Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dream Baby Dream

This weekend I am in Tampa for the forth year doing the WILD Last Damn Show 007, a hip hop extravaganza featuring Lil Jon and a host of other b level hip hop artists. I found out Wednesday that Bruce was playing in Tampa on Friday night, the day that I arrived, so I went on the ticketing site and was able to find a great seat for the show. My seat was in the loge level, right next to the stage, five rows up. This is the closest I have ever sat for a Bruce show. My flight arrived at 7 pm and the show was scheduled to start at 7:30, but I figured the show wouldn't start until 8:15 and I was right. I arrived right at 8:15 and I saw the whole show. Although I had to wait until after the third song to be seated. As usual Bruce rocked. I was also pleased to be treated to a very different set than when I saw him in Phoenix back in April.

Here is the set list from last night:

Fade Away
Reason To Believe
Devils And Dust
Empty Sky
Long Time Comin'
Be True
Atlantic City
State Trooper
Ain't Got You
One Step Up
Wreck On The Highway
Real World
My Hometown
The Rising
Lucky Town
Jesus Was An Only Son
Two Hearts
The Hitter
Matamoros Banks
I Wanna Marry You
Blinded By The Light
Land Of Hope And Dreams
The Promised Land
Dream Baby Dream

The Phoenix show was the third date on the tour, while the show last night was around show #40. There were a few things that struck me about the experience. The first was that Bruce's 'deconstructing' of his classic tunes has devolved even more. To a true Bruce fan it can be a very exciting to hear some of their favorite songs performed in a new, more personal manner. Although for the casual Bruce fan, I can see how the experience could be frustrating hearing a familiar melody line meander around the new rhythms and go places that they have never gone. The other most striking moment of the show for me was how Bruce closed the show. He stepped behind a foot pump organ and began to play Dream, a Roy Orbison song that I have never heard and one that Bruce has only begun to play in May. It was a slow repetitive song that became a meditation. Now I've been to LOTS of Bruce shows both with the band, (both of them), and solo acoustic and I must say that a couple of minutes into Dream, I surveyed the audience and it was the most focused and attentive I have ever seen a Bruce audience. It was Bruce live at his finest. The preacher taking his flock to a better place.


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