce connecting with all of us. "Factory," "Growin' Up," "Johnny 99," and "The River" had their place in the concert, and the crowd thanked Bruce for his dedication and devotion to Barcelona. The climax came with "Jacob's Ladder," "Open All Night," "Pay Me," "You Can Look," and "American" Land with people shouting, jumping, and singing, and the band playing at their top level. "Espero tornar ben aviat!" ("I hope come back sooner!") said Bruce, and he added, in English: "You're the best, I'm not kidding." (Report by Pere Simon)
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Johnny 99/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Love of the Common People/Growin' Up/Factory/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The River/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Land of Hope and Dreams/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 22 / Granada, ESP / Plaza de Toros
Notes: Another high-intensity show, featuring the tour debut of "The Promised Land," which kicked off the encore. It was an acoustic arrangement, with Bruce on guitar and harmonica, Soozie Tyrell and Frank Bruno on backing vocals. Bruce dedicated it to the people of Andalucia. "Love of the Common People" stayed in, moving to the main set. And perhaps a taste of things to come, "Youngstown" was soundchecked both here and in Valencia.
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Adam Raised a Cain/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Love of the Common People/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The River/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
The Promised Land/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 21 / Valencia, ESP / Estadio Ciutat De Valencia
Notes: After a bit of a slow start in Madrid, the Spanish run gets up to speed with an energetic show in Valencia, Bruce's first-ever performance there. Sal at Point Blank writes, "Bruce nearly filled the 30,000-seat soccer stadium in Valencia, and delivered a tremendous performance. From the opening chords of 'John Henry' you could tell he was in great shape and full of energy. Yes, it was one of 'those' nights." Set highlights included "Growin' Up" and "The River" back to back, and in the encore, the surprise debut of "Love of the Common People." Written in 1967 by Ronnie Wilkins and John Hurley, it was the title track of a Waylon Jennings album that year; it was later a hit for Paul Young and has been also covered by Stiff Little Fingers, Elton John, Indigo Girls, John Denver, and others. "Ha sido un público fantástico. Volveremos a Valencia," said Bruce -- "It has been a fantastic crowd. We'll come back to Valencia!"
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Johnny 99/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Growin' Up/The River/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: Love of the Common People/
My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 19 / Madrid, ESP / Plaza de toros Las Ventas
Notes: "All the Way Home" comes out for just the second time as Bruce and the band play their first of five nights in Spain, a sold-out show for about 15,000 fans. After two days of rain, the ground of this uncovered bull ring was nothing but wet mud; after soundcheck, Bruce sat on the edge of the stage for a press conference, answering questions from journalists in the big muddy. Bruce's first words to the crowd: "Es maravilloso estar en Madrid otra vez" - "It's wonderful to be back in Madrid again!" And it seemed to be wonderful for the crowd, too -- a typically enthusiastc Spanish audience that had to be shushed a few times by Bruce when they got overexcited. Our friend Sal Trepat from Point Blank tells us: "Overall, a good, solid show which the audience loved, but Bruce & band weren't at his peak, in terms of energy spent. Bruce was kind of quiet compared to other, more explosive shows we're used to. I particulary enjoyed 'Atlantic City' and the new, re-worked version of 'Bobby Jean' (and I'm usually anti-'Bobby Jean'!). 'Eyes on the Prize' featured great vocals by Chocolate Genius. 'You Can look' had some extended and different instrumental parts (compared to the Spring tour), to great effect. One lovely thing about this fall tour is that, finally, the encores are not the usual end-of-the-party throwaway part. There were some great performances here, and a strong end with 'American Land.'"
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/All the Way Home/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 13 / Rotterdam, NED / Ahoy
Notes: Everyone needed some time to warm up on this night -- we're told it got off to a bit of a flat start. But after the first five songs, the audience embraced "Adam Raised a Cain" and an emotional "The River," and by midway through the show the asses were off the seats. Peter Tieleman reports, "The crowd got into it with 'Jacobs Ladder,' and from there on it was just party time!" "Factory" was played by request, kicking off a six-song encore that finished (as on every stop of the Euro tour so far) with "American Land." That show-closer is a winner by all accounts; as Kris Deckers tells us, "'American Land' really blew all of us out of our seats! A great show ending, with an extremely enthusiastic crowd." The following night, Ed Manion bopped over to Amsterdam to join his old friends Southside Johnny and the Jukes for a show at the Paradiso.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Adam Raised a Cain/The River/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Factory/My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 12 / Hamburg, GER / Color Line Arena
Notes: The tour leaves the boot, but Bruce and the Seeger Sessions Band bring a little bit of Verona to Germany, with the second tour performance of "Fire."
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Bobby Jean/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Fire/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 10 / Rome, ITA / Palalottomatica
Notes: Seven nights have been rocked: Rome is the last show of an Italian septet that began on October 1. Emiliano Stella reports in: "Great setlist, great great performance and great audience. The sound wasn't at its best, but it improved during the show. It seems Bruce keeps on increasing the number of his songs in the set. 'All the Way Home' (soundchecked in Perugia) made its debut in a stunning version. 'Growin' Up' was for a seven-year-old boy with a 'Growin' Up with Bruce' sign. 'Long Black Veil' and 'Ramrod' are welcome back in the set, too. Bruce called Rome "la più bella città del mondo" -- the most beautiful city in the world."
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/All the Way Home/Long Black Veil/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Growin' Up/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/The River/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 8 / Caserta, ITA / PalaMaggio'
Notes: Too bad about the venue change -- this show was moved from the beautiful old Giardini della Reggia to the modern PalaMaggio' arena, and we're told the acoustics suffered for it. Not that it had an effect on the typically passionate Italian crowd, though, which sang along and then some -- as on the second tour performance of "Growin' Up," which had the crowd singing the chorus before Bruce even started the first verse.
Setlist: John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Adam Raised a Cain/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Growin' Up/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Long Time Comin'/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Rag Mama Rag/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 7 / Perugia, ITA / Arena Santa Giuliana
Notes: What is this, the Devils & Dust tour? Another tour premiere tonight, the fourth of five shows so far with that distinction. On this night it was "Factory" -- with horns. Mmmmm-mm. So yes indeed, Bruce's originals continue to let their light shine. With Patti gone, "If I Should Fall Behind" dropped out, but Perugia opened with "Atlantic City," and also included "Further On," "Cadillac Ranch," "Devils & Dust," "Bobby Jean," "My City of Ruins," and of course the new show-closer, "American Land."
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Old Dan Tucker/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Factory/My Oklahoma Home/Erie Canal/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Bobby Jean/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/You Can Look/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land


-Mauro Regis Photo, 10/5/06

October 5 / Verona, ITA / Arena
Notes: "Romeo and Juliet, Samson and Delilah..." On a tour not known for setlist shake-ups or tour premieres, out comes a wild one in Verona. Four tour premieres, includinging Bobby Jean. Backstreets reader Alberto Covin (who wrote of his disappointment after the first two shows) checked back in to file this report: "To my deepest happiness, let me say that Verona show was awesome in every aspect: Bruce as a performer, the band, the setlist, the crowd, the venue (the Arena is not like any other Palasport). Bruce talked a lot (which I missed in previous shows), in Italian too. He said, 'I feel inspired tonight,' and the setlist proves it. A long intro in Italian for a 'biblical tale about Samson and Delilah [a.k.a. "If I Had My Way"].... good luck, Samson!' And they played, with the whole band in a semicircle, a funny song, with just the stand-up bass and some percussion, and all the band singing about Samson and Delilah, a very special moment. He introduced Patti after 'If I Should Fall Behind,' saying that she has to leave the tour for the moment, because 'iragazzi hanno bisogno della mamma' (The children need their mom), and she sang Valerie, from her first album. Then, 'Verona è la città di Romeo e Giulietta' (Verona is the town of Romeo and Juliet), 'Questa è solo per Verona'... and started Fire, which was sung by the whole audience. Every song has been sung, danced, lived by the people. I said we are spoiled by Bruce, and we were not extremely happy after Bologna and Torino. Now we are: completely, thoroughly happy."
Setlist: John Henry*/O Mary Don't You Weep*/Old Dan Tucker*/Samson and Delilah [a.k.a. If I Had My Way]*/Eyes on the Prize*/Jesse James*/Atlantic City*/My Oklahoma Home*/If I Should Fall Behind/Valerie/Bobby Jean/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/The River/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
*These eight songs were later broadcast on Italy's Radio 1, on 10/13.
Encore:
Fire/Rag Mama Rag/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 4 / Udine, ITA / Villa Manin
Notes: A cool night with a full moon, and a beautiful setting: the garden of an old Venetian villa built in the 1600s. A clear highlight is the Seeger Sessions Band debut of "Growin' Up," which was rehearsed (and even on the setlist) in Torino but not performed. Here in Udine, Springsteen offered the premiere "i miei fans anziani" (for my old fans). Plus: "The River" replaces "We Shall Overcome" for the second night; the return of "Johnny 99." .
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Old Dan Tucker/Johnny 99/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Growin' Up/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/The River/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land


