Monthly Archives: February 2014

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There are no separate things. That is only our way of talking. Once you have understood that you will have no further problems. Alan Watts

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Springsteen “Bootlegs” Himself

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Springsteen  “Bootlegs” Himself

The most bootlegged artist in the history of Rock is finally releasing his own “bootlegs” ! After a few technical difficulties I was finally able to download last Saturday’s Springsteen concert in Melbourne from the official website. For a reasonable cost (AU$11 for an MP3, AU$14 for a FLAC) you can download  the whole concert  as a good quality recording .All concerts since the South Africa tour are available. You are allowed to download three times, covering the PC, the laptop and the iphone, but you can of course make endless USB/CD copies.

Originally there was a bit of a controversy, with $40 wristbands being offered as the downloading tool. I missed all that, but am glad they decided to put their prices in line with what other acts are charging for downloads. It’s almost as if they didn’t understand the new technology. Yes, in the past you would have paid that sort of money for a 3 hour live album, but those days are long gone. If they had stuck with the high price, they would have sold less and created a huge pirating industry, the very thing they should be trying to avoid.

I guess  ,even now, only the die hards will pay for this, as all this will surely end up on Pirate Bay / Kickasstorrents in no time. ( I already own a pirate copy of one of the Perth concerts)  However, the creators of the  product will get the initial cut, as very few self respecting fans will wait for the pirated uploads of the concerts they attended ; and then, afterwards, unlike original bootlegging, no-one will make any money. In addition , the quality is far superior to the fan  recorded audios that are floating around on YOUtube.

I obtained the MP3 , because it is easier to use, but the flac quality is supposedly better. Because the audios are released within days of the concert, this is a rough product compared with DVD or Blu-ray live releases, as there are no overdubs or edits, however it works well as a souvenir .

To all the big shot corporations who whinge about how piracy creates loss of income : This is how you do it! I know he is not the first artist to do this, but he is one of the most sought after live performers in the world and it was about time!

PS: That is all very nice, but the concert on the 16th at AAMI park is unavailable for some reason. I suspect it’s destined for DVD release, as it had an epic setlist, two long stories and Born To Run played in full. It felt different to other Springsteen concerts.

Bruce , Melbourne 2014 , Part 2- Full Moon Over Jungleland 3hrs:48

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So, I ‘ve glanced at a few early comments and reviews with people claiming that Bruce was tired or flat last night, but by his own admission he had a few drinks before the show which put him in a mellow, storytelling mode. It ended up being a great concert in it’s own way. Plus the sound was excellent, a vast improvemnt from Saturday night. it turns out that this will be the only concert in the current tour not being avaiable for download, which is hugely dissappointing.

If anything, the audience was a bit flat, with people in the stands barely getting up in the first few hours a. Front GA was 25% empty and the atmosphere could have been improved by letting people from the front lower stands in, no reason why not, as they paid the same amount of money and plenty of GA people were constantly leaving to get beer, especially during the slower/ lesser known songs. What is wrong with people?? Nazis and idiots , a toxic combination ! The bored look on the security guards faces was very telling. This is why the world is the way it is , because of dickheads not paying attention

Watching Bruce sitting down on the stage twice last night and introducing two of his classic oldies with long stories from his childhood was a special treat, something I’d never witnessed before live, as he did a lot of onstage storytelling in the 70ties, presumably before he had so much song material that he had to cut the stories short. But it was the storytelling that set him apart from other rock performers in those years and helped forge the special connection he has with his audience.

Growingupstory

The set list last night was absolutely brilliant, with only a few songs repeated from the night before (good opportunities for a toilet break for me, as most people went during the ballads instead!)

The highlight for me was Lucky Town (a favourite of mine and totally underrated 90ties song) but most people just had a bored look on their faces when he played it ,

He played the Born To Run album in it’s entirety and that set a different tone for the night. Whereas Saturday night’s Born in The USA is a high energy party album, Born To Run is musically more complex and intricate. When he played the last track of the album, the mini-opera Jungleland, the full moon rose over the stadium and the audience was spellbound. It was the defining musical moment of the night.

In the end Bruce was given a curfew but he suggested that it should be ignored and people could just hitch-hike home if they missed the last train ! He just kept on playing, the concert was almost 4 hours long!. I did something I had never done before and left during the last encore in order to get out ahead of the crowd. I knew I would be able to hear the music outside the stadium and it actually felt right to walk outside accompanied by Bruce playing the last beautiful notes on the harmonica.

Will I ever see him play live again? He has hinted at a new acoustic album and as far as I’m concerned he has a long career as a folk singer and storyteller in front of him, so I will probably see him again in some fashion, but I doubt it’s going to be with a full band line-up, that’s well and truly out of my system now.

