A few notes and observations as someone who has been living vicariously through YouTube clips (thanks to everyone who uploaded), photos and show reports:
1. Bruce is relying on Nils to carry a greater load with Steve absent.
I did quite enjoy seeing Morello put his hand in the air, right along with the crowd, for the “I believe in the faith that can save me” line from “Badlands” and “faith will be rewarded” line from “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
This is likely due to the fact that “Tenth Avenue” had never been performed in Australia! It’s not just that the Reunion tour (where the sing-along originated) never made it down under, but the song wasn’t played on the Australian legs of the Born in the USA or Rising tours either.
3. Bruce has added another crowd-surfing song to his arsenal: “Out in the Street.” (video)
That makes four this tour – in addition to “Out in the Street,” he’s also used “634-5789,” “Hungry Heart” and “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day.”
4. Security probably isn’t having as much fun as Bruce.
His trips into the crowd now aren’t limited just to the stage at the back of the pit — he went into the pit to dance during “634-5789” (video) and apparently almost to the very back of the floor for “Darlington County” (video).
5. The disappearance of “We Take Care of Our Own” was unexpected.
Aside from “Just Like Fire Would” and “High Hopes,” the biggest surprise from Brisbane is that Bruce would drop another new song from the set, and in particular one that is a key song from the new album. This could be (and I hope is) a similar situation to that of the July 5, 2008 show in Gothenburg, where “Radio Nowhere” was dropped for the only time on the Magic tour.
That being said, it was unusual to see a setlist with only four Wrecking Ball songs so early into this leg of the tour. I was hoping to that “This Depression” and “Rocky Ground” would appear as the alternates for “Jack of All Trades” and “We Are Alive.” The omission of “This Depression” is particularly strange given that Tom Morello is readily available to play the guitar solo.