-Rene van Diemen Photo, 10/2/06

October 2 / Torino, ITA / Palaisozaki
Notes: We've had a bet with ourselves that, as this leg rolls along, we'd see Bruce originals making up a larger part of the set. Of course, one night does not make a trend, but "We Shall Overcome" was out of the set for the first time in Torino, making room for "Further On" and "Long Time Comin'"; "Atlantic City" and "The River" (which debuted the night before in Bologna) stayed in. "You Can Look" was the only original to drop out, replaced by "Rag Mama Rag." Some fun shtick at the end of "Pay Me My Money Down," as Patti was the one to give Art Baron the boot, and Kevin Buell threw away Larry Eagle's drumsticks. But as Alberto Covin tells us, Springsteen still seems to be warming up: "After a not-so-good show in Bologna, another not-so-good but better show in Torino. Maybe in Italy we are a little spoiled... but I am a little disappointed by the performance, especially the fact that after the encores they simply go away and there is no 'second encore,' which is something we are really used to." On the bright side, five more chances for spoiling the Italians remain. Update: "Growin' Up" was rehearsed at soundcheck and was even on the handwritten setlist, but it was replaced during the show by "Long Time Comin'."
Setlist: Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/Further On (Up the Road)/John Henry/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Long Time Comin'/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/The River/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Rag Mama Rag/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land

October 1 / Bologna, ITA / Palamalaguti
Notes: After a three-month summer vacation, the Seeger Sessions Band rides again! Tonight in Bologna, Bruce and the band kicked off their 27-night European tour with the first of seven, count 'em, seven shows in Italy. Proof that crazy pays -- and I mean that in the best way, amici miei. Two tour debuts mark the occasion: a new Irish arrangement of "The River," and, following "Saints" in the encore as the night's penultimate song, "This Little Light of Mine." "American Land," a Bruce original which debuted in June to open the final three shows of the U.S. leg (and which is featured as the title track of the new We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions edition due Tuesday) moves to the show-closing spot.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Atlantic City/The River/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/This Little Light of Mine/American Land


September 17 / Asbury Park, NJ / The Stone Pony
Notes: Springsteen may have played his last Rumson Country Day School benefit, but the spirit -- and heck, the setlist -- lives on. On this Sunday night at the Stone Pony, Bruce reteamed with Bobby Bandiera and his band for a similar affair, once again a private show for parents and teachers, this time for the Ranney School. It was a night of rock, as we've come to expect from this kind of show, featuring classic covers like "Seven Nights to Rock" and a full "Detroit Medley"; the only echo of the ongoing Seeger Sessions tour was the sight of Ed Manion and Patti Scialfa on stage. Patti got much of the spotlight, stepping up for "Tell Him," "Boy from NYC, and "Sugar Sugar" (all listed on the setlist as possibilties for song #9 -- they wound up doing them all), and later in the set, "Son of a Preacher Man." In another setlist change, Southside Johnny joined in for an audible of "I Don't Wanna Go Home." As the set stretched out, something had to give (it was a school night, after all), and songs 16-19 on the handwritten setlist were dropped. Surely no complaints, as Bruce went from "Darlington County" into a high-energy "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out," and had the headmaster onstage for a show-closing "Twist and Shout."
Setlist: 634-5789/Talk to Me/Seven Nights to Rock/Two Hearts/Spirit in the Night/Rendezvous/From Small Things/All That Heaven Will Allow/Tell Him/Boy From NYC/Sugar Sugar/Further On (Up the Road)/Waitin' on a Sunny Day/The Fever/I Don't Want to Go Home (with Southside Johnny)/Son of a Preacher Man/Seaside Bar Song/Darlington County/Tenth Avenue Freeze-out/Detroit Medley (inc. "Devil with the Blue Dress," "Good Golly, Miss Molly," "C.C. Rider," and "Jenny Take a Ride")/Twist and Shout

August 5 / Holmdel, NJ / PNC Bank Arts Center
Notes: The John Fogerty/Willie Nelson show Saturday night at the PNC brought a third music legend to the stage for a quick guest spot. Fogerty told the crowd that he ran into a kid with a guitar backstage, figured he'd bring him out to play... and, "Oh yeah -- his name is Bruce." You can imagine the Jersey crowd liked the sound of that. Wearing a Yankees cap and armed with a shiny red and white telecaster, Bruce showed he still remembers how to play a mean electric guitar as the two VFC touring partners teamed up for "Long Tall Sally." Get a taste with a, um, "fan based recording" on YouTube.
Setlist: Long Tall Sally


June 25 / Holmdel, NJ / PNC Bank Arts Center
Notes: The second of two at the PNC: a drier night, another sold-out homecoming show, and the last of this 18-night U.S. tour. But there was no real air of finality tonight -- though Springsteen told the crowd, "This is our last date here in the States," it's well-known that he'll be taking the Seeger Sessions Band back out for another European jaunt in the fall. So consider this one a "season finale." As at the Devils & Dust tour-ender, Bruce had his family in the house: "My babies are here!" He also revealed one of the threats he uses to keep his kids in line: "They're not afraid of me anymore... but they're afraid of the horn section!" And with all six players in the horn line-up tonight, the kids must have been on their best behavior. The show opened with the Pogues-ish "American Land" for the third night running, and while setlist variation on this tour has been minimal, this second of two back-to-back shows in the same venue had Bruce making sure to shake things up for repeat attendees. "Long Black Veil" came in for "Eyes on the Prize," with "Long Time Comin'" and "Devils & Dust" also in the set. "My City of Ruins" appeared to be an audible, with Bruce starting alone as he has been lately for "Bring Them Home" in that first encore slot, but the band quickly coming out to join in. The biggest surprise of the night, though, was the closing number, played only once prior at the last Asbury rehearsal show: "The Man on the Flying Trapeze." In terms of song-choice, this old circus story may be kind of a head-scratcher, but as Bruce said, it's a "song that explains what we're trying to do... not what we're trying to do -- what we're doing." And yeah, it nicely suggests the derring-do of this whole project, the adventure and risk and fun of it all, the Big Top feel of this huge band working every night without a net. We've certainly gotten our fair share of thrills and chills. Stay tuned for next leg dates as soon as they're announced... and in the meantime, don't forget you can watch a song from every show of this now-completed U.S. leg at AOL's 18 Nights of Bruce.
Setlist: American Land/John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/Long Black Veil/Jesse James/Long Time Comin'/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/Devils & Dust/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/The Man on the Flying Trapeze

