You’ve seen the title of this blog. You’ve weathered all the posts on albums and concerts and other doings in the E Street world. I’m a Tramp–an insane Bruce Springsteen fan. So how was the show last night at Vernon Downs–you know, the first show in the Syracuse area since 1996–the first with the E Street Band since 1985?
I did not go, life got in the way. A very ill relative, my own health issues, the expense of the tickets and a wife who said: “but you just saw him in April . . . ” I bit my lip, said a prayer of contrition to the Church of Bruce and said . . . no.”
Update: and no: I will not be going to the just announced Rochester show in October either!
When the Wrecking Ball tour was first announced at the beginning of 2012, I looked at the schedule, cursed the fact that he skipped Syracuse once again, and decided to go to the Albany show on April 16th. It was incredible. Then Bruce went overseas and played monster shows for the truly insane fans of Europe–and not having gotten enough of life on the road–announced a third leg of tours at outdoor venues in the States: baseball parks, football stadiums and even that race track a half-hour outside Syracuse.
I weathered the storm of cognitive dissonance fairly well during the lead up to the show. The outtasight show by Bruce’s friend Peter Wolf and the J. Geils Band at the NY State Fair last week helped immensely. I had a little agita last night when I saw on Twitter and FB accounts of friends getting ready for the show and Backstreets contributor A.M. Saddler’s photos on Twitter of fans and their request signs in the parking lots. But I went for a long walk with my wife and doggies, had a nice dinner and slept very well. Then, this morning I looked up the Vernon setlist . . . aaaaggggh!
So, if I could only go to one show–did I make the right choice?
1) Vernon was a longer show–30 songs compared to 25 in Albany. Advantage: Vernon
2) Even though I only used it once, (during “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day”) I had a good seat in Albany. All GA at Vernon. Advantage: Albany
3) 16 songs were played at both shows. Advantage: draw
Out In The Street/ We Take Care Of Our Own/ Wrecking Ball/ Death To My Hometown/ My City Of Ruins/ Jack Of All Trades/ Darlington County/ Shackled & Drawn
Waitin’ On A Sunny Day/ Backstreets/ Badlands/ Land Of Hope & Dreams/ Thunder Road/ Born To Run/ Dancing In The Dark/ Tenth Ave. Freeze Out
4) 14 songs played at Vernon, but not Albany. Advantage: Vernon
It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City/ Stand On It/ Hungry Heart/ I’m A Rocker/ Darkness On The Edge Of Town/ E Street Shuffle/ Frankie
Open All Night/ Human Touch/ Prove It All Night (‘78 Intro)/ Working On The Highway/ Rosalita/ Quarter To Three/ Twist & Shout
5) 9 songs played at Albany, but not Vernon. Advantage: Albany
We Are Alive/ Rocky Ground/ Murder Incorporated/ Downbound Train/ The Promised Land/ Apollo Medley/ Janey Don’t You Lose Heart/ The Rising/ Lonesome Day
I guess the real difference would be the number (and quality) of songs played at one of the shows (but not the other) that I have never seen at any of the other 7 full band shows I have seen (5 E Street Band tours: Born In The USA, The Rising, Magic, Working On A Dream and Wrecking Ball 1 Seeger Sessions and 1 Other Band)
6) Only Ever At Vernon ’12 (6)
Hard To Be A Saint In The City/ Stand On It/ Frankie/ Prove It All Night (w/ ’78 Intro)/ Quarter To Three/ Twist & Shout
7) Only Ever At Albany ’12 (6)
We Are Alive/ Rocky Ground/ Murder Incorporated/ Downbound Train/ Apollo Medley/ Janey Don’t You Lose Heart
Wow–it really is a push here. I missed “Quarter to Three” and “Twist and Shout” in Vernon, but I got the “Apollo Medley” at Albany. I missed “Stand On It” and “Frankie” in Vernon–both on the out-of-the-vaults set Tracks and the kind of song a die-hard wants to hear. But I love the new Wrecking Ball album and in Albany I got to hear two of the best songs on that album: We Are Alive and Rocky Ground–the latter song was arguably the absolute highlight of the first U.S. leg of the tour.
My two big disappointments from Vernon:
1) While I heard Prove It All Night at my first ever Bruce show at the Carrier Dome in 1985, it was not with the awe-inspiring guitar shredding intro featured on the 1978 Darkness tour.
2) I’ve been waiting for Rosalita to come out tonight ever since that first show–on my 25th birthday–in my hometown.
So, all that being said–I still wish I had gone last night. But Life goes on. Rumors have another new Bruce album dropping sometime in 2013! Rosie’s bound to come out again. Her father can’t still be pissed!