2002-12-17 Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
StandOnIt This was my third show of the current tour. Without question the BEST. Actually it ranks up there with the South Bend show of 1978. One reason for Bruce's loyal following is his ability to exceed the seemingly impossible expectations by his fans. You leave the arena shaking your head and muttering, How does he do it? I don't know of another artist that moves so easily between generations. Look at the families in the audience. Going to a rock and roll show, ok any show, with my parents was unimaginable. Being a Viet Nam vet and standing next to my son during Born in the USA was a very poignant moment, I'm sure for him as well. Certainly these shows are more than an evening's entertainment. It's not Only Rock and Roll.
Jason May Bruce and the band conclude 2002 with their return to their rightful place atop the world of Rock and Roll. We knew he never left but others might have needed convincing. The power of the E Street Band takes the emotions of 9/11, used as the smoldering core of "the Rising songs" and supercharges them into the lasting memory of everyone who attended at Conseco Fieldhouse. There was definitely magic in the night… A less than full house (show was never sold out, but there obviously were many who could not juggle schedules for the Tuesday night rescheduled show) appreciated the brilliance of the E Street Band and marveled at the incomparable energy, passion and talent of the Boss.
The Rising and Lonesome Day led off the night solidly and laid the foundation for the ride of the night. No Surrender and Night ignited the die-hards and probably confused the 1984 Born in the USA crowd.
No one could miss the power and poignancy of Empty Sky and You're Missing even those who have not used "The Rising" as the soundtrack of ours lives in 2002. Patti and Nils and Suzie shine. Waiting' on a Sunny Day was met with enthusiasm but seemed to be missing a little 'umph'. It, the umph showed up next with Darlington County getting the crowd rolling again.
Worlds Apart with Nils (the most underrated guitarist, this side of well. Bruce). Badlands had many of the ladies around us going nuts… which struck me as odd. Indiana loves this song, just like in 99. Steve and Bruce used Two Hearts planted the final hook into the crowd, especially when they flubbed some lines and got to goofing around. There was no going back for the Hoosiers after that, especially with the tour premiere of Loose Ends, obviously chosen since this show was a tying of up of loose ends. I've always liked this song and especially now since I have heard it live.
Mary's Place vs 10th Avenue evangelization just doesn't do it for me for the band intros. I m partial to the 10th avenue Gospel Sermon. Long Bruuuuuuccccceeee after he introduces the Big Man. Everyone finally gets off their ass with a little coaxing from the Boss. Countin' on a Miracle was excellent but might have been used a breather before the Big Finish. Thunder Road and Into the Fire were outstanding and I would have left happy at that point. Glory Days and Born to Run kick the night into overdrive and sets up the crowd for the Detroit Medley. You can sense some of the 1st timers think that will do it but we always know the best is meant to come.
Bruce on piano for my City of Ruins (I think I m correct, 2nd year anniversary of first performance in Asbury Park.) (Bruce thanks us for joining him and the crew down at the Shore) and asked everyone to remember the local food bank here in Indianapolis. Sadly, they were not out as strong after the show as they should have been to get the donations. I had to send an on-line donation after the fact to honor the Boss. Beautiful song that the version on The Rising just doesn't quite capture for some reason. Born in the USA is played as a prayer for peace. Sadly, many of the crowd of Reagan-ites still don t get it . Very powerful performance though.
Land of Hope and Dreams gets a strong reception (especially versus last time in Indy) and is just a great song that gets better and better every time I hear it. House lights are up and still no Santa. The GA crowd was well organized and prepared with 100s of Santa hats. The mountain of Santa hats that lands on the stages coaxes an arrival of Santa Claus. The band and Bruce seemed to really enjoy it. Patti wears a blue Colts Santa hat, not sure the Jersey folks will like that with the NY Giants coming to Indianapolis this weekend. The night concludes with Dancing in the Dark and a Courtney Cox imitator that Steven picks out of the crowd. Bruce really seemed to enjoy the audience during the encores; the crowd redeems itself a bit from a slow start.
This was my 2nd B and ESB show (both @ Conseco in Indianapolis) I can t wait 3 years again. Hoping for a show in Cincinnati, Louisville or close drive again in 2003.
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