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Mike Ness of Social D joins Bruce for LA Dream Show #2! +news, review & set list

April 17, 2009

051708ness21 Mike Ness and Bruce Springsteen image from Backstreets“We’re here with a mighty purpose in mind! We’re gonna rock the house! But we’re not only going to rock the house, we’re going to build a house. We’re going to take fear and build a house of love; we’re going to take sadness and build a house of joy; we’re going to take doubt and build a house of faith; we’re going to take despair and build a house of hope.” Bruce Springsteen April 15, 2009

“Gonna build a house, got all the tunes we need to build a stage, gonna build a house out of music!” Bruce Springsteen, April 16, 2009

Tonight, after the Bruce Springsteen  Working on a Dream show at the LA Sports Arena, we hung out by the exit waiting for Bruce and the band to come out, sign autographs, and talk.

And I am happy to report, that finally, after 22 years of trying, tonight The Big Monkey finally got Bruce Springsteen to sign an enlarged photograph of  them together which was taken here at the Sports Arena in 1987.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself! Let me tell you about the show first. It was great of course, and Mike Ness of Social Distortion showed up and they wailed on the guitars showing no mercy whatsoever (more about that–and that photo is from a previous gig–we’ll see later if I find any or if mine came out!)  and then the Big Monkey got his picture signed! (Yes it’s a really big BIG deal! He is beside himself with joy!)

newsdf_memorialshowflyer1 Danny Federici Tribute showTonight was the one year anniversary of Danny Federici’s death, the organ player who had been friends with and played with Bruce the longest. They went to high school together and started playing together in the late 60s. According to WIkipedia, Federici died on April 17, 2008 in New York having suffered for three years with melanoma.[7][8] Springsteen’s newest album, Working on a Dream, is dedicated to him. There’s a tribute to Danny on Sunday at the Troubadour in LA with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello who dropped by and played last night. Danny’s son, Jason, who plays accordion will be there as well as other guests.

It seemed like those memories were weighing heavy on Bruce and the band tonight, but possibly inspiring them also to really put their hearts and souls in to the show, which they always do of course, but this was different, not quite somber but like this music matters, really really matters, in a different way than usual. There wasn’t as much kidding around and Bruce took several opportunities to rip it up on guitar, with the energy and intensity of a teenager but with the depth, maturity, and passion of an adult who has loved and lost. He didn’t talk a lot last night or tell a lot of stories; instead, he let the music speak for him.

And who am I? who am I to say anything? to comment? Just Someone who grew up listening Springsteen’s music, listening to Nebraska end to end the day that it came out and it was played on the local station as I drove for my first adventure, leaving my small town north of LA to visit a friend south in San Diego. Someone who has always seen more than the antics and fun of Born in the USA in Bruce. Someone who is frequently amazed by the poetry and grace of his seemingly simple lines. Someone who has used his lyrics to teach poetry more than once. Someone with seven shows under her belt since 2002 who is  married to someone with almost 100.

So now, without further ado, here’s the set list with a few notes.

Badlands (Darkness)
—lots of energy, got the crowd going, better tonight than last night

Candy’s Room (Darkness)
–always nice to get that song, it’s a great song

Outlaw Pete ( WOD)
—Bruce wore a hat and tossed  it in the crowd; images in the background on a giant TV screen of the west

No Surrender (Born In USA)
–great version, full band, lots organ, piano; the song’s about friendships, piano keys; on screen, moving pictures of the band when young, growing up

Adam Raised a Cain (Darkness)
–about his dad

Working on A Dream (WOD)
–with Clarence whistling; he ultimately plays all 3 of his Superbowl songs

Scenes
–written around the time (1984) of his massively popular and populist upbeat album Born in the USA, which it doens’t fit in with;  never recorded  for a regular  album; hasn’t played it in concert in a while, played often on the Tunnel tour, fitting intro to subsequent ” dustbowl” type songs

Youngstown (Tom Joad)
–about steel mills closing in Ohio

Johnny 99 (Nebraska)
–not stripped down like on the album Nebraska but more a wall of sounds with  full band and energy as he’s been doing on this tour

Raise your hand (old r & b song)
–really got the crowd singing and dancing and waving their arms

REQUESTS: Recently, people in the audience have been bringing signs, large cards almost, with requests for certain songs. He runs around grabbing people’s posters, brings them on stage, flips through them, smiling and shaking his head sometimes, flinging them. He then chooses one to share. Last night, he did three requests.

Proud Mary (CCR/John  Fogarty song)
–Bruce used to cover this more often

Growing Up (1st album Asbury Park)
–this request came with a giant photograph of a picture of a few young guys (possibly Bruce and Danny? will try to get the full story) with an arrow and text like “play Growing Up for this guy”

Hungry Heart (River)
–According to Wikipedia, “Federici’s organ fills are a key component in the E Street sound, and sometimes take on a more prominent role, such as on the hit “Hungry Heart“.

Promise Land (Darkness)
–killer version, nice harmonica, one of the Big Monkey’s favorite songs; he never gets tired of hearing about the promised land, the message in the song of believing in the promised land

The Wrestler (WOD)
–chilling haunting stripped down lighting spotlight, focus on man guitar song

Back streets

Mike Ness’s song
–Mike Ness of Social Distortion sat in tonight, and it looked like he was wearing a Black Flag t-shirt. Bruce played on the studio version of the song they did together

Max, his long time drummer, plays drums and banters with Conan O’Brien. When he can’t join the tour, his son plays drums for his dad’s band and he played a couple of songs.

Lonesome day

The Rising
–Ness sat in and the Boss really let loose on the guitar

Glory Days
–with some Louie Louie on the end– back to the start I imagine, back to the early days of playing music and being in a band and playing Louie Louie (doesn’t everyone?)

Will do a different post with some after the show shop talk and new friends. And yes I took photos with my iPhone! will add those too maybe…

For the LA Times version of show #1, go here.

For Ron Wells review of show #1, see the previous post on this blog.

For the Big Monkey’s notes of show #1, see the post previous to that!

There’s lots of Bruce stuff on this blog; I hope you’ll check it out! And please comment! What did you think about the show? D you have tickets for this tour? Which Bruce show was your favorite? Do you want to hear songs from the new album?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Randy (Rancat) permalink
    April 19, 2009 11:14 pm

    First, thank you for this review. Since I wasn’t at the show I can experience it vicariously thru your description. Second, congratulations to The Big Monkey… It’s been “A Long Time Comin’.” I was at Tunnel of Love, Sports Arena, 3 shows in ’88. I also delivered to Bruce while a FedEx driver in B.H from ’89 – ’99. Never officially met him but saw him around inside his gates a few times. I currently listen to E Street Radio a lot (what an awesome station). It was on this station that I first heard “The Last Carnival” and instinctively new that it was written for Danny. This brings me to my point. Is Bruce doing this song on the tour? I’m surprised he didn’t do it on this night.

  2. April 19, 2009 11:51 pm

    Thank you Randy, for commenting! Great story too–thanks for sharing!

    The Big Monkey says that Bruce and band haven’t played that song yet on this tour. Maybe next stop?

  3. April 26, 2009 1:34 am

    Hey there
    Great post , good info
    would like to put a link to it in
    My blog
    if thats ok with you?
    cheers
    liran

  4. April 26, 2009 5:07 pm

    Sure, that’s great! Glad you liked the post!

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