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The Boss-Gillette Style

August 19, 2012

WOW! What an unbelievable set-list for tonight’s show. I was surprised that we didn’t get more tracks from the Wrecking Ball album, but I am not complaining. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the album but like most fans I prefer the old stuff and that is what we got a steady diet of tonight. After opening with ‘My Love Will Not Let You Down’ Bruce dove into a combo from Born to Run and The River that included ‘Night’, ‘Out In the Street’, and ‘Hungry Heart’ He then followed that up with three songs in a row from the new album and he would only do one more new one all night (Tuesday at Fenway he did six songs from the new album). After ‘My City of Ruins’ where he once again introduced the band The Boss proceeded to launch into a six song set that came all from the past and delivered for the hardcore fans in the house. It started with ‘Spirit In the Night’ and next went to a request for ‘Open All Night’ from the Nebraska album. It took a moment to gather steam as Bruce tried to get everyone in the right key then Roy kicked things off with a boogie woogie thing on the piano and then this is where having those E Street Horns behind the Boss really paid off.  Bruce grabbed a sign that wasn’t a request, it merely said, “Let’s Go Horns” and he laughed that it didn’t request a song and said, “They will go on this song”. This version sounded like the Seeger sessions live in Dublin version and it was rockin’. The horns were front and center and blaring loudly. The third song in this oldies but goodies treasure trove was yet another request this time for ‘Growin’ Up’ and then he had another tune from the Greetings album in ‘Lost In the Flood’. Next up was ‘Because the Night’ and the final song in this awesome set was ‘She’s the One’. Most of the rest of the night was similar to the Fenway shows, but you know Bruce, he had to pull out some surprises. “Racing In the Street’ was one that I haven’t heard live in a while that was appreciated and though not a surprise cause he didn’t play it earlier in the week so it almost had to come up in the rotation was ‘Jungleland’. Close to the end Bruce struggled with a fans request for the old Dobie Gray tune ‘Drift Away’, but he and the band eventually worked it out and it sounded good.


Overall this show had a great set list but it did have a few of drawbacks. First of all I missed my wife and my Springsteen buddy of 27 years. Nothing against whom I went with and I hope that he doesn’t take offense, but when you have a history with certain friends you can feel a little lost without their presence. On the positive side of this it was cool to watch the friend that I attended with get a chance to see his buddies in the parking lot before the show. As you know from my blog that is what I feel it is all about. It is that bond, that sharing with your friends, that camaraderie that you have built up over the years together. Tonight I didn’t get that, and that was strange. Another drawback is that I wanted that ten more minutes that I got at Fenway earlier in the week. This one clocked in at 3 hours and 19 minutes and I am greedy for more. My final drawback was there was no room for me to dance like a “squirrel on coffee” (see post from Fenway earlier this week).  I need to do my thing and shuffle around, Bruce gives a lot to the crowd and I feel that it is only fair that I reciprocate and dance like a madman for him and the band.


My next stop on my Boss journey is to go see the Springsteen R&R Hall of Fame exhibit that is currently at the Constitution Museum in Philly. I’ll let you know how it is.


Can You Feel The Spirit?



1)    My Love Will Not Let You Down

2)    Night

3)    Out In the Street

4)    Hungry Heart

5)    We Take Care of Our Own

6)    Wrecking Ball

7)    Death to My Hometown

8)    My City of Ruins

9)    Spirit In the Night

10) Open All Night

11) Growin’ Up

12) Lost In the Flood

13) Because the Night

14) She’s the One

15) Working on the Highway

16) Shackled & Drawn

17) Waitin’ on a Sunny Day

18) Racing in the Street

19) The Rising

20) Radio Nowhere

21) Badlands

22) Jungleland

23) BTR

24) Bobby Jean

25) Dancing in the Dark

26) Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

27) Drift Away

28) Twist & Shout


3 hours and 19 minutes

Wrecking Ball-F…

August 17, 2012

Wrecking Ball-Fenway Park

AUGUST 17, 2012

On Tuesday (8/14/12) I finally got to experience a buncha joy at Fenway in 2012. OK, I admit this is an exaggeration. When you bring a 10 year-old to Fenway for his first time and you catch a foul ball for him there was plenty of joy for me there this year. The bitterness comes from witnessing two bad losses there this year and a crumbling team, but I digress. Back to the topic at hand, The Boss. It has been over three years since I last posted here, when I said that from now on I will use my notebook entries to blog about my experiences at Bruce shows and then I didn’t follow through.

