Springsteen Concert Reviews from the 1999 Tour

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Philadelphia, PA, September 24, 1999
Set List Available
Posted on September 25, 1999 @ 2:00PM GMT

My 13th show of the tour (lucky number 13) was the best show I've seen this tour.. Bruce said he was going to open the show with something unusual and brought a boom box on stage with him and said he wanted to play a tape that a fan had sent to his mother for him and that it summed up the situation. I had trouble making it out, but it was some novelty birthday song (ironically it was the first song played over the PA when the lights came up after the show).

Bruce and the band were so ON tonight. It was my first show since Jersey to say they've gotten 100 times better since Jersey is an understatement. Every song was right on.

No story during Growin' Up, but who cares, he was playing Growin' Up to open and the crowd was really into it.

No Surrender floored me. So much better than the version I saw at the Meadowlands on 8/4/99.

The momentum only built from there with a killer Prove It and Two Hearts.

At the end of Promised Land, he started singing "Give me the spirit!" several times, foreshadowing the next song. Immediately after the closing drum beat of The Promised Land, Max started the light cymbal playing that intros Spirit in the Night.

And a great version of Spirit it was. Bruce was totally into it and towards the end when Bruce sang "and we closed our eyes and said goodbye" the crowd picked it up "to Gypsie Angie Rowe ..." and Bruce just the crowd sing it through at least two choruses, while the band just watched him for when to start playing again and he was just grooving to the crowd singing it.

After Spirit, there was some running around to switch instruments as Bruce made a last second change and they played a full-band Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street. The intro and end were Max playing this fast beat with Clarence blowing sax... something that might not be out of place in a Four Tops songs is the best way to describe how it sounded. It threw me for a minute as to what it was until I heard the keyboard.

Mansion and Independence Day sounded better than ever.

Youngstown kicked ass. Murder Inc. was electrifying and powerful. During Murder Inc. the Philadelphia Phillies mascot sneaked into the first row and was really getting into the song pumping his fist, playing some air guitar, and then was escorted out (and hopefully sent back to Veterans Stadium) after the song.

Badlands had the fake ending and just sounded great.

Bruce was really having fun during Out in the Street and during 10th Avenue, during It's Alright, he added two lines of "Happy Birthday to Ya".

Much to my surprise, Working on the Highway came next (I was expecting something between 10th and Working). During the tune, Bruce tossed his guitar to the guy standing next to Obie and a minute or so later, jumped into the crowd, landing in front of Obie and was immediately swarmed.

He gave a lengthy intro for the next song, the bits and pieces I could make out seemed as if he was talking about a charity (his vocals sounded great during the songs, but when it was just him talking the sound became muddy where was). With Garry set to play the upright bass I was expected Ghost of Tom Joad, but instead they play THE FEVER!!! Really good version, but missing something. Maybe I'm too used to hearing Southside do it or hearing the version on 18 Tracks, but despite great vocals from Bruce, the song seemed kind of flat. I know many will disagree with me, but I'm just saying how I heard it.

A killer Light of Day followed with a lengthy You Can't Sit Down thrown in before the rap.

Bobby Jean opened the encores followed by a killer Born to Run and then the band left the stage.

They came back and played the three standard songs in the second encore. Bruce is finally giving in and letting the crowd sing its usual lines in Thunder Road; If I Should Fall Behind has never sounded better; and Land of Hope and Dreams sounds better every time I see it.

After Land of Hope and Dreams, you knew they were going to play another song because all the roadies were ready to go out with different guitars. Patti didn't want one, opting to just play tambourine instead. The band then launched into Blinded by the Light! UN--BELIEVABLE! It sounded great and I'm not sure, but I think Bruce goofed on the third verse.
After Blinded ended, the band was taking its bows and the crowd was chanting "one more song" at a deafening level, but it didn't work.

The Spectrum clock read 8:19 when the lights went out and my watch (which was within a minute of the Spectrum lock) showed 11:20 when the lights came back up.

For the majority of the show, Philly fans put Jersey fans to shame with how much they were into the show. But during the encores, I couldn't believe how many beach balls I saw bouncing around in the crowd. I was sitting side stage, directly behind Roy.

Written by Joe Lewin