Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Albany Road Trip/The Boss!

The road trip to Albany all began as kind of a back up plan. The day that Springsteen tickets went on sale for Boston, I made every effort to get tickets for that show using three computers simultaneously to grab the attention of those crooks at Ticketmaster. I won't go into too much detail since I already posted about it at the time, you can read that if you wish right here (just remember to come back).

Ultimately, I enjoyed the Boston show so much that I couldn't see not going to the Albany show as well, and since I already had tickets, hey, why not?
Along for the ride was my friend Chris, we hit the road a little before noon hoping to check out the city of Albany a bit before grabbing a bite to eat and then seeing Bruce and the E-Street band make magic.
This is the New York State capital building. I couldn't get the wide shot for several reasons, first, with the phone, I'd have had to walk at least another full block back to get the whole thing and second, to get to the building from where I parked required a several block walk that seems about four degrees short of straight up hill.

The building is impressive both outside and in as we hung out in there for about an hour. I found the hall of governors very interesting. There were a number of former governors, later presidents, that I was unaware of their service as Governor of NY.
There were a number of exhibits and memorabilia from people with attachments to New York State. Seeing this trumpet, played by the great Louie Armstrong reminded me of my friend Jeff, who is a trumpet player so I snapped the picture and posted it to FaceBook for him to enjoy.

After walking about the city for a while, the last place we ended up before dinner was the New York State Museum, which amongst it's many impressive archives and exhibits was a rather moving display of 9/11 artifacts and remembrances, it was hard to go through these but also an important exercise for me.

Dinner was, well, dinner but then it came time to hit the arena. A running theme seemed to be how inexpensive Albany was compared to Boston (where I live now) and NYC (where I grew up). For example, check out this event parking place just one block from the arena:
Are you kidding me? $5 to park a block away? Almost makes me feel silly for the $2.80 i spent to park a few blocks away. In Boston or NY this is a $40-$50 tab! The most expensive parking I found was the actual arena lot, at only $20.

Now, the show. Let's take a look at the set list as played (which differs from the one listed on Bruce's own web site, which reflects the originally planned set):

We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
*Out in the Street
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
*Darlington County
Jack of All Trades
*Murder Incorporated
*Downbound Train
*Shackled & Drawn
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Apollo Medley
*Janey Don't You Lose Heart
The Rising
Lonesome Day
We Are Alive
Land of Hope and Dreams
* * *
Thunder Road
Rocky Ground (with Michelle Moore)
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out

The songs marked with an asterisk are songs that he did not do when I saw him in Boston a few weeks ago, and a number of them were tour premieres, many from the Born In the U.S.A. record era.

I loved the particular sequencing of sandwiching Jack of All Trades between Darlington County, and Murder Incorporated and then Downbound Train and Shackled and Drawn...that five song sequence not only really felt right in the thematic context of Bruce's new material, it really kept the audience engaged (not that Bruce has ever had a problem engaging a crown) in a very unique way.

Janey Don't You Lose Heart is a great b-side that was a really nice surprise that came from a request sign and turned into a moving solo acoustic performance by Bruce, really special. Also new is the photo montage of Clarence Clemmons during the Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out tribute, made it an even bigger tear jerker.

The ride home was the toughest part but I broke it up with several rest stops and being goofy. At one rest stop was this vending machine:
Of course, delirum had set in, it was around two in the morning at this point, and Chris had this "great idea" that we should get one. So, of course we did and I insisted on wearing it. Here's the result:

The lighting was bad, my hair had been tossed around all day in the wind and is in desperate need of a cut, but the net effect in my opinions is something of an Albert Einstein effect, though some say Groucho Marx, which I can also see.

That was my day!!! Tomorrow it's off to NYC for a Broadway Show with my daughter after lunch with Johnny D and dinner with my sister-in-law and perhaps even my brother.

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