Kitty was back in town, and so was "Thundercrack." The second night of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's Wrecking Ball tour stand in Philadelphia leaned on the jazzy early-70s hipster Bruce, with long-lost set-closer "Thundercrack" stretching for a ramshackle umpteen minutes to take the place of two songs from the previously night's barnburner. And "Kitty's Back," with solos-for-everybody plus a horn section like a honking freight train, from 1973's The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, occupied an encore spot.
Other developments of note in a show that pulled deeper from 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town and featured a cover of "Trapped," by Jimmy Cliff, the Jamaican reggae great who sang with Springsteen in Austin, Texas earlier this month. Springsteen dedicated the gospel-rap number "Rocky Ground" to his mother Adele ("She knows all about this," the Boss said) and then brought her out for a spin on "Dancing In The Dark." "Not bad for almost 90!," he enthused.
That, and a "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," and Springsteen and his 17 piece band's nearly six hours on stage in Philly were over and done. But never fear, Bruce-ophiles: After a European summer tour, rumor has it he'll be playing U.S. baseball stadiums. "We'll be back," he promised, and exited the stage as James Brown's "Paid The Cost To Be The Boss" came over the PA.
Best stage patter of the night, directed at the girl holding the sign with a request to "Thundercrack for my Dad in Iraq": "I like that you just rhyme everything. That's how I wrote "Blinded By The Light'."
New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie, who on Tuesday called for Springsteen to play the new non-union Revel casino resort on Atlantic City on Labor Day, was in attendance for his 127th Springsteen show. (Who's counting? He is.) He stood throughout most of the show, surrounded by staffers in his seat to Springsteen's left, pumping his fist to "The Rising" along with everybody else. Springsteen, who inserted "Atlantic City" from Nebraska into his set the night before as a last minute "audible," ignored him, turning his attention instead to the clan of family members to his right, including his sister and elderly aunts.
Here's the set list:
We Take Care Of Our Own / Wrecking Ball / Night / Death To My Hometown / My City Of Ruins / Thundercrack / Jack Of All Trades / Trapped / Easy Money / Prove It All Night / Darkness on the Edge of Town / Waitin' On A Sunny Day / Promised Land / The Way You Do The Things You Do / 634-5789 / Streets of Philadelphia / The Rising / We Are Alive / Thunder Road
Rocky Ground / Kitty's Back / Born To Run / Dancing In the Dark / Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Previously: Bruce Springsteen sings "Raise Your Hand," has beer Follow In the Mix on Twitter