Thursday, 14 July 2016

The best audience in the world - Bruce Springsteen @ San Siro Part 2

The 4th of July was one day of complete rest between the two Springsteen concerts in San Siro. A well earned rest after the magnificent first night there. I spent the day picking up my girlfriend who was joining me for the following day's concert and walking around Milano like tourists with her while preparing her for her first ever Bruce experience. The little streak of "bad luck" I mentioned among other things on my previous post was that she found out that she had to take an exam on Sunday so she could not join me on Sunday night so we ended up getting tickets for the second night as well, which if you consider it was a streak of good luck. And since all's well that ends well, she got a very good mark on her exam, 9 out of a possible maximum of 10.
We arrived much earlier at the stadium this time and this enabled us to hang around outside for a while and experience the various promotions taking place, the most prominent of which was of a mosquito repellent product, which could prove to be quite useful as we found out - the hard way - on our outing the previous night at Naviglio Grande. Oh, and I should not forget to mention the alcoholic drink samples which did actually prove useful during the concert while Bruce - and us - were giving it our all
We got to our seats early, so we had more time to move around mostly for drinks at the bar. For some strange reason both beer and water were exactly 1 euro cheaper compared to Sunday's concert.
We were expecting quite a different setlist tonight, not based too much on "The River" since we heard most of it on Sunday night. And this time when Bruce came on stage, he started as he did on every concert of the US leg of the tour with "Meet Me In The City". This song is one of The River outtakes featured in "The Ties That Bind" box set. We've had promises of River outtakes on this tour, but so far it was mostly "Meet Me In The City" that was played. Tonight however, it was its European premiere.
It can be said that Bruce covered that aspect on this concert because he also played "Roulette", another River outtake. After which he went on proper River mode with "The Ties That Bind" followed by, as I was hoping, "Sherry Darling" which is always welcome at least by me. A perfect summer song, a perfect stadium song, a perfect party song.
However, from that point on he continued with mostly sign requests like "Spirit In The Night" and "Rosalita" before returning to "The River" with the obligatory "Hungry Heart" on which again, as usual the audience sang the complete first verse and chorus, and "Out In The Street".
"Mary's Place" was another sign request, (recently played in Oslo if I remember correctly). This was followed by "Death To My Hometown". It's nice to see a song from "Wrecking Ball" securing a regular spot on subsequent tours. While I'm not expecting to hear any songs from "Working On A Dream", it would be nice to hear something from "Magic" once in a while. "The River" once again had the audience illuminating the stadium with their mobiles, while this time the Italians had an extra effect planned. (Some mobiles were used to illuminate an "I Love ESB" sign apparently).
Following in the same mood, while on Sunday night we had "Jungleland", this time we had "Racing In The Street". And then he proceeded to complete our River experience. He played the only up-tempo song from "The River" that was missing from Sunday's set: "Cadillac Ranch"! How could he not? "I'm A Rocker" was another River song that was played again tonight.
This was followed by "Lonesome Day" and "Darlington County" and while we were probably expecting to follow the latter with "Working On The Highway" as he has done a few times in this tour (or maybe something else off "Born In The U.S.A.") he surprised us by coming back to "The River" for one last time with one of the best tracks on the album "The Price You Pay".
I was content. During the course of these two nights I had heard almost the full River album, minus a few ballads and certainly all the songs from it that I wanted to hear, proving again that these two nights at San Siro was actually a wise choice for this tour.
But that's not all. There was another surprise in store for us in the form of "Streets Of Fire", a tour premiere. And what several people consider the main set was concluded with "Badlands". And yes, dear Bruce, that's the proper place in the set to play "Badlands" and not as the opening song as you quite often do. It's a fan favourite. Make us wait for it. You wouldn't start a set with "Born To Run" or "Dancing In The Dark" now, would you? "Badlands" is followed by "Backstreets" (my two favourite Springsteen songs with one word in the title starting with B) and then we get into party mode with "Born To Run" when the stadium lights are turned on and we know that we have reached the concluding part of the concert (A concluding part which is often quite long, so you shouldn't think about going home yet). There's no "Born In The U.S.A." tonight though, instead we get more rock 'n' roll with "Seven Nights To Rock". Once again, there's the obligatory "Dancing In The Dark" with people coming up on stage, followed by "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" and finally(?) "Shout" so that we get the feeling that "San Siro Night 2" is coming to an end... 
But no! There's also "Bobby Jean" and congrats to Bruce who in this tour has turned this song into an "end of the night" anthem, usually a bonus even after "Shout". At the end of the song Bruce had had enough! He can't take it any more! So the paramedics come to take him away with a stretcher! But showing more strength at 66 than Cristiano Ronaldo at 31 he dismisses them and gets up again on his own!
And still it's not the end! After escorting the E Street Band members off the stage, we get another acoustic performance to finish off the night.  In this tour Bruce usually chooses "Thunder Road" or "This Hard Land" as a final solo performance. And since we got "Thunder Road" on Sunday night, tonight it's time for "This Hard Land".
And with that, Bruce says goodbye, to us, to San Siro, "the best audience in the world" as he called it. As we expected it was a lot different than  the first one. Not too much of River, a bit more of "hits" and a few rare tracks (and more response to sign requests). For me, the second show complements the first one (as it almost "completes" The River, adding some songs left out of the first one). For my girlfriend, and I guess for other people like her who were on their first Springsteen show, it was a chance to hear "the hits" they already know ("Born To Run", "Hungry Heart", "Dancing In The Dark") and maybe discover some new ones (I noticed that my girlfriend particularly enjoyed "Rosalita"). And now she wants to see him again...
...In San Siro of course. I guess that in the future, if all goes well, I will always choose San Siro, even if the only seat I can get a ticket to is in one of the San Siro restrooms!

01. Meet Me In The City
02. Prove It All Night
03. Roulette
04. The Ties That Bind
05. Sherry Darling
06. Spirit In The Night
07. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
08. Fire
09. Something In The Night
10. Hungry Heart
11. Out In The Street
12. Mary's Place
13. Death To My Hometown
14. The River
15. Racing In The Street
16. Cadillac Ranch
17. The Promised Land
18. I'm A Rocker
19. Lonesome Day
20. Darlington County
21. The Price You Pay
22. Because The Night
23. Streets Of Fire
24. The Rising
25. Badlands
26. Backstreets
27. Born To Run
28. Seven Nights To Rock
29. Dancing In The Dark
30. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
31. Shout
32. Bobby Jean
33. This Hard Land

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