Needless to say, the complete turnaround in the construction of the setlist from only one week ago is as dramatic as it is welcome.
It is extraordinarily gratifying and reassuring that Bruce saw to it that improvements were made in his song selection, and that he and the band are again working on new things for the set in the pre-show soundchecks.
Dumping the full-album performances doesn’t mean that Bruce can’t play something for everyone, of course, and as evidenced in both of the recent German shows, he mixed in his hits and well-known material together with more challenging numbers. Plus, with the return of “Rocky Ground” in Mönchengladbach and “We Take Care of Our Own” in Leipzig, he is fortunately adding a bit more of the Wrecking Ball album to the set after hitting a low point of 2 new songs in the show (3 if you count the new arrangement of “Land of Hope and Dreams”) in Geneva.
With only nine shows left in Europe, the wish-list for new songs to try is as follows:
5. “Local Hero” – it’s been repeatedly practiced, and should hopefully be making an appearance imminently.
4. “Gotta Get that Feeling” – if the band could nail “One Way Street” so easily, this gem from The Promise should be no sweat. It was rehearsed last October but hasn’t ever made a setlist yet this tour.
3. “It’s a Shame” – a personal favorite from “The Promise.”
2. “The Big Muddy” – so far, the 1992-93 material that Bruce has tried has all been songs previously attempted with the E Street Band. He’s never tried this one before wiht E Street and he should. They could stick to a sparse arrangement with the electric guitar and atmospheric keyboards but I also think this could be transformed into a rock showpiece, similar to what was done to “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”
1. “Real World” – in a full-band arrangement. Bruce successfully reclaimed the song with his solo-piano performances on the Devils and Dust tour, and the band he now has gives him the opportunity to try to get the band arrangement right. With the horns and singers, this could be spectacular.