June 24 / Holmdel, NJ / PNC Bank Arts Center
Notes: The homecoming stand begins with the first of two shows at the PNC, another one of those legendary nights when Bruce stopped the rain. But it had been raining all day, right up to the first song, and with a sold-out venue -- including a packed and muddy lawn -- there was a bit of a Woodstock vibe. "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" played over the P.A. before Bruce and the band came out to open the show again with "American Land." Also returning to the set was the slow-rolling "Maria's Bed," which Bruce played by request, pointing to a sign, and saying, "We did this one other time -- came out pretty good." Bruce opened the encore by himself once again -- a nice moment as he brought the mic stand out to the lip of the stage, as far as it could go, and planted it there for a solo "Bring Them Home" on acoustic and harmonica. But otherwise it was a particularly packed stage, with Patti back, Mark Clifford (the banjo player from the Seeger Sessions album) guesting on "My Oklahoma Home," and all six horn players part of the proceedings all night. The sold-out show had the box office overwhelmed, with a few hundred folks not in the door yet when the show started; we'll see what happens tonight, with an Irish Festival being held at the PNC until 6:00. Might wanna get there early!
Setlist: American Land/John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Atlantic City/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home (with Mark Clifford)/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Maria's Bed/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home/My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 22 / New York, NY / Madison Square Garden
Notes: "This is an immigrant song for New York City," Springsteen said before tonight's new opening number -- no, not a song off Led Zeppelin III, but at the moment we can't tell you exactly what it was, either. A new Springsteen song? More likely a traditional song with some new Springsteen lyrics. On the setlist as "American Land," it had a recurring refrain of "home in the American land," but it wasn't "He Lies in the American Land," despite that song's association with Pete Seeger and the similarity in title. Watch this space for more as we know it.... In any case, it was certainly a world premiere, an Irish reel with a Clancy Brothers/Tommy Makem feel to it; lyrically, a vivid portrait of the immigrant experience in the vein of Ry Cooder's "Across the Borderline." At the end, Bruce had one more dedication for it: "for all you travelers out there." All six tour horn players were featured, with Clark and Curt exiting after the opener and returning to the stage for "Poor Man" forward. Also returning to the fold was Patti Scialfa -- after the just-as-long-absent "If I Should Fall Behind," Bruce told the crowd, "She came out of semi-retirement to be here tonight!" During "Old Dan Tucker" Bruce held a sing-off between New York and New Jersey, but he said that this Madison Square Garden show was really a test for the band, playing for "bloodthirsty New Yorkers." And indeed, the crowd ran hot and cold. But here in the current hometown of the Max Weinberg 7, there was a particularly rabid response for the horns on songs like "Jesse James" and "Oklahoma Home," and "Jacob's Ladder" pulled 'em all in. In the encore, "Bring Them Home" was stripped down to feature Springsteen alone on harmonica and guitar, dedicated to Steve Earle. One really nice touch came at the end of "Pay Me My Money Down," when the person who came out to tell tuba player Art Baron "time to go" was not Bruce as usual, but Art's mother. And judging from his priceless reaction, it came as a very pleasant surprise -- quite a sentimental moment. More family and friends taking in the Garden show: Bruce's mother and aunts, Steven and Maureen Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Tim Russert (whose wife, Maureen Orth, wrote the Newsweek story in '75), and in the pit, Dave Marsh, Jon Landau, and Bill Flanagan.
Setlist: American Land/John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Atlantic City/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home/My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 20 / Camden, NJ / Camden Tweeter Waterfront Amphitheatre
Notes: For some sensitive folks, it was a show on the Jersey side... and for those on the other side, this was considered by many to be a Philly show. As Bruce put it, it was a "rumble in New Jersey!" for this sold-out, jam-packed concert. And no matter how you slice it, it was a special night, with both Southside Johnny -- "The Ghost of New Jersey!" -- and Joe Grushecky -- "The Ghost of Pittsburgh!" -- joining in the hootenanny. Back in his home turf, Bruce namechecked Walt Whitman and observed, "Leaves of Grass wasn't good enough"... you know you've made it "when you've had a service area named after you." The tour debut and full-band premiere of "Maria's Bed" was something of a let-down -- "train wreck," our previous descriptor, was too harsh, it was no disaster... but this sluggish, album-faithful version failed to ignite and put a drag on the show after a high-energy opening six-pack. The set closed in fine form with SSJ on harp and Joey G. wielding his axe on "Pay Me My Money Down," with Southside holding his own onstage at center mic throughout the whole set-ending shtick.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Atlantic City/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Maria's Bed/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Long Black Veil/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/Ramrod/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 19 / Saratoga, NY / Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Notes: As the tour stops in upstate New York, Bruce says, "We must be in folk country now... I know Pete's a couple hours away, and his ears must be ringing!" Though he didn't seem to recall it himself, Springsteen was returning to this venue after more than two decades, since early on the Born in the U.S.A. tour. Eric Eisenstein tells us: "I'll never forget July 27, 1984 at SPAC, where my license plates ("THE BOSS") were stolen during the show. Well, Bruce did give us 'Johnny 99' again after 22 years, the rains stopped just like on that day, and the show was as breathtaking as the one on that memorable day. Thank goodness some things never change." A big cheer for Albany in "Erie Canal," and "Buffalo Gals" (referring to the burg, not the beast) gets an earlier slot in the encore, right after "Bring Them Home." To great effect, it oughtta be said: "Gals" got everyone up and dancing, and it was a particularly fine version -- lots of solos, including an extended turn from Greg on banjo. See for yourself on AOL. "Long Time Comin'" drops out but "Further" stays in, with the first "Adam" since Columbus. No appearance from Pete himself, but Bruce took a sec before "We Shall Overcome" to observe his legacy of keeping these songs alive: "The beauty of a great song is in the detail. My good friend Jackson Browne said, 'The good songs, they stay written, for the greater good.'"
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Adam Raised a Cain/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Further On (Up the Road)/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 17 / Detroit, MI / DTE Energy Center
Notes: A beautiful, warm summer night -- looked pretty hot onstage, actually -- in the far north suburbs of Detroit. And well attended -- the pavilion was virtually full, with the biggest lawn crowd so far. "Hello, picnickers!" Bruce hollered. There was no pit tonight, but that didn't seem to have any real effect; the crowd was boisterous enough, and there was no need to call for any Detroit asses to get out of any Detroit seats. A very similar set to Cleveland, dropping "Into the Fire" but adding "Further On (Up the Road)" before "Long Time Comin'." The latter was again dedicated to son Evan, whereabouts unknown at first -- Bruce said he was probably asleep backstage, since them teenagers like to stay up all night -- but he came out after the song to bring his pop a a guitar. Patti remains absent, but when a fan called out for her, Bruce said she'd "be back soon." Speaking of moms, Dave Marsh's mother got a shout-out tonight, with a dedication of "We Shall Overcome." Detroit critic and friend-of-Backstreets Gary Graff has a review of the show and an interview with Charles Giordano.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Atlantic City/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Further On (Up the Road)/Long Time Comin'/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/Ramrod/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 16 / Cleveland, OH / Blossom Music Center
Notes: A nice outdoor venue -- all woody, with a lot of character, unlike Tinley Park's "big black box" -- and a pair of tour debuts in Cleveland. The first, "Long Time Comin'," sounded like they'd been playing it every night (maybe not surprising, considering it got about a dozen run-throughs at soundcheck). Of the Springsteen originals on this tour, this one sounded most like its recorded version -- arrangement-wise, there's no wheel to reinvent, since Bruce had never played it live with a band before. A regular tells us, "One of the best debut performances I've seen. Everything on this tour has its raggedness, but this fell into place very nicely. They all nailed it -- especially at the end, with the fiddles in harmony, an uplifting horn part, and soaring gospel vocals -- just beautiful." Bruce dedicated the song to his son Evan, who was in attendance: "Everyone should guard their daughters!" The other debut was the first solo performance of the tour, Springsteen on 12-string for "Into the Fire," as the band stood behind him on stage. He dedicated the song, honoring a request he received by letter, to Lance Cpl. Edward August Schroeder and the 3rd battalion, 25th Marine Regiment of Brook Park, Ohio, from Linda Herbkersman. That Battalion suffered major casualties last year -- including "Augie" Schroeder, 20 died in Iraq in a matter of days. "You can forget the names, you can forget the faces," Bruce said, "But when it's your son or daughter, you never forget the loss." Before "Bring Them Home," which got another great round of applause, Springsteen gave a plug to the local food bank as usual, adding that a local anti-death penalty group had a table set up as well: "Whatever your beliefs, you should stop and see what they have to say." When someone in the crowd yelled, "Kill the killers!" Bruce shot back, "That kind of stupidity gets us nowhere. You, my friend, should be the first at the table."
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Atlantic City/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Long Time Comin'/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/Into the Fire/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/Ramrod/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 14 / Milwaukee, WI / Bradley Center
Notes: As I wrote after Chicago, this thing of ours keeps getting better, and tonight continued the trend. While the atmosphere may have lacked something for moving indoors, a riled-up crowd fed the band, and you could practically feel the wind blow -- they were on. An intense "Atlantic City" was a highlight once again, powerful like a locomotive. Bruce's guitar crapped out at the beginning of "Jesse James," right after taking over from Greg's banjo intro, but he turned down Kevin Buell's offer of another, unslung the dead one, and said "We don't need it anyway!" Springsteen did the rest of the song hands-free, throwing himself into the vocal -- and throwing great solos to Marty Rifkin on dobro, Sam Bardfeld on fiddle, and the mighty horns. "Cadillac Ranch" came back in after a lengthy break, if only for the inevitable cheer on the "Wisconsin night" line, but it sounded smooth and well-rested. Another highlight was a second stab at "Further On (Up the Road)," debuted last night in Chicago, and it sounded even better tonight. For all the remarkable recasting of this song -- melodically, stylistically, penny-whistley and otherwise -- what really sticks with me are the simple solo vocal turns from Cindy, Marc, Lisa, Curtis and Frank, voices we rarely get to hear so clearly above the din. It may be on a different emotional plane, but it makes me think of the reunion tour's version of "If I Should Fall Behind," that feeling that everyone here matters, everybody plays their part. (And they can sing -- Frank included, who knew?) Heading into the encore, Bruce delivered a special PSA regarding the upcoming November vote on bringing capital punishment back to Wisconsin: "The death penalty was abolished here 153 years ago -- strange that it would be reinstated... one thinks politics might be involved!" He encouraged folks to be vigilant, not to be "suckered," and to "keep your eyes on that issue." That led into "My City of Ruins," which, honestly, I felt like I didn't need to hear again and started to tune out for a sec... but with the horns on board and an incredible building gospel vocal, this one shook me right back awake. When it finished, my pop turned to me and said, "That's about as good as I've heard that tune." And I can't argue. Getting ready to roll out a barrell of fun with "Ramrod," Bruce started talking about the polka -- but I missed most of it due to some dude yelling "Are you loose?!" over and over in my ear. Once was fun. Okay, pal, so you know your history... but the Milwaukee Bomb Scare show was more than 30 years ago now; I bet that particular buzz has worn off. Then again, the band was loose in the best of ways all night, and Bruce proceeded to blow a chorus in "Ramrod," jumping to the key change too soon, so maybe this guy was onto something. And the way Mark Pender is able to rock that "Ramrod" trumpet solo down front, you'd think he was on some performance enhancing drugs. So -- a beaut of a show; sadly, probably my last of the leg, but it's good to end on a high, and of course I'll continue to keep bringing the reports your way courtesy of our intrepid reporters in the field.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Atlantic City/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Further On (Up the Road)/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 13 / Tinley Park, IL / First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Notes: A beautiful Chicago night, my first show since DC, and this thing just keeps getting better and better. First of all, you've got Bruce playing so hard he rubs his hand raw -- he had to call for a masking tape wrap after the "John Henry"/"O Mary" openers. And then move on to some knockout songs I hadn't heard yet -- like the complete overhaul of "Atlantic City," which has been a nightly staple since Indy. It starts with banjo and Bruce on some lead acoustic guitar, before Larry Eagle's booming bass drum brings the whole band crashing in with a barrage of sound; by the end, we've got gospel vocals calling out "meet me tonight" over and over, with a "li li li" refrain. As with all of the originals on this tour, it's a completely different take on the song, and a real marvel. "Long Black Veil" was a new one for me as well, a vocal harmony tour de force with the second verse sung by the always-welcome Marc Anthony Thompson. And then there's the one no one had heard before (unless you were lucky enough to catch the extensive work on it at the St. Paul soundcheck). Those magic words "This is a song we haven't quite worked out yet -- let's give it a shot" introduced the tour debut of "Further On (Up the Road)." Again, a total revamp, with a completely different melody. Bruce and the band gave this Rising song an Irish lilt, thanks in great part to Art Baron trading in his tuba for the flute. "Art is king of the highest instrument and the lowest instrument in the band," says Bruce, "He's known as Art Hi-Lo." Spotlight on Cindy Mizell's beautiful vocal to kick it off, and by the end of the song we also got solo vocal turns from Marc, Lisa, Curtis, and Frank. "Further On" still needs a little work, as Bruce suggested, but it's a great addition to the set, and further stunning evidence of this band's capacity for reinvention. Along those lines, "Oklahoma Home" continued in the new arrangement Bruce tried out in St. Paul, adding some nice dynamic variation with a sparser, solo beginning before building to that crazy Dixieland horn business. "Erie Canal," the only time I thought previous shows dragged, dropped out tonight -- so at this point I'd be hard pressed to find a low point. Larry's mama, in the crowd tonight, must have been proud.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Atlantic City/Old Dan Tucker/Further On (Up the Road)/Jesse James/Johnny 99/Eyes on the Prize/My Oklahoma Home/Long Black Veil/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals


