Monday, 17 February 2014

Springsteen in Melbourne, pt 1: Stadium Show Saturday

"I think I just got possessed by my 30-year-old self."

So said Bruce Springsteen near the end of Saturday night's show at Melbourne's AAMI Park, the first in a facility larger than an arena during this month-long Australian tour. He'd just taken 30,000 or so people back to the mid-80s, when we were all better looking and our Born in the USA t-shirts didn't grip our mid-sections and Springsteen was packing stadiums around the world. After shocking long-timers by grabbing a sign for 'Jole Blon' and hitting a six with it (some Aussie slang for y'all), he told the packed house the E Street Band didn't want to repeat what they'd performed during their 2013 visit to Melbourne and so were "... gonna do the Born in the U.S.A. album start to finish."

It sounded like he'd just shouted everyone a dozen rounds.

On this night after a muggy, fly-infested afternoon that cleared and cooled after a 20-minute downpour washed us clean on a rubber-coated footy ground, we rode the rising tide of a show that startled, soothed and sizzled throughout. I'd guessed -- and have witnesses -- that an extra mic put between Bruce and Steven was for Eddie Vedder, who's in town doing a solo tour, and was proven right when the Pearl Jam frontman joined the band for a double-shot of 'Highway to Hell' and 'Darkness'.

From there, all that was missing was my mullet and a velour shirt.

That's a lot of rock-and-roll royalty right there.

Springsteen and Vedder sharing vox on 'Darkness'.

It may have been my imagination but Bruce seemed to spend a lot of time on the stage's center thrust. Which was cool, 'cause it meant he was sweating on my wife and I.

Bruce and Steven survey their domain during 'Just Like Fire Would'.

Keep trying, darlin'. I'd love to hear it, too.

While Springsteen roams throughout spacious AAMI Park, Jake Clemons provides the vibe during 'Hungry Heart'.

The great Nils Lofgren fueling 'Cover Me'.

A night when Springsteen not only had the most energy in the building, but was having the most fun, here during 'Darlington County'.

Post-spray during intro to 'Working on the Highway'.

Don Steven Van Zandt keeps watch over his gunslingers.

Bruce salutes Jake's 'Bobby Jean' solo.

We had by far the best crowd of the 2014 Oz tour so far.

'I'm Goin' Down' is the closest thing to a rarity on BITUSA, but man it rocks ...

'Glory Days' tomfoolery.

This woman's daughter held up a sign pleading with Bruce to dance with her mom. They were standing beside us, and when Springsteen reached down to the woman, she looked like a beauty pageant contestant who'd just had a tiara placed on her head.

Cindy Mizelle shows her rock star pose during an early 'Dancing in the Dark'.

'Shackled and Drawn'. Always brilliant.

Cindy and Bruce.

A look that says, "I'm gonna let you fiddle with my guitar during 'Born to Run', but you ARE going to control yourself, capiche?"

"Aaaah ... now that's how you do it ... very nice."

These folks put up with a lot of pre-show silliness. This joy is well-earned.

Speaking of silliness .... we got it in spades during a rapturous 'Rosalita'.

A coupla mugs.

We remember.

Always, we remember.

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