According to my ticket-stub collection, it would appear that last night’s Hamburg show was #32 for me but such was the surprise element, it could have been #1, St James’ Park Newcastle (5 June 1985), all over again.
Those magnificent men (and lady!) and their musical instruments arrived on stage at 19:45, and for the next two and three quarter hours had the Hamburg crowd united as one. I really love it when Bruce plays in Germany and the way he opens with a greeting ‘auf Deutsch’ which, btw, included a mention of the Germany’s success in the EM game against Portugal!! I also love it when my ESP powers work and something from my ‘Wish List’ gets played – yeah, I know… it’s only a coincidence but all the same, I like to think it’s cosmic!
So, to the show:
Out in the Street – oh, oh, oh, oh, oh… and we were off!
Radio Nowhere – had the remaining seated bodies off their seats!
Prove It All Night, The Promised Land, Spirit in the Night – somewhere in here, Bruce collected hand-written requests from the fans closest to the stage, stopping along the way to fish a harmonica out of his pocket which he presented to a little girl who was sitting on someone’s shoulder. Back on stage, Bruce picked out one of the requests, showed it to the band and we got: Something in the Night… followed by: Held Up Without a Gun, which was introduced as being ‘the closest the E Street Band ever got to being punk’! Actually, I believe, this was only the second ever time this song has featured at a show… the last time being New Year’s Eve 1980 – or? But in any case, this particular request came with a message for Steve along the lines of ‘Sing… Stevie, sing!’
And he did!!
Atlantic City was next, then Gypsy Biker and then… uh… those opening few notes of Because the Night never fail to give me goosebumps! Prior to the song starting, Bruce held up a Birthday Greeting for Nils and, yeah, I guess Nils has kinda made this ‘his’ song… his burning guitar solo as he spun round… and round… and round… and round… was dizzying to watch but having seen Nils perform while jumping from a trampette, somehow this antic works just fine.
She’s the One – always great for community clapping and Livin’ in the Future… wonderful big screen shots of Bruce addressing the camera man who was trailing him. Mary’s Place kept the party going, right down to the knee-slide (like, doesn’t this hurt???!!) and then came another request. Thank you so much to whoever read my mind because in all the shows I have seen to date, I have never heard Sherry Darling. Fabulous, just fabulous!
I’ll Work for Your Love – was another request for someone ‘just married’… Hungry Heart was yet another request for a girl in the front row who Bruce said he recognised from being at other shows. The song began with an acoustic into before the band kicked-in.
Then we got Incident On 57th Street and there’s nothing I can say that will do justice to this song… suffice to say it was wonderful.
The Rising, Last to Die, Long Walk Home and Badlands brought the main set to a (very short) close.
Bruce came back out and started 7 Nights to Rock, on his own, and then the band joined him. Rosalita was everything you’d want it to be, Born to Run makes me sad because I know the show is almost over… Dancing in the Dark – well it wasn’t that dark seeing how it was the ‘longest day’ yesterday! And of course, American Land, complete with words to follow ala red-bouncing-ball closed one of the best open-air gigs I have seen. From start to finish, we were havin’ a party and everybody was certainly swingin’… and as you can see from the number of requests, spontaneity was the order of the day!
The show was promoted by NDR2, a local radio station, who, after the show, featured an hour of Springsteen music which helped to blank out the grid-lock situation getting out of the car parks. There are some great pictures of the show on their site.
And so, to cries of ‘Deutschland, Deutschland!’ from Bruce, to the audience… and a re-run of the Badlands chant from the audience back to Bruce, our turn was sadly over.
But only until the next time!