- 6/11/06, St. Paul - Tony Nelson photo

June 11 / St. Paul, MN / Xcel Arena
Notes: A later start, after 8:30, but good things come to those who wait, and it was a great night in the Twin Cities. The Star Tribune's Jon Bream -- who has seen his fair share of Bruce shows -- writes, "I haven't seen Springsteen seeming so refreshed and having so much fun since I first saw him in a New York club in 1975 a month before his landmark Born to Run album was released." Always fine tunin', Springsteen made noticeable tweaks to "Open All Night" and "Pay Me My Money Down." (He also might have tweaked his back along the way -- longtime sports columnist Sid Hartman writes that Bruce called on his old pal and pro wrestler Jim Brunzell to help work on it.) "O Mary" moved to the opening slot it last had in DC, and "Long Black Veil" gots its first airing since Europe. The well-rested "Buffalo Gals" also returned to close the show, with Bruce telling the St. Paul crowd, "Thanks for taking a chance on us." Seems like a strange thing to hear coming from the stage at a Springsteen show -- yes, this tour is clearly a different animal, and Bruce knows it. But it was those in the crowd who were the most grateful, including an especially positive reaction for "Bring Them Home."
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Atlantic City/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Johnny 99/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Long Black Veil/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

June 10 / Des Moines, IA / Wells Fargo Arena
Notes: Bruce finds himself in Des Moines at the same time as the World Pork Expo, the source of a good deal of amusement. "Kind of like coming to New Jersey while there's a Mafia convention going on," he says, "or the Polluter's Ball!" Mark Pender got a chance to shine tonight (as if he didn't every night), being from nearby Kansas City, with his mother in the crowd. Bruce made sure to point her out, and he threw "The Loveman" the solo in "When the Saints Go Marching In," a nice moment. No Patti again, and a similar set to the last show Concord, substituting "City of Ruins" for "Bring Them Home," and dropping "Froggie." What, no Des Moines kids got the memo about bringing a stuffed animal? Well, a plush pig wouldn't have quite the same effect anyway.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Atlantic City/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In


6/6/06, Concord - www.margaretkayphoto.com

June 6 / Concord, CA / Sleep Train Pavilion
Notes: "Good evening, sinners... and Concordians!" Rumor had it that Springsteen got lost on the way to this far-flung suburb of San Francisco, behind the brown hills of the East Bay. "Where the fuck are we?" he asked before "John Henry." No Patti tonight (maybe she would have made him stop to ask for directions.) Bruce eventually concluded, "Now that I know where this is, I will return. I don't know when, but I will return." Joan Baez got a roar from the Bay Area crowd -- and that was just when she took her seat before the show. She later took the stage (along with another guest, Bruce's nephew Nicky on guitar) for "Pay Me My Money Down." The other notable in the main set was a rare and powerful "Devils & Dust." We'd like to think it was a nod to the show date of 6/6/06 (and she show took place in the shadow of Mount Diablo, too -- seriously!), but as the song was paired nicely with "Mrs. McGrath," Bruce probably had something else in mind. The encore stretched out to six songs for the first time, with another "Froggie" audible brought on by another stuffed frog, this time for Arielle: "How old are you? Nine? Well, this song is 497 years older than you." Word of just how good these shows are seems to be spreading... or maybe it's just that, with only two shows on the entire West Coast, fans have had to flock in from anywhere even close. But Jon Greer tells us: "I thought the crowd was younger and more demographically diverse than recent past Bruce shows. It seemed like a genuinely hot ticket compared to the recent past, when he seemed to be mainly drawing the faithful. I didn't realize how hard the show rocked -- I knew it would be typical Bruce in terms of length, but I was surprised by how relatively loud and driving the show was. I'm tellin' ya, he should have called it Bruce Springsteen and the Wall of Folk."
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Atlantic City/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down (w/ Joan Baez and "Cousin Nicky")
Encore:
Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/Ramrod/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/Froggie Went A Courtin'/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 5 / Los Angeles, CA / Greek Theatre
Notes: Brother Springsteen's traveling salvation show comes to the Greek Theatre, home of Hot August Night, and Bruce gave the Los Angelenos (including his pal Tom Hanks) a hard time, saying he's almost afraid to ask them to sing along: "you're too cool to sing, with your white stretch Humvees..." And before "Ramrod" he mentioned that the song required "audience participation... though I'm skeptical about that." But Bruce had a unique treat in store for his '90s home away from home, as "Professor" Roy Bittan came out for "Pay Me My Money Down" (making this the second show in a row with an E Street guest). Bruce called for a Professor solo -- and liked it so much he had him do it again. Coming down to the front of the stage with Charlie Giordano, Springsteen shouted, "Look Charlie, I don't believe it -- they're up and dancing!" As the rest of the band filed out to end the song, Roy kept playing along with the drums and tuba; after Bruce dragged Larry and Art away, it was just the Professor all by himself, banging it out on the old upright. Bruce hung out next to the piano with a huge grin on his face, yelling stuff at Roy off mic, and for the big finish Bruce played the last chord along with him, dragging his elbow down the keyboard. A truly special moment. Also taking advantage of the L.A. setting, Springsteen implored any record execs in the house (and there were plenty) to sign Chocolate Genius and get those records out. "It's the least I can do!" "Rag Mama Rag" dropped out, but "Atlantic City" stayed in for the third night running, with a "li, li, li" refrain borrowed from "Brothers Under the Bridge ('83)."
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Atlantic City/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

June 5 / Burbank, CA / NBC Studios
Notes: Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, taped in the afternoon before the Greek Theatre show.
Setlist: How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?

June 3 / Phoenix, AZ / Glendale Arena
Notes: As Springsteen goes West, the tour moves inside for the first time on this leg. On a 112-degree day in Phoenix, he jokes that next time he'll make sure to play outside so everyone will be more comfortable. As in Indy, "Atlantic City" opens the show, with Bruce himself taking an impressive solo -- rarer on this tour, with so many other musicians to get those spotlight turns. Changes from Indy were "Bring Them Home" replacing "Froggie," and an audible adding to the encore with a spontaneous "Ramrod" before "Rag Mama Rag." Some competition from the NBA playoffs tonight, and more than a few eyeballs were glued to TVs in the concession areas; no mention of the Suns' season-ending loss from the stage, but though only about half-full, the arena was the perfect place to chase the blues away. And a special guest: Arizona resident E Streeter Nils Lofgren was in the house, joining the band to sing and strum on "Pay Me My Money Down."
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

May 31 / Indianapolis, IN / Verizon Amphitheatre
Notes: The show opens with one of Springsteen's own tunes for the first time, the tour premiere of "Atlantic City." Different from any previous arrangement, this one sounded like it would have fit perfectly on the Seeger Sessions album. A second premiere came midway through the night, as "Froggie Went a Courtin'" was played for a seven-year-old boy, front and center, holding out a stuffed frog. Observed Bruce: "I think we have a request here!" Musicians nodded as he checked to make sure everyone was up for the debut, laughing, "I love the false confidence from the band!" The boy, whose name was River -- "I could do that one too!" Bruce teased -- got a harmonica afterwards. With tonight's "Froggie," "Shenandoah" is the only yet-unplayed song from the new record. The Band's "Rag Mama Rag" had its second performance; Bruce said, "Last night it was like a big carnival ride," and tonight it was a big hit in the encore once again. But rarities aside, the high point of the show is still Bruce's reworking of the Depression-era anthem "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" -- a horn-heavy powerhouse of a protest song, for folks tired of comin' out on the losin' end. As one Indy showgoer told us tonight, "He needs to get that on iTunes right now."
Setlist: Atlantic City/John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Froggie Went A Courtin'/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

May 30 / Columbus, OH / Germain Amphitheatre
Notes: A humid night and a sparse crowd in Columbus, and with a tiny G.A. area, the stage seemed almost as crowded as the pit. But as Bruce said while gearing up for the audience participation of "Old Dan Tucker": "We are not great in numbers, but we are mighty!" And it was, by several accounts, a mightier show than DC. "Bring Them Home" moved to the main set for a strong Memorial Day pairing with "Mrs. McGrath," and "My City of Ruins" was back in the opening encore slot. What followed "My City" was the big surprise of the night, as Bruce intro'd a song by J.R. Robertson (why does that name ring a bell?) and said "We ain't never played this one before." Turned out to be a cover of the Robbie Robertson-penned "Rag Mama Rag," from The Band's 1970 self-titled album. From their work with Dylan on The Basement Tapes to their own unique fusion of traditional musical styles, The Band were modern godfathers and propagators of this kind of eclectic Americana, clear forerunners to what Springsteen is bringing to the stage every night. So tonight's world premiere was a very appropriate tip of the hat -- and a rocking one at that, pretty true to The Band's original. After that was a new bit of shtick: earlier on the tour Bruce had laughed that they were playing everything but the kitchen sink on this tour, and one of these nights they'd have to actually bring a kitchen sink. We figured he was kidding. But tonight, that's exactly what they did. Drummer Larry Eagle bashed away on some dishware, and Bruce told him to take it easy: "Patti's gonna kill me if we bust those fucking plates!" Patti herself was absent tonight, and as a result so was the scat portion of "Open All Night." Can't say it didn't work better without it. "Buffalo Gals" didn't come out tonight, and neither did "Ramrod" -- both were listed as possibles after "When the Saints Go Marching In," but a venue curfew cut the night short at 20 songs. But a tremendous show, and a reminder, if anyone needed one, that Springsteen gives it his all no matter how full the house.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Adam Raised a Cain/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Rag Mama Rag/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

