By Stan Goldstein
The Newark Star-Ledger
October 03, 2009, 2:54AM
On a night when you get the full Darkness on the Edge of Town album played, Bruce pulls out a classic Elvis Presley song and the E Street Band is absolutely on top of their game, that combined to make for one pretty damn good show at Giants Stadium on Friday.
Hearing Darkness from start to finish made it a classic show of course. This was played much tighter and much better l than at the Count Basie Theatre benefit in May of 2008, the only other time the album was played in it's entirety.
A shorter show timewise than Wednesday (3:14 to 2:50) but both shows had 29 songs.
Start Time: 8:24 p.m.
Again a pretty early start. Roy and Nils came onstage first. They weren't shown coming out from backstage on the big screens as they were at Wednesday's show.
Photo by Jeff Ross
Bruce Springsteen plays to the crowd at Giants Stadium on Friday night, the second of five shows there.
Bruce came up on the side stage with Clarence, walked him to his spot, gave the Big Man a little kiss and headed to the center mic.
"Glad you came out to help us tear down this old girl," Bruce said.
1. Wrecking Ball
I like this song. It's powerful and I like that it's a New Jersey theme song. Again trumpet player Curt Ramm played on this.
The stadium lights stayed on for the entire song.
The lyrics were not put up on the big screens tonight as they were at Wednesday's show.
2. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
"Jersey! Let them hear you in New York City!" Bruced yelled out. The words "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" were shown on a fast crawl on the big screens. They did this at some shows earlier this tour.
Bruce played to the far sides of the stage and when he got to the part "The Big Man joined the band" he pointed up to Clarence.
Always fun. Well done tonight.
3. No Surrender
A song I like but have tired of lately because Bruce does play it a lot. But tonight it really seemed to work well in this spot. A real rocking version.
The big screen behind the stage showed an old record album collection, some guitars, some saxophones and then sold old photos of Bruce and the band including the photo of the band that's on the back cover of "The Wild, the Innocent and The E Street Shuffle."
4. Outlaw Pete
A staple on this tour in an early slot. Again Western scenes were shown on the big screens.
The "Can You Hear Me?" part works well in the big stadium.
5. Hungry Heart
Seems to be back in the setlist all the time now. Bruce had the fans sing the first verse as usual.
Once again he ran into the back of the pit and jumped up and shook hands with fans and slapped high-fives with many of them. He told the band to keep playing after he finally got back onstage and collapsed on his back, I think he may have needed a few seconds to catch his breath after running around the entire pit like that. Pretty amazing. "Sounds good!" he said as the song was finishing.
6. Working on a Dream
"Good evening New Jersey. So glad to be here at Giants Stadium tonight," Bruce said. "So glad to be back home. the E Street Band has been touring, touring, touring, touring... and practicing, practicing, practiing, practicing just for tonight."
It was time to start the Darkness portion of the show.
"For Giants Stadium we tried to think of something special we could do. The other night we did 'Born To Run,' tomorrow 'Born In the U.S.A.' and tonight 'Darkness.' Bruce said.
"This was an important record for us. We had one hit and then three years off due to some trouble and hard times.
"This album has been the body of our sets for the past 30 years."
Big screens showed a cloudy sky. Great as always.
"Is there anybody alive out there tonight?" Bruce yelled out.
8. Adam Raised a Cain
A real hot and smokin' version. Great guitar work by Bruce.
"That was worth the price of admission," a friend send to me when the song finished.
9. Something in the Night
Hearing these first three in order, brought me back to my senior year of high school when I first bought this album and listened to it over and over.
10 . Candy's Room
Hasn't been played enough this tour and any time it's played, is a good part of the show.
11. Racing in the Street
Okay, I have to admit it. For the second straight show I got tears in my eyes. It was "Meeting Across the River" on Wednesday. Tonight it was "Racing."
Maybe the best version I've ever heard of this song and I first saw this played live in 1978.
Just a perfect performance. The crowd was into it, Roy's piano playing was as brilliant as ever and the acoustics were awesome.
One of those moments when for those few minutes everything seems perfect in the world. The ending musical part of the song just kept getting stronger and stronger.
The woman next to me said "It's gorgeous." In my notebook I wrote: "Incredible! Wow!"
Anyone who was at the show will be talking about this version for years.
The highlight of the night.
12. The Promised Land
Nice to hear this in a different spot in the setlist.
Not sure if this is anyone's favorite song, but since it's not played that much, it was good to hear.
14. Streets of Fire
A classic that is not played enough. Sounded great. Nice guitar work by Bruce.
15. Prove It All Night
A hot, hot version. Incredible Nils guitar solo (think Youngstown, Ghost of Tom Joad etc.) At one point Nils was holding up his guitar with one hand and still playing it with the other hand.
16. Darkness on the Edge of Town
Just like on the album, the final song. Sort of sums it all up.
At the end Bruce brought Steve, Max, Garry, Roy and Clarence to the front of the stage for a bow.
