Bruce!

Wow!

“Walked from the mountain to the valley floor, searching for my beautiful reward”.

My Beautiful Reward

Some of you will have noticed that not all the trips are up mountains, and that some of them could not be further away i.e. in big stadia in cities. All because of Bruce.

So here is why he is one of the loves of my life and why he is so outstanding.

My love affair with Bruce started on Sunday July 10th, 1988 at Sheffield United’s ground at Bramall Lane. You might think it’s been a one way affair but not so, he has reciprocated a thousand times and more but in his own very particular way!
The first time I remember hearing of Bruce was in 1985. He played Leeds Roundhay Park on the Born in the USA (BitUSA) tour and we watched some clips from the tour on the TV.
But that infamous footage of Bruce and Clarence fooling around in the intro to Growin’ Up stayed in my head and I have been able to track it down. That was really the first hook. Bruce and Clarence tell a story which includes bears in the forest:
http://youtu.be/-f_6HsH5MPo
Part 1, Los Angeles, 1985
http://youtu.be/PdKEgZBVJX4
Part 2, Los Angeles, 1985
Then I met Chris and she brought me further and deeper into Bruce and lots of other music. 1988 was the Tunnel of Love tour which crossed over with Bruce’s commitment to Amnesty International and the Human Rights Now! tour. That was the first time Chris and I saw Bruce live and I was hooked forever and a day. And then Bruce broke up the band and stopped touring! Bad timing or what?
Four years later Bruce released 2 albums on the same day, and he toured with a non E Street band, the only member of the E Street band who performed with him was Roy Bittan. We, as in Chris, Carol and I went to see the show in Milton Keynes. Carol and I got very close to the stage which was fab although we were also fairly squashed. I had a cheap nylon Stars and Stripes draped round me! And so glad that the people who mean the most to me both love Bruce. Carol had the privilege of seeing Bruce perform at New Bingley Hall in Staffordshire on The River tour in 1981.

Bruce gigs I’ve been to
Links are to the set lists on Greasy Lake

1 Tunnel of Love Express, Bramall Lane Stadium, Sunday July 10th, 1988, with Chris. This has to be the best gig for me. The start of my love of the man and his music.

Tunnel of Love
Boom Boom
Adam Raised a Cain
Downbound Train
All That Heaven Will Allow
The River
Seeds
Roulette
Cover Me
Brilliant Disguise
War
Born in the USA
Chimes of Freedom
Tougher Than the Rest
Who Do You Love?
She’s the One
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
I’m a Coward
I’m on Fire
Spare Parts
Because the Night
Dancing in the Dark
Light of Day
Land of 1,000 Dances
Born to Run
Hungry Heart
Glory Days
Can’t Help Falling in Love
Bobby Jean
Cadillac Ranch
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Sweet Soul Music
Raise Your Hand
Lonely Teardrops
Twist and Shout

2 Human Touch/Lucky Town tour, The National Bowl, Milton Keynes, Saturday May 22nd, 1993, with Carol and Chris. Nearly in touching distance.

Seeds
Adam Raised a Cain
This Hard Land
Better Days
Lucky Town
Atlantic City
57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)
Badlands
Satan’s Jewel Crown
My Hometown
Leap of Faith
Man’s Job
Roll of the Dice
Downbound Train
Because the Night
Brilliant Disguise
Human Touch
The River
Who’ll Stop the Rain?
Souls of the Departed
Born in the USA
Light of Day
Hungry Heart
Viva Las Vegas
Glory Days
Thunder Road
Born to Run
My Beautiful Reward
Working on the Highway
Rockin’ All Over the World
Bobby Jean
It’s Alright

The Ghost of Tom Joad tour, Manchester Apollo, February 28th, 1996, I failed to get tickets but got Bruce’s autograph after standing outside for hours in not enough clothes as the ground frosted up underneath me. In touching distance and all I managed to say was something like “I think you’re really good”!! How wet was that?!! Solo.

3 Reunion tour, MEN Arena, Saturday May 1st, 1999, with Carol and Chris. Bruce opened with My Love Will Not Let You Down, Carol and I played this at our Civil Partnership ceremony.

My Love Will Not Let You Down
Prove It All Night
Two Hearts
Darlington County
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Factory
The River
Youngstown
Murder Incorporated
Badlands
Out in the Street
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Where the Bands Are
Working on the Highway
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Born in the USA
The Promised Land
Backstreets
Light of Day
Streets of Philadelphia
Hungry Heart
Born to Run
Bobby Jean
Thunder Road
If I Should Fall Behind
Land of Hope and Dreams

4 The Rising tour, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Thursday May 29th, 2003, the last time we saw Danny Federici perform (he died on April 17th, 2008), with Carol and Chris. Great that he played Sandy, which featured Danny. The only time I’ve seen him play it, one of my favourites.

