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#211 Bruce Springsteen @ Dublin RDS Arena (July 18th 2012)

Bruce Springsteen - Dublin RDS Arena July 18th 2012

Support: N/A

Yep you really do run out of superlatives to describe Bruce Springsteen and his live shows. For the second of two nights I took the Mrs down to the RDS to witness another display of full on energy from a band that just keeps playing and playing and playing. For a group that is largely made up of 60+ year old men it really is quite phenomenal that they have such energy, enthusiasm and sheer brilliance when on stage. On Monday night my father-in-law had asked why on earth we were going twice to see the same gig. The same gig! No Springsteen fan then my father-in-law. If he was he would have realised that this is no musical with fully stage managed lighting and set lists. This is no choreographed show. This is the E Street Band.

The sky looked threatening as we arrived at the RDS and sure enough the heavens opened soon after. Did we care? Well yes actually. I’m getting old remember. As it was by the time of the gig the rain had passed and something circular and a yellowy orange colour, that I believe is called the Sun, appeared. We got the pit wrist bands again and managed to get a much better position tonight, nice and central half way forward in the pit. This was gonna be another good one, but could it top last night?

Due to the rain a lot of people seemed to be arriving later than on Tuesday. Maybe that was why the band came on stage at a later time, albeit still early at 7.40. It didn’t matter in the slightest though as we still got 32 songs including seven from latest album Wrecking Ball and if my maths is correct (it may not be) a total of sixteen different tracks from Tuesday’s gig. SIXTEEN. That’s half the gig.  It would be so easy for the band to go through the motions and repeat set list after set list but not with these guys, every gig is different. You really do never know what to expect.

There were some grumblings about the sound for the first few songs yesterday. I must admit I hadn’t noticed myself (not sure if that was because of where we were in the crowd or that my hearing is getting worse…I must buy those ear plugs) however tonight the sound was definitely full on from the very beginning. Bruce wandered on stage on his own, and with no fanfare, to sing This Hard Land, a song I haven’t heard in years. When finished the rest of the band came on…but with a slight difference. Poor old Jake was wheeled on in a wheelchair while Bruce explained that during the last song at Tuesday’s gig he had hurt his back or as he put it; "Jake sneezed last night and put his back out”. A sheepish looking Jake was helped to the back where he didn’t move all night. He still managed to play all his parts and sounded spot on. He must have been in some serious pain though, not that you would know as his smile shone out for all to see.

Once everyone was in place we got a cracking three song blast of No Surrender, Two Hearts and The Ties That Bind. Ok, now I was in dreamland and it kept going as there was just highlight after highlight including a personal favourite, Adam Raised a Cain, Death To My Hometown (a marching song to beat all marching songs), Spirit In The Night (where Jake wasn’t chasing Bruce around the stage), Jackson Cage was played by request (for a fans 100th show), Atlantic City, The Promise (at the piano)…the list goes on.

For me, the best part of the show is the last hour, it’s dark, the lights are on and if the crowd was any more warmed up they would be self-combusting (do you like that line? Corny as hell but I’m proud of it). Again the songs just kept coming; we got Glory Days (see Lorraine, told you they would play it) with some seriously dodgy headwear from the crowd being worn by Bruce and Steve. Not your best look lads. Next up were a stonking Seven Nights To Rock and Dancing In The Dark complete with Jake getting his very own dancing partner, which made Bruce smile although I’m not sure about Jake. He didn’t know where to look as the girl danced next to him…and as he couldn’t move he was pretty stuck.

The emotional tribute to Clarence during Tenth Avenue silenced the crowd temporarily until applause rang out in memory of the Big Man. Sadly missed. Then one of the biggest highlights for me of the whole night was a stunning version of Rocky Ground. It’s good on record but tonight it was taken to another level and the voice of Michelle Moore matched with Springsteen was pretty close to perfection.

The gig finished at 11.05 after one last jig to American Land so matching the time on stage of last night. Bruce as normal saw everyone off stage with of course the one exception. He left the stage to Jake who was being helped back into his wheelchair and as he was wheeled away the crowd cheered and his broad, beaming smile shone back again. You got through it Jake.

So did it top last night? You know what, I think it did.

Come back soon guys, come back soon.

PS I forgot the storming version of Because The Night. Nils you are some man and that was some guitar solo

Ticket: July 18th / Wrist Band

Ticket Price: €86.00

Set Lists:

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/bruce-springsteen/2012/rds-arena-dublin-ireland-43dca73f.html