Not that I love him any less, but the truth is, I saw him play in 1985 and there really wasn’t much room for improvement even then, let alone almost 30 years later. I’ve seen him 3 times within less than a year. All three concerts were very different in both songlist and mood, but similar in their (extremely high) quality. I don’t get how people want to see him hundreds of times. What could they possibly hope to find? The search is over, Bruce has kept his promises and then some. For me to see another concert would just be icing on the icing of the cake.

set list

1. Born in the U.S.A.
2. Badlands
3. Lucky Town (tour premiere)
4. Roulette (tour premiere)
5. Growin’ Up (tour premiere with an extended story in the mid section)
6. Wrecking Ball
7. Death to My Hometown
8. High Hopes
9. Just Like Fire Would
10. Lost in the Flood (tour premiere, sign request)
11. Spirit in the Night

Born to Run full album:
12. Thunder Road
13. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
14. Night
15. Backstreets (w/ Sad Eyes interlude)
16. Born to Run
17. She’s the One
18. Meeting Across the River (tour premiere)
19. Jungleland

20. Heaven’s Wall
21. Waitin’ On a Sunny Day
22. The Rising
23. The Ghost of Tom Joad
24. Land of Hope and Dreams

Encore:
25. We Are Alive
26. Ramrod
27. Bobby Jean
28. Dancing in the Dark
29. Twist & Shout
30. This Hard Land (solo acoustic)

Bruce, Melbourne 2014, Part 1 – GA Front Standing -Born To Party

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To me, every Bruce Springsteen concert is a marathon adventure and last night was no different. Having scored a last minute GA ticket sold to me by fellow fans from Tasmania, I was all set for the first part of my first ever two-nights -in -a -row Bruce concerts !

As is so often the case in Melbourne, the weather decided not to play along, promising to dish out stifling humidity followed by 60% chance of rainfall in the evening. Working out what to wear was difficult, but in the end I did wear my jeans and a spaghetti string tank top with a light cotton shirt, which I only wore on the air-conditioned train…It ended up not raining until the early morning hours, of course, because it has long been proven that Bruce has the power to stop the rain !

I decided not to queue up for number allocation in the early morning, since I could not face the whole day on my feet. I got there at 6pm and ended up in a relatively good spot about twenty metres from the stage, which was ok considering I had not tried very hard! As it turned out, it was about as close as you can stand without twisting your neck and probably about 5 metres closer than i was at Hanging Rock last year.

That concert last year was amazing and I wondered whether this could be topped in a Melbourne sports stadium. The short answer : yes and no.

In many ways this concert was the better one, as it had the whole party atmosphere    going from the start and playing Born In The USA from start to finish really got the crowd going. However,the magic of last year’s concert at Hanging Rock was the fact that he played so many great rarities (Something In the night, Incident On 57th Street, Candy’s Room , Jackson Cage  and the outrageous boogie version of Open All Night) and also the more intimate setting combined with the sheer spiritual power of the Rock itself.

Highhopes

 

The band began with “Highway to Hell’ and a surprise visitor :Eddie Vedder! It was excellent. But after a few songs I noticed that the sound was a bit off, with many of the instruments sounding out of tune. At times it was also difficult to differentiate between the instruments too and one of Bruce’s mikes had dropouts.

About half an hour into the concert, Bruce decided to play the whole Born in the USA album, which was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me, as I first saw him in 1985 on the original Born In The USA tour  at the Olympia stadium in Munich, Germany. All I can say is, the album has aged well and the songs probably sound better now then they did  almost 30 years ago. I have my favorites : Cover M e” and “Working on the Highway”… but also the rarely played Downbound Train and I’m going Down .

On”Dancing in the Dark” the guys in wigs who danced with backup singer Cindy totally stole the show in a hilarious moment with Bruce exclaiming “Only in Australia”.

Fake Cindies

He played my new favorites too: Shackled and Drawn, Heaven’s Wall, High Hopes, Land of Hope and Dreams and the incredible Ghost of Tom Joad , an old song that has found a new home due to Tom Morello blowing the whole E-Street band out of the water with his otherworldly guitar playing.

There were some nice moments for the activist in me, Bruce introducing “Factory” (a fan request for the factory workers who are losing their jobs) with a speech about the” greed and recklessness of a relatively small number of people” and Tom Morello wearing a small aboriginal flag on his black shirt!

Just like last year, the latter part of the concert became a full on Rock’Roll party endurance test, but finished on a soft note with Thunder Road, which more than any other song connects Bruce to his longtime fans.

Tonight is promising to be different again and I’ve got a seat so I can relax a bit more. A the end of the day to see Bruce Springsteen play live is not about which song he plays on a given night, or whether the sound is perfect, but about the incredible warmth and love he shares with his audience . Bring on part two!

Set list


1. Highway to Hell (with Eddie Vedder)
2. Darkness on the Edge of Town (with Eddie Vedder,)
3. Badlands
4. Seeds
5. High Hopes
6. Just Like Fire Would
7. Jole Blon (tour premiere, sign request)
8. Hungry Heart (sign request)
9. Born in the U.S.A
10. Cover Me
11. Darlington County
12. Working on the Highway
13. Downbound Train
14. I’m on Fire
15. No Surrender
16. Bobby Jean
17. I’m Goin’ Down (tour premiere)
18. Glory Days
19. Dancing in the Dark
20. My Hometown (tour premiere)

21. Factory (tour premire, sign request)
22. Shackled and Drawn
23. The Ghost of Tom Joad
24. The Rising
25. Land of Hope and Dreams

Encore:
26. Heaven’s Wall
27. Born to Run
28. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
29. Seven Nights to Rock
30. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
31. Shout
32. Thunder Road (solo acoustic)

Photos from brucespringsteen.net