Born in the USA
The Rising
Lonesome Day
Candy’s Room
Prove It All Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Empty Sky
You’re Missing
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
Two Hearts
Loose Ends
Worlds Apart
Badlands
Out in the Street
Mary’s Place
Meeting Across the River
Jungleland
Into the Fire
Thunder Road
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Bobby Jean
Ramrod
Born to Run
Seven Nights to Rock
My City of Ruins
Land of Hope and Dreams
Dancing in the Dark

5 Devils and Dust tour, Royal Albert Hall, Friday May 27th, 2005, with Chris. I didn’t like this album so much.

My Beautiful Reward
Reason to Believe
Devils & Dust
Lonesome Day
Long Time Comin’
Silver Palomino
The River
Tougher Than the Rest
Part Man, Part Monkey
Maria’s Bed
Cautious Man
Nebraska
Reno
The Wish
Paradise
The Rising
Further On (Up the Road)
Jesus Was an Only Son
Leah
The Hitter
Matamoros Banks
Ramrod
My Best Was Never Good Enough
The Promised Land
Dream Baby Dream

6 Seeger Sessions tour, MEN Arena, Sunday May 7th, 2006, with Chris. Just a year later and I really loved this show, felt very intimate.

John Henry
Oh Mary Don’t You Weep
Johnny 99
Old Dan Tucker
Eyes on the Prize
Jesse James
Cadillac Ranch
Erie Canal
My Oklahoma Home
How Can I Keep From Singing?
Mrs. McGrath
How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
Jacob’s Ladder
We Shall Overcome
Open All Night
Pay Me My Money Down
My City of Ruins
Buffalo Gals
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
When the Saints Go Marching In

7 Seeger Sessions tour, Hallam FM Arena, Tuesday November 14th, 2006, with Carol and Chris. By this time the show had got polished.

Blinded by the Light
John Henry
Old Dan Tucker
Adam Raised a Cain
The River
Jesse James
Oh Mary Don’t You Weep
Youngstown
Erie Canal
My Oklahoma Home
Atlantic City
Devils & Dust
Mrs. McGrath
How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
Jacob’s Ladder
Growin’ Up
Open All Night
Pay Me My Money Down
Bring Them Home
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
When the Saints Go Marching In
This Little Light of Mine
American Land
Froggie Went a-Courtin’

8 Magic tour, Sport Paleis, Antwerp, Wednesday December 12th 2007, with Chris. At last, a Christmas gig so he played Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Fun show in very dark arena with a genuine caliope on the stage.

Radio Nowhere
No Surrender
Lonesome Day
Gypsy Biker
Magic
Reason to Believe
Because the Night
She’s the One
Livin’ in the Future
The Promised Land
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The River
Working on the Highway
Devil’s Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Badlands
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Dancing in the Dark
American Land

9 Magic tour, Old Trafford, Wednesday May 28th, 2008, with Carol and Chris.

No Surrender
Radio Nowhere
Night
Lonesome Day
The Promised Land
Magic
Trapped
Adam Raised a Cain
Darlington County
It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Because the Night
She’s the One
Livin’ in the Future
Mary’s Play
I’ll Work For Your Love
Devil’s Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Badlands
Growin’ Up
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Born to Run
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
Dancing in the Dark
American Land

10 Working on a Dream tour, Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, Friday July 3rd, 2009, the last time we see Clarence Clemons perform, (he died on June 18th, 2011), with Chris. As we left the arena we all sang the Badlands refrain walking out and through the trees on our way back to the train station. Here it is: http://youtu.be/VQjq_CjSJuY

Badlands
Adam Raised a Cain
The Ties that Bind
My Lucky Day
Outlaw Pete
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Seeds
Johnny 99
Factory
Something in the Night
I’m Goin’ Down
Ramrod
Trapped
Because the Night
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Point Blank
Kingdom of Days
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born to Run
Hard Times Come Again No More
Jungleland
American Land
Bobby Jean
Dancing in the Dark
Twist and Shout

11 Wrecking Ball tour, Rhein-Energie Stadium, Cologne, Sunday May 27th, 2012, with Chris. Very emotional set for me. We used the hotel room safe and our number was 634-578!

No Surrender
Two Hearts
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
The Ties that Bind
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Spirit in the Night
The E Street Shuffle
Jack of All Trades
Atlantic City
Honky Tonk Women
Darlington County
She’s the One
Working on the Highway
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Way You Do the Things You Do
634-5789
The River
The Rising
Radio Nowhere
We Are Alive
Land of Hope and Dreams
Born in the USa
Born to Run
Hungry Heart
Seven Nights to Rock
Dancing in the Dark
American Land
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

12 Wrecking Ball tour, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Friday June 22nd, 2012, with Carol and Chris. Rain, rain, rain. We had a picnic in the car.