"These are the guys who made the record. And Phantom Dan Federici"
A very touching moment.
17. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Bruce made a long toss of the guitar and tech Kevin Buell may have made his best catch ever. The guitar sailed far to the side on a long toss and Kevin had to really hustle to catch it. When he did, even Bruce stopped and clapped for him. "The wind took it!" Bruce joked about his bad throw.
We have seen Bruce do a lot of crazy things, tonight was pretty crazy. He actually jumped into the side seats between sections 108 and 109 (Off of Steve's side of the stage) and got into the front rows.
At first the crowd was singing along and Bruce said "that's terrible!"
Then he found a young girl to sing a long with him.
Raise Your Hand - Instrumental (Collecting Signs)
The handwritten setlist had Bruce doing the sign portion to start the encores but he changed his mind and decided to do it here. He was telling Steve to get his guitar.
Bruce found one sign that read: "The Boss is in N.J." and he put it by his front microphone stand.
18. I'm Goin' Down (sign request)
Bruce didn't show the sign at first and just started playing. I like this song, but some of us were hoping for something else since he's going to play it on Saturday. At one time it was a long-lost song but it seems to be played a good amount now. It's always fun to hear though.
19. Be True (sign request)
Always great to hear this B-side. Not played enough. One of the few times it's been played this tour.
At the end of it, Bruce started to sing: "The warden threw a party in the county jail."
and the next song was:
20. Jailhouse Rock (sign request, tour premiere)
So cool. Bruce Springsteen singing an Elvis Presley classic. I'll have to check but I believe it's the first time the song has ever been played by Bruce and the E Street Band. He did play it at a Rainforest benefit show at Carnegie Hall on April 12, 1995.
The crowd was so into it. Nils had a nice guitar solo. Fun.
21. Thunder Road
To hear 55,000 people sing along on the "Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright" part is just magical.
22. Long Walk Home
Yea! Lonesome Day was not played! Yeah!!!!! First time it's been out of the setlist for a long time. I'll have to check for exactly when. "Last to Die" was written in this spot on the setlist.
Very nice to hear Long Walk Home. First time it's been played since the first Asbury Park rehearsal show on March 23.
Steven sang some of it toward the end, just like he did on the Magic Tour.
23. The Rising
Crowd got into the song. It started to rain just as the song was finishing up.
24. Born to Run
Jay Weinberg came out to play drums. House lights turned on. Crowd goes nuts.
25. Cadillac Ranch
Bruce saw a sign earlier and asked the person in the pit to hold it up.
Bruce sang "Driving through the Ho-Ho-Kus night."
26. Bobby Jean
Not a favorite of mine but I haven't heard it too much lately, so it even sounded good tonight.
27. American Land
Bruce brought out some members of the Sessions band to play on this: Larry Eagle, Ed Manion, Curt Ramm and Art Baron. If you add Curtis King, Cindy Mizelle, Soozie Tyrell and Bruce, you had eight members of the Seeger Sessions Band onstage.
Fun moment when Bruce was introducing the band.
He introduced Clarence as the "Saxaphone author!" and Clarence held up a copy of his new book. Bruce then said "the biggest man on the New Jersey Turnpike!"
Bruce then brought over a copy of the book to Clarence and had him autograph it for him.
Bruce then took the signed book, had a big smile on his face, and put it down on the side of Max's drum.
28. Dancing in the Dark
Fun as usual, Bruce did not bring anyone up to dance with him tonight.
"We got one more for you. Sending this out to Patti"
Steve then pointed out a sign to Bruce that read: "Eli Manning called. He wants Rosalita!"
Nice to hear but "Kitty's Back" was on the hand-written setlist.
Funny moment: The past two shows have had a roaming hand-held camera in the pit. Tonight the cameraman was singing along very loudly to Rosalita. He was having a good time!
Steven was splashing Bruce with a wet spongue and at one point, Bruce's guitar string broke and Kevin was right up there quickly with another guitard. Bruce handed the bad guitar to his with his right hand and grabbed the good guitar with his left.
"Thank you Jersey! We love you! See you tomorrow night" Bruce said as he left the stage.
Show over at 11:14 p.m.
Clocked in at two hours and 50 minutes, much shorter than Wednesday's 3:14 but the same amount of songs were played.
Notes: A bit of steady rain started as the Rising was finished and it was raining for most of the end of the show.
No PSA tonight, not even a mention for the foodbanks either, but they were there collecting money which is always good to see.
Neither "Johnny 99" or "Seeds" in the setlist tonight. Probably one of the rare times they haven't been played this tour, I'd look it up but it's almost 3 a.m. and I'm too tired.
No Patti Scialfa tonight, Bruce did say she would be there tonight, but she wasn't. I think he said we'll see her on Saturday.
"Wrecking Ball" was soundchecked several times as was "Long Walk Home" and "Last to Die."
Spotted in the pit: NBC News anchorman Brian Williams.
Weather wasn't too bad. In the pit it was pretty warm for most of the show, people were even saying it was a bit too warm since most had jackets etc.