Much of what is written here deals with potential changes (and possible improvements) to Bruce’s live set, so it would only be fair to laud him when things go right. The opening of the third night in Melbourne was a FANTASTIC opening to a show. (And yes, I say this without having been in the audience).
The opening songs – “Long Walk Home,” “Radio Nowhere,” “My Love Will Not Let You Down,” “Better Days” and “We Take Care of Our Own” is the best opening run of songs any any show this entire tour.
One one level, these are all appropriate choices for Australia, as the first four songs had never before been played there. Crowds down under never got to see the Lucky Town material as the 1992-93 tour never reached Australian shores and they never got to see Magic songs as that tour also skipped Australia. The Reunion tour – and its common opening song “My Love Will Not Let You Down” – also missed Australia.
The fifth, “We Take Care of Our Own,” had been inexplicably dropped from several shows earlier in the Australian tour, and its return is hailed here, not just because it is an excellent song, but also because is the most important of the new songs and should be in the show every night.
In a broader view, the presence of this material is also welcome because they are some of Bruce’s finest and most underplayed songs. The absence of Magic material is at times plain baffling. “Better Days” has had only four performances since 1993, and “My Love Will Not Let You Down” has been a rarity since the end of the Reunion tour.
To say that this show is a positive indicator for the rest of the tour is an understatement. Well done, Bruce.