Written by General Jabbo
Opening with “Radio Nowhere,” one of nine songs featured from his new album, Magic, the band played a spirited set that went over two hours and rarely let up in intensity.
A staunch critic of the Bush administration, Springsteen introduced “Magic” and “Livin’ in the Future,” both from the new release with warnings about not believing what you see and illegal wiretapping to a mixed response. This was not the Vote For Change tour and Springsteen, understanding this, kept the Bush bashing to a minimum.
Springsteen’s message for the most part was one of hope. He followed the somber “Magic,” with a bluesy rendition of “Reason to Believe.” He also debuted a moving version of Magic’s “I’ll Work For Your Love.”
“Jackson Cage,” from the 1980 album The River, made its tour debut and made for a potent combination when followed by a rocking “She’s the One.”
Springsteen is the rare veteran artist whose audience comes to the shows as much for the new songs as the old ones. No one would have guessed “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” was a new song by the number of people singing along with it. Springsteen dedicated the song to the Detroit girls, and one from New Jersey, referring to his wife and band mate Patti Scialfa.
Still, it was the hits that garnered the biggest crowd response, from “Tunnel of Love” to main set-ending “Badlands” to the encore double shot of “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark.”
While the crowd tended to be on the older side, a young boy held up a handwritten sign during the encore that said, “Ramrod please.” Springsteen, smiling ear-to-ear, said, “He’s been rocking all night. My kid’s 16, he’d be asleep by now.” The band didn’t deny the request, playing “Ramrod” for the first time in five years to the delight of the crowd and especially the boy.
Springsteen closed the show with a rousing version of “American Land,” a holdover from the Seeger Sessions tour complete with song lyrics on the screen so the audience could sing along, its lyrics speaking of opportunity for all in the American land.
Bruce Springsteen’s music is as vital today as it was 30 years ago and his show was a good reminder of that. From the new songs off Magic to the classic hits, no one left the Palace disappointed.