Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia, February 19, 2014
There was a double rainbow as I entered the Olympic Park and I knew I was in for a ‘golden’ show. Bruce never lets you down. I counted 15 band members on the stage, but I may have missed a couple. A very guitar-oriented show with Tom Morello back in the band (for the tour and the new album, High Hopes). Tom’s solo during the new version of ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’ was nothing short of amazing, and he also shared vocal duties with Bruce on it. Besides Tom, Nils Lofgren and Steve Van Zandt as well as Bruce handled the guitar duties. Nils did a guitar solo that was a haunting dance as he did spirals on the stage with a long ribbon tied to the neck of his guitar. Bruce played his trusty Fender Telecaster for most of the concert. Patty Scialfa occasionally picked up a guitar too. The sax solos normally performed by Jake Clemons (nephew of legendary Clarence Clemons), were performed by Eddie Manion in Jake’s absence due to a death in the family. Max Weinberg on drums, Roy Bittan, on keyboards and Garry Tallent rounded out the band. If you’ve witnessed a Bruce & the E Street Band concert before you know it’s going to be a marathon extravaganza full of energy. One song was hardly over before Bruce would count one,
A rainbow greeted me as I arrived at Allphones Arena in Sydney
two, three, four… to start off the next one. Audience members, mainly girls, were brought up on stage to dance during ‘Dancing In The Dark’. The lights finally went down after three incredible hours of an energized show. The set list for the Sydney show was as follows: Friday On My Mind, Out In The Street, Cadillac Ranch, High Hopes, Just Like Fire Would, Spirit In The Night, Badlands, Adam Raised A Cain, Something In The Night, Candy’s Room, Racing In The Street, The Promised Land, Factory, Streets of Fire, Prove It All Night, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Darlington County, Shackled and Drawn, Waitin’ On A Sunny Day, The Ghost of Tom Joad and Land of Hope and Dreams.Wait I’m not finished yet. Here’s the encore: Don’t Change, Born To Run, Dancing In The Dark, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Shout, Surprise Surprise and Dream Baby Dream.
‘Dancing In The Dark’ under the bright lights
‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’ with Tom Morello
Nils Lofgren (right) does a haunting solo and dance with his Stratocaster
The Rolling Stones at The Grand Ballroom, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, March 15, 2014
The Rolling Stones road show is well-greased after over 50 years of touring. This concert was special because it is the smallest venue show on their current Asian tour. Outside of the venue, two stages were set up where local bands alternated sets for an appreciative audience. Once the ‘big’ show started inside, those lucky enough to have tickets moved there and the remaining crowd got to watch the closed caption version on a large screen. To make it even more special, Mick & the boys made a short appearance outdoors to say hello.
The Stones opened with Jumping Jack Flash and everybody was out of their seats from that point on. A special guest for a few songs was former Rolling Stone, Mick Taylor. I had seen Mick with the band back in 1972. He replaced Brian Jones in the band in 1969 and left in 1975. He was then replaced by Ron Wood. The boys seem to be having a lot of fun on stage, and Mick Jagger only stopped moving when the lights went down after a song. There was a corridor which extended from the stage out into the audience and Mick would prance out there every now and then. He would move from stage left to stage right so that everyone got equal time with their hero. Long time support band members, Chuck Leavell, keyboards, Darryl Jones, bass, Lisa Fischer, vocals, Bernard Fowler, vocals, Bobby Keyes, saxaphone and Tim Ries, sax/keyboards filled out the band.
The Singapore set list was as follows: Jumpin’ Jack Flash, You Got Me Rocking, It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (But I Like It), Tumbling Dice, Wild Horses, Doom And Gloom, Live With Me (Song vote winner), Honky Tonk Women, Slipping Away (with Keith on lead vocals and Mick Taylor on guitar), Before They Make Me Run (with Keith on lead vocals), Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor), Miss You, Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter, Start Me Up, Sympathy For The Devil, Brown Sugar ENCORE - You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with the SYC Ensemble Singers), (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (with Mick Taylor)