May 28 / Bristow, VA / Nissan Pavilion
Notes: "Good evening, sinners!" Springsteen hollered at the DC-area stop of his traveling sin & salvation roadshow. Like the previous opening night in Boston, the Seeger Sessions tour was blessed with a beautiful night for this outdoor amphitheatre concert, as Bruce noted: "It's nice to play outside! I always played inside, just so the wind wouldn't mess up my hair.... It's a good, still night -- a good hair night." Not that he seemed very concerned with mussing it up, as the night was once again all about making noise and having fun. "You have exactly 20 seconds to rise from those seats," he shouted as the intro to "John Henry" built up steam, adding, "I warned you!" as the crowd leapt to its feet and the song exploded into the verse. "This is a night for dancin' and some singin'," he said before "Old Dan Tucker," chuckling, "amongst many other things." One of those other things was a timely reminder of our soldiers overseas (who we were already thinking of during "Mrs. McGrath"), as he said "We'll send this one out special for Memorial Day" before an encore of "Bring Them Home." Here on the outskirts of Washington there were no jabs at the White House, no partisan politics, just lyrics that rang clear and true -- If you love this land of the free / Bring 'em home, bring 'em home / Bring them back from overseas -- a first verse which raised such a cheer from the crowd that Bruce had to pause and take a step back to let it die down before continuing. On the lighter side, he offered some marriage advice before that beautiful new waltz arrangement of "If I Should Fall Behind." "It took me 20 years and many mistakes" to figure it out, he said, noting, "I'm getting dirty looks [from Patti] already... I'm speaking extemporaneously here -- always very dangerous on this subject." The advice was this: "When Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy. When Mama happy... everybody's happy. That's all you need to know! You can put all those books away." "Ramrod" was sent out to guitarist Frank Bruno’s dad -- the original "Cousin Frankie” -- and to sis Christine on her birthday, too. And my favorite line of the night came in "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)," just scratching at the way this tour distills and compresses more than a century of music and history: "What can a poor boy do but play in a ragtime band?"

Not having made it over to Europe, last night was my first show since the Asbury rehearsals. And it’s come a long way, baby. Without losing an ounce of the fun that was the hallmark of those nights at Convention Hall, the show has been refined, arrangements nailed down, transitions smoothed out, backup singers given more chance to shine. What we like to call "Mystery Cadillac," that mash-up of "Cadillac Ranch" and "Mystery Train," is finally running smoothly on its rails. The power of the group vocals -- whether blasting out on "Jesse James" or swelling on "We Shall Overcome" -- is stunning. But none of it's so polished as to lose the charm of rough edges that's part of making music on the fly -- the continuing revelatory aspect of the show. And on the bigger stage with a bigger crowd, there's more a sense of the familiar, too, with Springsteen swaggering across the rim and working the people into a frenzy. Yeah, folks were into it last night: swing dancing in the pit to that "Chicken Shack Boogie" arrangement of "Open All Night" (another one that has come into its own, now a real showstopper); continuing to sing "Pay Me My Money Down" unaccompanied until Bruce had to come back and conduct it to a close to start the encore. Is that what it feels like in a European crowd? I'm sure you Europeans would laugh and beg to differ, but to these eyes and ears it was a great surprise to be surrounded by such a fired-up crowd in Northern Virgina on this tour.

On this tour -- let's talk about that for a sec. I've heard so much chatter about how some shows aren't selling out, and what that might mean.... Well, for one thing, it means that fans who should be there, who would have a blast, may not know what they're missing. For anyone who has traveled to more than one show on previous tours in hopes of catching something fresh and new, here's an entire show of fresh and new -- and as one buddy of mine said, half of it gives you chills. On the upside and flipside, as a couple people told me last night with a big grin, it means that tickets are that much easier for the rest of us. True. But I can't help feeling that, for every unsold seat or every unclaimed spot on the lawn, there's someone waiting for a moment that just don't come, while missing the chance to see a liberated Springteen, clearly having the time of his life (hell, find someone on stage who isn't!) doing a 180 from the Devils & Dust tour with a raucous, shout-along, musically overpowering hootenanny. But what it doesn't mean -- as I found myself thinking and fearing between shows -- is that people who are there aren't having a blast. Man, what a feeling to turn around in the pit -- as you might look around in an arena during an E Street Band houselights-up version of "Born to Run" -- and see what looks like an endless sea of people stretching to high on the hill, Virginia asses out of their Virginia seats, all with their hands in the air, all singing along, just like a... well, like a Springsteen show. What'dja expect?
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/If I Should Fall Behind/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

May 27 / Boston, MA / Tweeter Center
Notes: After a ten-city European tour, Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band return to the States to play to a typically fine Boston audience -- "A great way to start off the American leg," Bruce said, "Every crowd should be like this!" The band's first U.S. date since their stunning turn at Jazzfest in New Orleans nearly a month ago finds them even tighter, and as the confidence level has risen, songs have stretched out with more solos. Patti was back on stage tonight after bowing out of Europe early, signifying the number of shows she missed with just four wiggling fingers. What we've thought of as the European horn section was still part of the proceedings tonight, too; Mark Pender and LaBamba joined in halfway through to bring the horn count to six -- and, with their style and power, helped raise the energy level for the show's back half. A six-song encore began with the first U.S. performance of "Bring Them Home," which debuted in Paris, played tonight specifically with Memorial Day in mind. It took the place of "My City of Ruins," dropped for the first time on tour. Another surprise in the encore, per tradition, was the just-for-Boston special, "Dirty Water." Local showgoers have been treated to this Standells classic regularly on recent tours, from the E Street garage stomp version at the Fleet Center and Fenway Park, to Bruce's solo voice-and-harp holler on the Devils & Dust tour. It was given a different twist with this new band tonight, of course, but the more things change the more they stay the same -- old pal Peter Wolf was on hand once again for this one, staying on stage as "Dirty Water" moved right into "Buffalo Gals" and adding ad libs about a "redheaded girl."
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Dirty Water (w/ Peter Wolf)/Buffalo Gals (w/ Peter Wolf)

May 21 / Stockholm, Sweden / Hovet Arena
Notes: With the surviving members of Led Zeppelin in town to accept the Polar Music Prize (an honor Springsteen received in 1997), Jimmy Page was in the house for the Stockholm show. Alas, Bruce didn't seize the moment and bring him up for "When the Levee Breaks" -- Page stayed in the crowd. (Heartbreaker, huh?) But he surely didn't stay in his seat, as this European tour-closer had everyone fired up, on stage and off. A Whole Lotta Love from the enthusiastic crowd, a contrast to the previous night in Oslo as Bruce hinted, joking, "I don’t have to mention any names...." It was a longer set, giving No Quarter at 22 songs and over two-and-a-half hours. And while most of the Songs Remained the Same, Bruce worked in a few of the rarities from this leg: "Bring Them Home," "Long Black Veil," and "Adam Raised a Cain" (introduced as "an old song written by a very old man"). Springsteen gave a special Thank You to his Friends in Sweden and noted how long it's been Since I've Been Loving You: "This is the 31st year we’ve been coming here," he said fondly, adding that since he's only 30 years old, "It’s a true miracle!" Of the European tour as a whole: "We had a wonderful time the past three weeks. I wish it could have been twice as long." Sounds like he'll be doing something about that come the fall, with more Dancing Days ahead for Europe... for now, he's gonna Bring It on Home. Next: U.S. fans, Your Time is Gonna Come: No more Over the Hills and Far Away... Springsteen and the band take a Night Flight back across the Ocean to start the U.S. leg in Boston this Saturday. (And of course, soon after that, they're Going to California.) Hot Dog, We're Gonna Groove!
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Adam Raised a Cain/Long Black Veil/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

May 20 / Oslo, Norway / Spektrum Arena
Notes: Springsteen got to town on May 18, just missing Norway's National Day on the 17th, as he told the audience. Having relaxed in Oslo for a couple days -- in fact, they were all in town long enough that some of the band (sans Bruce) scratched a jamming itch at a downtown blues bar, The Muddy Waters -- Bruce was in fine form and great spirits. The crowd took some coaxing, but he finally "got those Norwegian asses off those Norwegian seats!" with "Jacob's Ladder" in particular revving things up. After skipping Norway on the Devils & Dust tour, Bruce made up for it in Oslo by giving them a special taste of that title track as a tour premiere. "Some anti-war songs are new and some are old... this one's new," he told the crowd, then followed "Devils & Dust" immediately with the nearly 200-year-old "Mrs. McGrath." And perhaps a taste of things to come: "My Father's House" was in the soundcheck.
Setlist: Old Dan Tucker/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/John Henry/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