Since that last entry there have been changes in the band and personally too. The band lost sax player Clarence Clemons. The Big Man was such a big part of Bruce and the band. He was a friend, bandmate, sidekick, sax man, washboard player, spiritual presence, and so much more. I spent 24 fabulous evenings hanging out with Clarence, his friends, my friends and a bunch of other folks. To put into perspective how much his death hurt my Bruce buddy calculated just how much of our lives we’d been in the company of Clarence. For me, it turns out to be close to three days as many shows are three hours or more. The same buddy has a friend who works in the hospital where Clemons was cared for after his stroke. Apparently when the Big Man was taken off of life support his Buddy Bruce was there with his guitar and harmonica to play Clarence out.

On my first Wrecking Ball stop in March of this year I watched my first show sans Clarence. While others cheered when Jake Clemons, yep his nephew, hit all the notes I just stood and watched. I appreciated that Jake was doing a good job, but I could not bring myself to clap. To me it felt too much like cheering the fact that my friend, our friend was gone. On the new album and during the shows Bruce points out that he is not gone, “If you’re here and we’re here, they’re here.” (The they refers to all the family and friends who have passed away but are still with us.) Now I can cheer cause Clarence is indeed there, so is Danny, Johnny Pesky (who would show up on the video screen during Twist & Shout and who’s retired number had a wreath around it on the right field facade), and so is another high school buddy Spud who I wish I got to a show with in person.

No one person could fill the Big Man’s shoes so Bruce did something I have wanted him to do for years, he added a horn section. I wish he had done it while Clarence’s body was still on stage.To hear the cacophony of those horns the other night I knew we were about to embark on E Street Shuffle and boy did I shuffle. My buddy’s son says I looked like “a squirrel on coffee.” It’s hard to believe that I have already been to five shows with that young man. The cool part is, he adds to the experience, and the notebook. Thanks to a smart phone he was able to inform me that when Bruce played John Lee Hooker’s ‘Boom Boom’ Tuesday night that it was only the 39th time that he ever played it live. Good info kid, thanks! By contrast, after the show we looked up how many times he has played ‘Badlands’ and found out that it has been 979 times. By the way, I still wanna know the number for ‘Rosie’

Speaking of youngsters, Bruce had a funny moment at the front of the stage during ‘Spirit In the Night’. He told Jake Clemons, “This was written before you were born.” It was yet another wonderful evening hanging with great friends, departed friends and new friends (you know who you are). The dances with my wife were fun and funny. We were singing the lyrics to ‘Working on the Highway’ and we would turn to look at each other, throw our hands up in the air, and scream, “Whoot” at the end of every chorus. We also Twisted & Shouted as Bruce covered The Beatles while red, white, and blue fireworks shot into the sky behind the green monster.

We also enjoyed the typical Boss showmanship i.e. the guitar toss to the roadie, the guitar swing around the back, the ass wriggling with Stevie, and the holding onto the mic pole as Bruce slides down to his back on the stage. After ‘Dancing in the Dark’ Bruce collapsed at the front of the stage and waved his arms as if to say, “No more.” Luckily his other long-time sideman Little Steven was there to come to the rescue. Stevie squeezed a spongefull of water over Bruce which revived him and allowed him to launch into ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’. As he had done in March when I saw him and for the entire tour he stopped at the key point of the song. “When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band.” and the song stopped……The crowd cheered wildly. What was different this time for me was the inclusion of photos of Clarence over the years on the screen. Extremely touching! 

We all joined together to look out out at the Boston skyline as Bruce rocked, we sang at the top of our lungs, we danced, we smiled, we laughed, we continued old connections, we made new connections, we had a rock & roll house party with “The Heartbreaking, Viagra taking, Curfew hating, E-Street Band.” and tomorrow night I’ll do it again, with a friend who has not yet made my infamous notebook. I’ll be there with Danny, Clarence, Johnny and Spud. I’ll raise a glass to them. We Are Alive!


1) Promised Land
2) Out In the Street
3) We Take Care of Our Own
4) Wrecking Ball
5) Death to My Hometown
6) My City of Ruins
7) Spirit In the Night
8) E Street Shuffle
9) Jack of All Trades
10) Atlantic City
11) Because The Night
12) Johnny 99
13) Darlington County
14) Working on the Highway
15) Shackled & Drawn
16) Waiting on a Sunny Day
17) Boom Boom
18) Drive All Night
19) The Rising
20) Badlands
21) Thunder Road
22) We Are Alive
23) BTR
24) Rosie
25) Glory Days
26) Dancing In the Dark
27) Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
28) Dirty Water
29) Twist & Shout

3 hours 29 minutes

Darren Chisnell’s Blog

February 23, 2009

Searching for a teaching job, worshipping the Red Sox & Bruce Springsteen


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