The Backstreets report (to which I contributed) can be found here.
The beginning of the set was as if it was straight out of the reunion tour. (Note to Bruce: I’ll also happily welcome parts of the show that feel as if they’re from the Tunnel, Magic or Promise tours). Just an amazing surprise. Yes, we expect night two to be different but this was just something else. It’s as if Bruce realized how “on” the band was and wanted to keep pulling more and more different things out as a result.
By the time “Downbound Train” came out (the fourth song in) people were really wondering – what exactly has gotten into him? Is he skipping the new songs? Completely reworking the show? The anything-goes element is a huge bonus to the fans who attend multiple shows on the tour. Thanks Bruce.
It seems strange to have a single complaint after a show of this caliber but I do have one significant bone to pick with respect to the starting time of the show. The ticket says 8:00 PM. No one would be concerned if the show started at 8:10 or 8:15 or even 8:30. But when Bruce doesn’t show his face on stage until almost 9:00 PM, it’s become a bit disrespectful to the audience. At the risk of being the old man yelling at a cloud, the Paris metro doesn’t run all night, the show was on a Thursday (not a weekend), and people should be able to enjoy this sort of show without also having to worry about how they’ll get home (rant ends here).
I’ve had my concerns and apprehensions regarding Jake Clemons’ role in the E Street Band throughout this tour, so it is only fair to point out that he did a fantastic job tonight. The new take on “Spirit” (see the Backstreets review) was refreshing, as was his excellent playing. Tonight was perhaps the first time all tour that I felt he was truly filling the job of lead saxophone player in the E Street Band.*
*No disrespect is intended to either party but it bears noting that this is not – and, by definition can NOT be – the same thing as “filling the job of Clarence Clemons.”