May 17 / Frankfurt, Germany / Festhalle
Notes: Springsteen has clearly found a set he likes, with the same songs as Amsterdam, just the first four songs shuffled. Frequent German guest Wolfgang Niedecken joins in for "Buffalo Gals," the new show-closer now for four nights running.
Setlist: Old Dan Tucker/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/John Henry/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Long Black Veil/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

May 16 / Amsterdam, Netherlands / Heineken Music Hall
Notes: Includes "Long Black Veil."
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Long Black Veil/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

May 14 / Badalona, Spain / Pavelló Olímpic
Notes: As we've all seen on DVD, a "live in Barcelona" Springsteen performance is bound to bring out a devoted, animated crowd. Not to be outdone by the Italians, Spanish fans on Sunday night loudly sang "Pay Me My Money Down" -- before the show even started! And of course, they kept up the crazy for the duration of the show -- like Milan, a 21-song set with "Ramrod" in the encore and "Buffalo Gals" to close; the significant setlist change was "Adam Raised a Cain" in for "Cadillac Ranch." On this Mother's Day, Bruce dedicated "If I Should Fall Behind" to wife Patti, this Barcelona show apparently being her last of the European leg. At the end of the night, the Spanish fans got a beautiful reward -- as in Italy, Bruce announced that he'd be back in the fall.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Adam Raised a Cain/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

May 12 / Milan, Italy / Forum
Notes: Bruce has often talked about the audience and performer being "in concert," and if ever there was a tour that truly benefits from audience participation, this is it. Welcome to Milan! Springsteen's visits to the Motherland always bring nights to remember, and this one, with a typically passionate Italian audience, was no exception. Annalena Mainardi tells us it was "a real blast! Bruce was absolutely at ease with all our singing and interacting with all songs -- many times he had to hush us in order to start the following song... but he did it smiling!" With Bruce and the crowd taking each other higher, one regular show-goer (fresh from the Manchester, London, and Paris stops), puts this one in his top ten Bruce shows of all time. Some setlist-shuffling at the beginning, opening with "Jesse James," but bigger surprises came in the encore. Bruce debuted a "Texicali" arrangement of "Ramrod": "the first time... and the last if it stinks!" "Buffalo Gals" closed the show as a semi-audible, listed on the handwritten setlist with a question mark, and gave the Italians one more vocal chord workout as the show continued past "Saints" for the first time. And perhaps the biggest smiles came from these five words: "See you in the fall!" In case anyone thought they misheard, Springsteen repeated and even translated that mouthwatering promise: "Ci vediamo in autunno!"
Setlist: Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/John Henry/Eyes on the Prize/Old Dan Tucker/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/Buffalo Gals

May 10 / Paris, France / Palais Bercy
Notes: A world premiere tonight: echoing his "bring 'em home" sentiment from this year's Grammys, Springsteen broke out Pete Seeger's "Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)" in the encore. In 2003, Seeger updated his Vietnam-era anti-war song for a re-recording with Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco and Steve Earle, available on Appleseed Recordings' Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. III -- follow that link to listen to the song via Real Audio. You can also hear Seeger talking about the song on NPR.org as a "Web Extra." Back to the show: the waltz arrangement of "If I Should Fall Behind" had its first tour performance, after a few workouts at the Asbury rehearsals. And for "Buffalo Gals," somehow they found room on that packed stage for two more, as both Elliott Murphy and Garland Jeffreys joined in.
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Buffalo Gals (w/ Elliott Murphy and Garland Jeffreys)/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)/When the Saints Go Marching In

May 9 / London, England / St. Lukes Church
Notes: Not a bad spot for the Seeger Sessions Band's brand of gospel: this show was recorded for the BBC at St. Luke's, an 18th Century church restored by the London Symphony Orchestra as an intimate concert hall. "If they were attempting to give this the atmosphere of a country hoe-down in a village hall, then they more than succeeded," Peter Raymond tells us, "but the sheer exuberance and quality of the performance set it way apart from any local jamboree I've ever been to." BBC DJ Johnny Walker greeted "the luckiest 300 people in the world" -- many of them BBC contest winners, with Emmylou Harris, Stephen Merchant, and the Old Grey Whistle Test's Bob Harris also spotted -- before bringing on Bruce and the band. Springsteen quickly dismissed the riotous applause by joking, "you just practiced that -- it doesn't count!" Bruce and the band set aside original material to focus on the Seeger Sessions songs (plus the "Poor Man" centerpiece) from the main set. "How Can I Keep From Singing" went on despite the fact that "We forgot to bring that friggin' organ... we can't let that stop us, can we?" With retakes of "O Mary" and "Mrs. McGrath," the performance lasted 80 minutes, ending promptly after a rousing "Pay Me My Money Down" finale (and despite a persistent audience chanting for more). Nick Corr tells us: "Given it was meant to be a media showcase performance, I thought Bruce and the Band played a storming show, enahnced by the much smaller venue and closer environment... the entire crowd was well into the vibe, which the band seemed to pick up on and play off -- so despite the shorter set, it was the best of the three UK shows I witnessed. If the recording picked up even half the magic of the performance, it should be a fantastic radio and TV broadcast on the BBC!" BBC Radio 2's Sold on Song program will air on this Saturday, May 13, at 9 p.m., to be followed by the TV special on BBC 4 (May 19, 10 p.m.) and BBC 2 (May 20, 11:30 p.m).
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/How Can I Keep From Singing/Mrs. McGrath/Mrs. McGrath/My Oklahoma Home/Jacob's Ladder/O Mary Don't You Weep/We Shall Overcome/Pay Me My Money Down

May 8 / London, England / Hammersmith Apollo Theatre
Notes: "Finally, London is ready for Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band!"... as, three decades on, Bruce returns to the site of his first UK shows for Born to Run. The tour premiere of "Long Black Veil" as an ad-lib after "Cadillac Ranch" makes this the longest set yet. Although the crowd knew the "Mystery Train" chorus to "Cadillac Ranch," Bruce seemed not to want to risk a poor response two nights running. But the crowd was really up for this show, with plenty of singing along, and the smaller, more intimate venue certainly helped. The "blowed away" response in the chorus to "My Oklahoma Home" nearly knocked Bruce back, and "Open All Night" (love the swing version) and "Pay Me My Money Down" were raucous as hell. Bruce is so relaxed and obviously enjoying himself -- there seems to be no pressure. He referred to his previous visit here twice during the concert: an opening mention of the venue seeming familiar, and a lengthy speech before "Saints" about how each show has its memories and ghosts, and how good it was to be playing here again 30 years later. This was a stunning show. With apologies to Jon Landau, I have seen the future of folk/gospel/jazz/blues/rock 'n' roll/soul/rockabilly fusion and its name is Bruce Springsteen. In the audience: former Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke.
-report by Nick Mays

Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Long Black Veil/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/How Can I Keep From Singing?/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

May 7 / Manchester, England / Manchester Evening News Arena
Notes: "How Can I Keep From Singing," one of the DualDisc's bonus tracks, premiered in Manchester, a near-acapella performance lead off by Patti Scialfa. And returning to the set after "we fucked this up so bad back in Asbury we haven't been back to it since" was "Cadillac Ranch," replacing "Adam Raised a Cain" on the handwritten setlist. While it was a rowdy, boozy crowd, that didn't carry over to the sing-along on this one... after calling for crowd participation on the "Mystery Train" chorus, Bruce observed, "That was miserable -- we need some professional help!" But you can't say the crowd wasn't into the party in general; they made up for the sing-along in "Pay Me My Money Down" at the end of the set, and for "Old Dan Tucker" four songs in, as Bruce put it, "The stage has just been rushed to a 150-year-old song!" "If I Should Fall Behind" (not played) was an alternate for "My City of Ruins" on the setlist. And good news for nosebleed ticketholders -- the Man in Black was back, filling up the front row!
Setlist: John Henry/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/How Can I Keep From Singing?/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

May 5 / Dublin, Ireland / The Point
Notes: A spirited European tour opener has the well-rehearsed Seeger Sessions Band firing on all cylinders. As one showgoer tells us, "This really rocks, flows, smacks... and the horns and the beautiful fiddle from Soozie, pure magic... lovely, just lovely!" In the home of "Mrs. McGrath," an Irish folksong "known from a Dublin broadside of 1815," according to Dave Marsh's liner notes (and a song which, coincidentally enough, happens to mention today's date), Bruce offers the correct Irish pronunciation of "McGraw." Setlist-wise, he re-expanded the trimmed-down set from New Orleans for a two-and-a-quarter-hour show, slipping "Adam Raised a Cain" and "Erie Canal" back into an otherwise identical line-up. Hey, if it ain't broke...
Speaking to David McCullagh in Dublin for RTE, Springsteen talked about the Irish influence on this music: "That's where it came from! So we're excited about coming and starting in Dublin for that very reason -- those influences are all through the whole night. Watch interview and performance footage here. Of the show, McCullagh tells Backstreets: "More fun than I've had with my clothes on. I had my doubts about the whole Seeger thing, but those doubts have been taken out, stomped on a good few times, and told never to come back to Buffalo."
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Adam Raised a Cain/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In