Badlands
No Surrender
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Spirit in the Night
The E Street Shuffle
Jack of All Trades
Atlantic City
Prove It All Night
Two Hearts
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
Darlington County
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
Save My Love
The Promise
The River
The Rising
Out in the Street
Land of Hope and Dreams
We Are Alive
Thunder Road
Born to Run
Bobby Jean
Cadillac Ranch
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Twist and Shout

13 Wrecking Ball tour, Telenor Arena, Oslo, Monday April 29th, 2013, with Chris, so lucky, Bruce did a pre-show 5 song acoustic set in his old t shirt just for us and about 100 others in the pit. Magical. One of the best just for these few moments.

  • This Hard Land, as we ran in having worked out it was Bruce live and not recorded.
  • All That Heaven Will Allow, one of my favourite songs, and to mean so much to me just a few months later.
  • The Fever
  • Growin’ Up
My Kind of Town
Two Hearts
No Surrender
Badlands
Better Days
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
Hungry Heart
Spirit in the Night
The E Street Shuffle
Follow That Dream
The River
Prove It All Night
She’s the One
Pay Me My Money Down
Darlington County
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Rising
Lonesome Day
Thunder Road
For You
Born in the USA
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

14 Wrecking Ball tour, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Thursday June 20th, 2013, with Chris. Our last show together. She was too poorly to see Bruce again.

The Ghost of Tom Joad
Long Walk Home
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Two Hearts
Seeds
Trapped
Long Time Comin’
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
Hungry Heart
The River
Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Night
Backstreets
Born to Run
She’s the One
Meeting Across the River
Jungleland
Pay Me My Money Down
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
Shackled and Drawn
Lonesome Day
Badlands
We Are Alive
Born in the USA
Bobby Jean
Dancing in the Dark
Raise Your Hand
American Land

15 Wrecking Ball tour, Leeds Arena, Wednesday July 24th, 2013, one of the best shows I’ve seen, on my own. Very intimate and emotional.

Roulette
My Love Will Not Let You Down
No Surrender
Something in the Night
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Promised Land
Hungry Heart
Local Hero
Gotta Get That Feeling
Bad Moon Rising
Thundercrack
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
This Depression
Because the Night
Darlington County
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams
Secret Garden
Atlantic City
Badlands
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Shout
If I Should Fall Behind
Thunder Road

16 The River 2016 tour, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Wednesday 25th May, 2016. On my own. Good seat. Wet and cold but warmed up by Bruce pulling out all the stops. If only British crowds were a bit more responsive like the ones in Euroland. Badlands. Chris should have been with me but she was too poorly, it was awful because she really wanted to go.

Atlantic City
Murder Incorporated
Badlands
The Ties that Bind
Sherry Darling
Two Hearts
No Surrender
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Hungry Heart
Out in the Street
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Crush on You
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
I Wanna Marry You
The River
Point Blank
Johnny 99
Darlington County
Working on the Highway
The Promised Land
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
Because the Night
The Rising
Thunder Road
Backstreets
Born to Run
Glory Days
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Shout
Bobby Jean
This Hard Land

17 The River 2016 tour, Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Saturday 23rd July, 2016. On my own. Good show but guess I expected a bit too much, I wanted Frankie in the dark. He played The River all the way through. Saw Little Steven from the tram the day before! She’s The One. At least no Waitin’ on a Sunny Day, terrible song with the obligatory child performer that’s been in 8 of the last 9 shows!

Meet Me in the City
The Ties that Bind
Sherry Darling
Jackson Cage
Two Hearts
Independence Day
Hungry Heart
Out in the Street
Crush on You
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
I Wanna Marry You
The River
Point Blank
Cadillac Ranch
I’m a Rocker
Fade Away
Stolen Car
Ramrod
The Price You Pay
Drive All Night
Wreck on the Highway
Badlands
The Promised Land
Candy’s Room
She’s the One
Because the Night
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams
Born in the USA
Born to Run
Seven Nights to Rock
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Shout
Twist and Shout

My favourite performances and songs

Manifesto, song by Victor Jara

I first remember hearing about Victor Jara back in the early 80s. There was the film Missing which was about a journalist who was murdered under the Pinochet regime and Jara, a singer and activist was also killed at that time.

When I Leave Berlin, song by Wizz Jones

Bruce sang in East Berlin to an audience of 300,000 in 1988. I went to East Germany several times with my parents in the 1970s and saw the wall from both sides so this makes a connection for me. Bruce in East Berlin, 1988

Frankie, Philadelphia, 2012

I’ve always loved this song, and I love the interaction between Bruce and Soozie Tyrell here. Still hoping I’ll see him do this one day!

Thunder Road. This is the 1975 live at the Hammersmith Odeon version.

Lift Me Up. In loving memory of my darling Chris.

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