Springsteen in Stockholm, Night 3, Friends Arena, May 11

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I reviewed this show for Backstreets. Report can be found there.

There is no immutable requirement that the final Springsteen show of a multi-night stand be the best of that stand. Yet, by the final night of a stand, one can at least have the reasonable expectation that the setlist will be, at a minimum, changed and varied.

Saturday’s show was plain baffling, given that the songs “surrounding” the album performance were almost all repeats from earlier in the stand (“Cadillac Ranch,” “Raise Your Hand” and “Rosalita” were the exceptions).

Once one takes into consideration what was played in the two Oslo and two Turku shows, the events in Stockholm become more frustrating. Bruce has ready and at his disposal plenty of alternatives rather than playing “The Rising,” “Sunny Day,” “Out in the Street,” “Twist and Shout,” “Thunder Road,” and “The Promised Land” yet again.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with playing any of those songs (“Sunny Day” excepted). It’s just that they had all already been covered earlier in Stockholm. There’s no need for Bruce to default to these regular crowd-pleasers when he is already essentially performing an encore in the main set. If there was ever a night to skip those songs, this was it!

If “Born in the USA” comprises song numbers 7-18 of the set, then Bruce owes it to the audience to try something a bit more challenging in those first seven spaces, or in the ones that follow.

I can fully admit that the full-band version of “Real World” with horns and singers that I hear in my head is not likely to be played, and neither is much of the “Tunnel of Love” album. There is still plenty, however, that Bruce reasonably can and should be doing to his setlists to keep them fresh, interesting and relevant. Full-album performances is not one of those things.

I remain disappointed that Bruce thinks that performing “album” shows is either the best way to thank his fans, or the best way to do something “new” with his show. As he proved to everyone in Turku, neither of those things are true.

This entry was posted in Shows.

4 comments on “Springsteen in Stockholm, Night 3, Friends Arena, May 11

  1. kathryn says:

    kills me
    but you are so right
    I always want to think he is one step ahead of us
    baffling is the correct word to use for sure
    thanks again
    always glad for your commentary

  2. Kev says:

    It’s simple, this was a show to 60,000. Arena shows will have more challenging material. This was a show for the masses.

    • Izzy says:

      Obviously that wasn’t a problem last summer in Sweden when he played in front of 65,000 so your comment makes no sense at all.

  3. Kenth says:

    You are spot on here! Saw all three shows in Stockholm and was hoping for something different last night.

    So many in the audience that would have been over the moon if a shift as you describe would have taken place.

    Stockholm part III had been better with
    The River, Because the Night, The Ties That Bind, Murder Inc, Long Walk Home.

    Instead the repeat of
    Death to my Hometown, Waitin’ on a Sunny Day, Radio Nowhere, The Rising..

    Personally Sherry D also could have been there last night. But hey, seen with this bigger picture on 3 shows. Stockholm was rather a m a z i n g.

    // Kenth

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