May 2 / Asbury Park, NJ / The Stone Pony
Notes: How's this for a gear shifter: just a couple days after he played to 70,000, providing a spiritual lift to New Orleans, Springsteen was back in Asbury Park, playing to a crowd a fraction (of a fraction) of the size and providing a financial lift for his kids' school. Completely different set with a completely different band. Yes, it was Rumson Country Day School Benefit time again tonight, Springsteen's fifth annual shindig for RCDS parents and teachers at the Stone Pony. Now there's a teaching job with fringe benefits -- though with Bruce's kids just about gradumacated, this will likely be the last, as he mentioned a few times during the show. Backed again by Bobby Bandiera's band, who played a couple numbers before Bruce took the stage for the dear departed Wilson Pickett's "634-5789," Springsteen played a mix of originals and covers very similar to last year's set. Patti Scialfa's absence tonight necessitated some changes: Bruce added "From Small Things," brought back the wonderful "Sugar Sugar" from 2003, and broke out a full "Detroit Medley." But Southside Johnny was on hand for "The Fever" and "This Time It's For Real" -- and to yell "I hated school!" -- and once again the show closed with a stagefull of attendees for "Twist and Shout."
Setlist: 634-5789/Talk to Me/Seven Nights to Rock/Two Hearts/Spirit in the Night/Rendezvous/From Small Things/All That Heaven Will Allow/Sugar Sugar/Further On (Up the Road)/Waitin' on a Sunny Day/The Fever (with Southside Johnny)/This Time It's For Real (with Southside Johnny)/Darlington County/Seaside Bar Song/Stand on It/Shake/Tenth Avenue Freeze-out/Detroit Medley (inc. "Devil with the Blue Dress," "Good Golly, Miss Molly," "C.C. Rider," and "Jenny Take a Ride")/Twist and Shout



- Joseph Kubon photo

April 30 / New Orleans, LA / JazzFest
Notes: Quite an important night for Springsteen -- when's the last time he really had to prove himself to an audience? Closing out the first weekend of the New Orelans Jazz & Heritage Festival, following Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, it was to a decidedly non-partisan crowd; Bruce wasn't preaching to the choir for the first time in a long time, he had a brand new band to boot, and this their first non-rehearsal show. The Seeger Sessions Band was a 20-piece crew again tonight, with all six horns, and as one longtime fan told us -- fascinated to watch them win over the non-Bruce crowd -- "they sold some records tonight!" Yes, on this humid New Orleans evening, Bruce and his band more than met the challenge, playing the sun into the ground for a two-hour set that had the slow-to-come-along crowd eventually eating out of the palm of his hand. Springsteen was up against the Meters, perhaps the quintessential JazzFest band -- so it's a good thing he turned in a quintessential performance, one which demonstrated exactly why he's got that legendary live rep. Calls of "blow'd away!" came from the audience during "My Oklahoma Home," but it was "Jacob's Ladder" that was probably the turning point when he took control of the crowd. By the encore, he was egging them on as if it were the second false ending of "Badlands." "I ain't feeling the love!" Bruce cried, and the untrained audience poured it on. Earlier in the show, in a quip before show highlight "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?," he dedicated the song to "President Bystander." Springsteen also talked about getting to town the previous day and heading down to the lower 9th: "I saw some things I never thought I'd see in an American city." The emotional "My City of Ruins" that began the encore might as well have been written on that visit; during the song, the whole packed fairgrounds field had hands in the air. Bruce was clearly touched by the spontaneous reaction from this particular crowd; you could see it on his face, and he stepped to the mic and said, "Yes, yes, yes... Yes, yes, yes." "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)," the last of only four originals of the night and an obscure one at that, had 'em all going nuts and singing along. And closing the show, naturally, was "When the Saints Go Marching In." Bruce talked about going through an old songbook and finding some verses he hadn't known existed, said they'd play the song "even though there are 100 bands in the city that can do it better than we can," and dedicated the performance to the city of New Orleans. A night to be proud you're a fan. Yes, yes, yes.
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/My Oklahoma Home/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

April 26 / Asbury Park, NJ / Convention Hall
Notes: The fourth and final rehearsal show opened with the debut of a stunning "Long Black Veil," sounding pretty faithful to The Band's rendition; Bruce brought "Adam Raised a Cain" back to the set, dropping "Jesse James," "Erie Canal," and "When the Saints Go Marching In." Closing the show in place of "Saints" was another debut: "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze." (Seriously. Think "Wild Billy's Circus Story" meets Tom Waits.) But not everything was done with the greatest of ease at this 5:30 show: the lower-energy crowd wasn't quite as "in concert" with the performers (chalk that up to the matinee timing, perhaps), and "Cadillac Ranch" was a Mystery Trainwreck. "We needed to fuck up!" said Bruce after that one, suggesting better now than later -- this was still a rehearsal, after all. And with that out of their system, and the rehearsing behind them, this is a band that's primed and ready for their big New Orleans debut this Sunday.

In a new Associated Press story, Springsteen looks ahead to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and says, "We're rehearsing, but we're also thinking, 'What do you want to say to those folks?'" And indeed, throughout these rehearsals, it's been clear to the preview audiences that thoughts of New Orleans hover over the whole proceedings. That begins with the sound itself, which embraces musical traditions from the Crescent City -- in Asbury, Bruce mentioned his band's "debt to that melting pot of R&B and jazz." But it extends to the show's topicality, too. "There's a lot of music we have that cuts right to the heart of what's going on there," Bruce told the Associated Press. "When the Saints Go Marching In," played at three out of the four rehearsals, is an obvious one, but songs like "We Shall Overcome" and "My City of Ruins" are imbued with new meaning post-Katrina, and "My Oklahoma Home" took on modern relevance with Bruce's intro: "The biggest displacement of American citizens since the Dust Bowl has been New Orleans."

The horn-fueled "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" -- the show's centerpiece, literally and otherwise -- is the most overt reference to the Gulf Coast disaster and its aftermath. On Monday night, Springsteen introduced it by telling the crowd that it's "important that we do what we can to help that area get back on its feet," adding, slightly off-mic, "and force our government to do something about it." On Tuesday, he explained the new twist he put on Blind Alfred Reed's Depression-era song: "I kept the first verse, and rewrote the second three, in true folk fashion." His new lyrics include "bodies floating on Canal," "I got family scattered from Texas to Baltimore," and a not-so-subtly-veiled description of President's Bush's response to the tragedy: "He took a lok around and gave a pep talk / Said 'I'll be right here' then he took a little walk..." But Bruce, and the show, manages to avoid any heavy-handedness. What's on its way to New Orleans for its most fitting official debut this weekend is a rousing, hootin', hollerin', joyful noize -- in that great American musical tradition, transforming pain into jubilation.
Setlist: Long Black Veil/O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Eyes on the Prize/Adam Raised a Cain/Old Dan Tucker/Cadillac Ranch/My Oklahoma Home/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: If I Should Fall Behind/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

April 25 / Asbury Park, NJ / Convention Hall
Notes: "Welcome to the evening show! Oh my god were we up early this morning... it was terrible. Everybody's all bright-eyed... I hate that." But any lack of sleep took no toll on the show, which continues to tighten up -- as Bruce said tonight of these rehearsals, thanking the Asbury crowd, "You have honed us into a well-oiled, swingin' machine." Damn skippy. He tinkered with set a bit, opening with a spotlight on Greg Liszt and his banjo for "Jesse James," and switched the order of a few other songs, too. And in the encore, "Turn! Turn! Turn!," sent out to Pete Seeger, took the place of "My City of Ruins." Its first public performance here included a beautiful vocal turn by Mark "Chocolate Genius" Thompson. (Thompson also adds stand-out vox to "Eyes on the Prize" and "When the Saints Go Marching In," which closed the show again tonight.) As for originals, Bruce kept "You Can Look" in its bring-the-house down penultimate slot, and "Mystery Cadillac" and "If I Should Fall Behind" stayed in the set from last night as well. Before the "Fall Behind" waltz, he got a big laugh: "A lot of people tell me they've used this as their wedding song. I'd like to think of it as an emergency preventive divorce song." The band was breaking in its full European horn line-up tonight, and when, mid-set, LaBamba and Mark Pender joined back in as well, we were looking at a six-man horn section and, lordy, 20 people on stage. Thankfully, Bruce's traffic control remains up to the task, for one big, glorious noise. Look out, New Orleans -- just one more rehearsal show to go between them and you. You're gonna like it.
Setlist: Jesse James/O Mary Don't You Weep/Johnny 99/John Henry/Eyes on the Prize/Old Dan Tucker/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
Turn! Turn! Turn!/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

April 25 / Asbury Park, NJ / Convention Hall
Notes: Today's early show -- and we mean early. When a dissheveled Springsteen shuffled to the mic around 7 a.m. to greet the crowd assembled for Good Morning America, his first words were: "This is awful!" He went on: "I salute you early risers... I must really wanna sell records!" The amusing patter went on for most of the morning, as he offered to give the GMA weather report himself -- "Weather looked pretty damn nice out there today" -- and ran through some songs with the band "so we don't fuck up in front of millions." Two songs were broadcast in full during GMA's 8 o'clock hour; including those warm-up run-throughs, the Convention Hall crowd got seven performances: two times each through "Jacob's Ladder," "O Mary Don't You Weep," and "Old Dan Tucker," plus once through "When the Saints Go Marching In." At one point between takes, Bruce began whistling to keep the crowd (and himself) amused, and had an idea: "When they come back, I'm gonna do that. Just three minutes of whistling." And a plan began to come together: "No more 'The Boss' -- I'll just be 'The Whistler.' Hey, the Whistler is coming to town! You know that guy who whistles? He's coming. The Whistler." Though night time is surely the right time, performance-wise, such was the sleepy, stream-of-consciousness fun of being up early with the Boss. "Thanks for coming out so damn early," Bruce said as he waved see-ya to the crowd, "Ouch!" And lastly, with a laugh, "I finally got my voice!"
Setlist:
Jacob's Ladder/O Mary Don't You Weep/Old Dan Tucker/When the Saints Go Marching In/Jacob's Ladder/Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep/Old Dan Tucker

