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Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA 12th February 12 2016.

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At the very end of what will go down as a legendary show in Philadelphia on Friday night, Bruce Springsteen as he was finishing up his final song of the evening "Shout," yelled out "Bruce is loose!"

Yes he was.

As Bruce said many times in 2014 "the older you get, the more it means" and Friday night meant a damn lot, a very special evening that I will be so glad to say "I was there that night in Philadelphia" for years to come. And I think it meant an awfully lot to Bruce too.


Let's start with how great the crowd was. Bruce fed off of them all evening. Philadelphia is known for getting special shows and great crowds and that was definitely the case tonight. Just pure magic throughout the evening.
It may not have even been the best "River" segment of the tour, I thought Albany was crisper, but from top to bottom it was great.


Two tour premieres: "My Love Will Not Let You Down" and "Jungleland" just raised the bar higher. It was the longest show of the tour timewise, clocking in at 3:27 with 33 songs.


Where to start. I always takes notes at a show so I'll just start from what's in my notebook. This will be long, so I hope you can stay with it.


Show began at 8:04 p.m. with Bruce coming out saying "Philadelphia! My brothers and sisters! Are you ready to be entertained?"


Oh yeah, we were.


"Meet Me In the City" began as usual and then Bruce gave his usual speech before playing the album
"The River was my coming of age record." he said. "Before that we were part of an outsider community in Asbury Park. By the time I wrote the river I was looking to get inside."


Bruce's voice was rough a few times. I noticed it during "Independence Day" and later on some other songs.
There was a funny point after the crowd surf when Bruce hit the stage on "Hungry Heart." I think Jake was laughing and had trouble playing his his sax solo. Bruce laughed and said "just do your best."


Before "I Wanna Marry You" Bruce asked "Who remembers their first kiss? I do. It was Maria Espinosa in the bleachers of the YMCA. I limped all the way home." Bruce talks about that in his song "In Freehold."

The song "The River" was dedicated to Bruce's sister Ginny. Bruce said "I wrote this song for my sister, she's her with her husband tonight. They struggled during the (Jimmy) Carter recession."


Again, I love the intro to "Point Blank" and that's a song Garry Tallent really stands out on.
Loved the guitar solos by Nils and Steve during "Cadillac Ranch." It was extra fun tonight.


During "I'm a Rocker" Bruce signed two autographs when he was on the back center platform.


Bruce continues to introduce "Stolen Car" "as the first song I wrote about men and women.


Ramrod was fun and Bruce had the band "shake their booty" at the end.


For 25 years or so Bruce fans chased "The Price You Pay." It was the holy grail. Now it's fun hearing show after show. It really stood out for me tonight. I especially noticed all the harmonizing on it by Soozie, Nils, Steve and Patti, really nice.


Before playing "Drive All Night" Bruce said "When I was ending 'The River" I was looking for a love song to close it. I wanted to close the album with a love song. I went back in the archives and I found this. We did it in one take in 1977."
Very interesting tidbit Never new that about "Drive All Night."There was a little of "Dream Baby Dream" and "Dream On" during "Drive All Night."

Then the wildcards. It kicked off with "Atlantic City" followed by "Prove it All Night." A special one for me as I saw Bruce twice in Philadelphia on the Darkness tour in 1978 and "Prove It" was a highlight then. This is the song Nils get to shine on (either this or "Because the Night". Great guitar solo and he twirled around and around.


The surprise of the night was "My Love Will Not Let You Down" which was not on the set list. That always gets the crowd going and it did tonight. A powerful version. Tom Cunningham send me a text saying "The band is one fire!" during this song. Yes they were.


Many of us are tired of "Wrecking Ball" but I knew it would work with the Philadelphia crowd, especially when Bruce mentioned "Giants" He hesitated a bit as there was a strong crowd reaction.
Patti was there tonight and of course we had a Patti song: "Human Touch."At one point though, Patti was really off key or just shouting. My friend and I turned to each other and both said "Ouch!" Max is outstanding on "Human Touch."


Next came the song that put this show over the top: "Jungleland." It was on the set list and the crowd ate it up. Yeah I've heard it many times over the years, but tonight it sounded so fresh. And with this tremendous sound on the tour, it was just perfect.


Although Bruce did forget the lyric "The midnight gangs assemble." He looked lost for a little bit before recovering and singing it. My friend and I both said "ooops."Jake Clemons nailed the sax solo. Bruce came over to him and said a few words and tapped him on the shoulder. Very emotional moment.

At the very end, Bruce hesitated before finishing up with "Tonight in Jungleland." I think he was just soaking in the huge crowd reaction as the arena was yelling "Bruuuuuuuuuuuccce!" and it was very powerful. You'll notice it when the CD of this show comes out.I noticed that Patti was not on the stage during "Jungleland."

"The Rising" which has been played every show this tour, was an audible tonight. It was not on the set list. Steve was doing a little dance toward the end of it

.
At the end of "Thunder Road" Bruce really took it all in. It's as he was hit by how special this crowd was and just took some extra moments to let it soak all in. He was even looking at all the signs and started laughing.


Bruce did not put his guitar down for anyone up front to strum it during "Born to Run." He usually does.


"Dancing in the Dark" featured a return Philadelphia appearance of the legendary "Philly Elvis." Nick had a sign asking if "The Philly Elvis could dance with Soozie" and it was the first sign Bruce took. He showed it to the cameras and Elvis had some fun with Soozie.


Philadelphia has a long history with "Rosalita" and that definitely showed in the encores. Fun, fun fun!!
During the band introductions, which were during "Shout" (no "Bobby Jean" tonight), when Bruce introduced Jake, he said "On the sax, Jake," hesitated a second, then strongly emphasized "Clemons!"


Bruce mentioned that Garry Tallent has a new album out "Go find it," he said.


"Shout" closed the show. I'm not the biggest fan of it, but tonight with this crowd, it was just perfect. Fun, fun, fun. 


Frank Stefanko, who shot the album covers for "Darkness" and "The River" was taking pictures all night in the back of the pit.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading.
This show was a great one.



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