Seattle review now up at brucespringsteen.net
As formerly posted on brucespringsteen.net
Saturday, March 29, 2008
There’s something so delightfully classic about a Saturday night rock ‘n’ roll show, especially one right in the heart of the city. There’s a heightened excitement and anticipation since people aren’t running from work or school. They’ve had time to get dressed up, hang out with their friends, and have a drink or two. And, Saturday night means that parents can get out with their kids. Saturday night in Seattle, I was sitting between two rows of the next generation of Springsteen fans: two teenage girls with their moms in front of us (the moms having seen their first show in 1976 at the Paramount) and a group of 20-somethings behind me for whom this was their third show. (Best overheard conversation: “Yeah, I want a t-shirt, but get me something cool. Have Mom pick it out.”)
The band, too, seemed to be sharing in the communal good spirits. “Trapped” as a set opener (probably due to the plethora of signs present in Portland the night before) immediately engaged and excited the crowd. When people are standing at the top of the 200 level and pumping their fists, you know the night’s going to be a good one. Tonight, the rarities flowed within the set instead of standing a little bit outside of it. “Because the Night” got a tremendous response even before Nils brought his usual brand of outstanding sonic wizardry to a solo that was still being applauded minutes after the song ended.
A dedication for “Ed” in Seattle probably only means one thing, and we thank Mr. Vedder for coaxing Bruce into playing “Your Own Worst Enemy” — and also bet that “Point Blank” came out of the closet for that same die-hard fan who first saw Bruce live on the River tour. People may make pilgrimages to see Bruce in Jersey, but in the Northwest, you could have heard a pin drop during “Point Blank”: every word, every nuance was there for you to hear, and not shouted over by some moron screaming for “Rosalita” all night. The stellar performance gave me goosebumps and flashes of my own first River tour show (Hartford 1980, if you’re keeping score).
When I spotted the “Rosie” sign in the pit earlier in the evening, I had labeled it as “optimistic.” In a million years, I did not expect Bruce to reach into the crowd, pull out the sign, turn around and show it to the band, and then, finally, with an enormous, I-know-something-you-don’t-know grin, turn around and show it to us. When Bruce wants to sing it, “Rosalita” is quintessential Springsteen, and bringing her out tonight was every possible shade of appropriate for this show and this crowd. Everyone was dancing everywhere: behind the stage, behind the soundboard, up in the rafters, in the guestlist seats, people singing words that they were sure they had forgotten, friends hugging and total strangers high-fiving. Bruce onstage, hamming it up, mamboing across the front of the stage with a grin as big as the venue.
By the time the show ended, it didn’t matter if it was your first show or your 30th, everyone knew they had seen something special.
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