April 24 / Asbury Park, NJ / Convention Hall
Notes: Tomorrow morning comes early, so we'll keep this short and sweet... rehearsals are doing what they're meant to do, with tonight's (the second of four dress rehearsals) noticebaly tighter than Thursday's, but no less raucous and fun. Two changes in the set: replacing "Adam Raised a Cain" was "Cadillac Ranch," weirdly but quite effectively mashed up with "Mystery Train"; and in place of "Devils & Dust," "If I Should Fall Behind" -- a new arrangement in three-quarter time that owed a great deal to "The Tennessee Waltz." Before the newly worked up "Fall Behind," Bruce called for a couple of shots for himself and the missus -- "sort of a disclaimer for whatever happens next." By the end, though, no apologies: "That mid-set pop really greases the wheels, man!" Bruce laughed. "Should have thought of that 30 years ago!" Yeah, the band was greased, the crowd was greased, it was a stellar show and a good time was had by all -- we'll just see how everybody feels at 6:30 a.m. Said Bruce with both a laugh and a cringe: "See you in the mornin'!"
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Cadillac Ranch/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In

April 20 / Asbury Park, NJ / Convention Hall
Notes: The first rehearsal show, and the public debut of Springsteen with his 17-piece Seeger Sessions Band. And the first words out of our reporter's mouth after the concert: "Do you like music? Do you like Bruce Springsteen? Then you're gonna love this show." A spirited Dixieland romp, already a success that the '92-93 experiment with other musicians reached for and arguably never achieved. The rehearsal aspect was evident, as Bruce acknowledged, with some rough edges, miscues, and sound problems; but as he directed his stageful of players, under a pair of old chandeliers, it was that rare thrill of music being made right before your eyes -- a glorious noise. A glorious lament, in a way: there was a political edge throughout the night, subtle yet unmistakable, particularly in the three-pack of "Devils & Dust," "Mrs. McGrath" (dedicated to Cindy Sheehan), and "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" The last of these is a Blind Alfred Reed song from the '20s, covered more recently by Ry Cooder and the Del-Lords. Springsteen took the time to set up many of tonight's numbers, offering some history to introduce songs like "Old Dan Tucker" and "Eyes on the Prize." In all, the band performed eleven songs from the album plus "Buffalo Gals" from the flipside; and six Bruce-penned songs from his catalog: "Johnny 99," "Adam Raised a Cain," "Devils & Dust," "Open All Night," "My City of Ruins," and "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)." Bringing the total up to 20 songs (the show started at 7:30, ended at 9:35) were two unreleased covers: the aforementioned "Poor Man," and the show-closing "When the Saints Go Marching In." For another idea of the sound, as another concert-goer told us, "Think 'Walt Whitman's Niece,' from start to finish." Take the weekend to break out your copy of Billy Bragg & Wilco's Mermaid Avenue if you need a refresher... and we'll be back for more on Monday night.
Setlist: O Mary Don't You Weep/John Henry/Johnny 99/Old Dan Tucker/Eyes on the Prize/Jesse James/Adam Raised a Cain/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/Devils & Dust/Mrs. McGrath/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob's Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore:
My City of Ruins/Buffalo Gals/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In


February 8 / Los Angeles, CA / Staples Center
Notes: At the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, Springsteen performed "Devils & Dust," a song nominated in three categories: "Best Rock Song," "Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance," and "Song of the Year." As opposed to many of the splashy collaborations of the night, Bruce played this one alone, just as he did on tour, on acoustic guitar and harp; in one of the only social commentaries of the night, he finished the soldier's-eye-view tune with a call to "Bring 'em home!" In the case of Grammy statues, make that "Bring it home": The Academy honored Bruce with one out of the five awards for which he was nominated. That award -- "Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance" for "Devils & Dust" -- was given off-stage prior to the show, as were the vast majority of this year's Grammys. It's the same award Bruce won last year, for "Code of Silence," and in 2003 for "The Rising" -- seemingly the Academy's preferred method of throwing the Boss a bone. In the other four categories, U2's "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own" got "Song of the Year" and their "City of Blinding Lights" got "Best Rock Song"; John Prine's Fair & Square got "Best Contemporary Folk Album"; and the Scorsese-directed Dylan doc No Direction Home got "Best Long Form Music Video." Bruce was back on stage at the end of the night for the combo tribute to New Orleans and Wilson Pickett that closed the show. Back together for the first time since the 2003 holiday shows, Bruce and Sam Moore joined the assembled throng of Elvis Costello, The Edge, Bonnie Raitt , Dr. John and others for "In the Midnight Hour"; Bruce and Irma Thomas shared the mic with the Soul Man. While you could feel producers' eyes on the clock -- the whole finale felt compressed and rushed to bring the broadcast to its 11:30 close -- Springsteen managed to find a spot mid-song to shout out why they were doing this in the first place: "This is for the 'Wicked Pickett!'" (And for those Disciples of Soul fans out there, who else noticed that Sly Stone was rocking the Jean Beauvoir look?) See the full list of Grammy winners here.
Setlist:
Devils & Dust (solo acoustic)/In the Midnight Hour (with Sam Moore and others)

February 6 / Los Angeles, CA / L.A. Convention Center
Notes: Grammy Week kicked off with the annual MusiCares benefit, honoring their Person of the Year James Taylor. Springsteen took the stage around 10:45, speaking of JT (a Chapel Hill, NC native) as "an authentic Southern voice" before going into "Millworker" on acoustic guitar and harmonica. Taylor wrote "Millworker" for the Broadway musical Working, releasing his own version on his Flag album in 1979, the same year that he and Bruce would play the MUSE/No Nukes concerts together. 27 years later -- honored by other artists including Sting ("Close Your Eyes"), Alison Krauss ("Carolina in My Mind"), and Bonnie Raitt ("Rainy Day Man") -- Taylor told the crowd, "It's strange to be at an event like this and still be alive. It's very moving, very terrifying and very wonderful to hear these songs done live."
Setlist:
Millworker

January 14 / New York, NY / World Financial Winter Garden
Notes: As the the New York Guitar Festival began with "The Nebraska Project" on Saturday night, who should show up to wrap up the night but the architect of the original Nebraska project, Bruce Springsteen himself. After artists like Mark Eitzel, Michelle Shocked, Jen Chapin, and Chocolate Genius took turns covering the album song-by-song, Springsteen joined the ensemble for an encore of Woody & Jack Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills." John Oudens tells Backstreets:

This was in the World Financial Center Winter Garden, which is to say a huge covered atrium with a bunch of palm trees, so there was no curtain, no dimming of lights. As the musicians (about two dozen) gathered onstage for the encore, there were a few murmurs in the VIP seats up front, then a shout or two, and then a genuine roar when the audience recognized Bruce right there in the middle of the group, tuning an acoustic guitar. He looked giddy, smiling and laughing and thanking the musicians one by one.

The encore was one song, a strong extended version of "Oklahoma Hills," a Woody Guthrie song that some might think of as "Way Down Yonder," the first three words of the chorus. Bruce took over on lead vocal late in the song (in typical man-of-the-hour fashion), and then led the singing of the final refrain four or five times. His style was more growl than twang, amazingly.

When the song ended, the host, John Platt, of WFUV-FM, tried to engage Bruce in a little serious conversation (as he had earnestly, and at times awkwardly, throughout the show), asking Bruce whether the musicians' opinions and interpretations had been on the mark. I have to paraphrase somewhat here: Bruce replied that most of the exegeses were wrong, and that he'd written all the songs "to get women to pull their pants down." Most folks present probably hadn't heard this line yet. Then Bruce said, "I'd just like to say I'm honored from my ass to my heels," or something very close to that, and pretty much blew off a question of why he thought the album "resonated" so much after all these years. Then he returned to thanking the cast, shaking hands and engaging in hugs and so forth.

Not bad for a free show.

Bruce last played "Oklahoma Hills" on April 28, 2005, a one-off Devils & Dust tour performance with Jimmy LaFave in Dallas. For more on Saturday night's show, read Jay Lustig's piece in the Star-Ledger.
Setlist: Oklahoma Hills

January 8 / New York, NY / Le Benardin
Notes: Rolling Stone Editor and Publisher (and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Lifetime Achiever) Jann Wenner celebrated his 60th birthday with a bash including Springsteen among the night's entertainment, as the Boston Globe reports: "The party, emceed by Boston's own Peter Wolf, featured performances by Bette Midler, John Mellencamp, David Bowie, and Bruce Springsteen, who, we're told, wrote a special tune for the occasion." A new tune? Was it "I'm Turning Into Jann Wenner (And There's Nothin' I Can Do)"? If anybody knows for sure (or has an mp3), drop us a line...
Setlist:
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You'll find more in the pages of Backstreets! If you're looking for more concert details besides a listing of songs, be sure to check out Backstreets Magazine. The Backstreets.com website was established in 1995 to help pass along the important news and setlists between issues; the magazine itself contains more in-depth coverage, with detailed information on each show, commentary, and concert photographs.

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And don't forget, we can't do this alone... and we never have. We count on contributions from fellow fans and readers to help us with timely and accurate concert coverage:

  • If you want to help out, e-mail setlists and concert reports to onstage@backstreets.com. Especially helpful are descriptions of the rarer songs played (tour premieres, etc.), the "feel" of the show (especially compared to others you might have seen), things Bruce said to the crowd-- basically, anything that set the night apart.
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