" Asbury Park Holiday Show "
Sincere Thanks to ALateJuliet@aol.com for being kind enough to post her review in Candysroom! She attended the first show in Asbury and she's a long-time Bruce fan and Jersey Girl!
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 01:42:31 EST
Subject: Asbury Xmas Show #1
First of all, THANK YOU Bernie for the ticket (how can I ever repay you?) and BillieJo for hooking me up in the first place!
WOWOWOWOW, this was one of THE BEST Bruce shows I've ever seen! Let's get right down to the setlist! Note the special guests!
Something (in the way she moves - Beatles)
My Sweet Lord (George Harrison)
Jingle Bell Rock
Band Jam (?)
Santa Claus, Santa Claus (?) - Jimmy Vivino
(lead guitarist of Max Weinberg 7)
SEASIDE BAR SONG!!!
Be Your Man (?) - Patti Scialfa
Spanish Dancer - Patti Scialfa
Welcome to the World (?) - Garland Jeffries
New York - Garland Jeffries
This Time It's For Real - with Southside Johnny
Love on the Wrong Side of Town
- with Southside Johnny
It's Been a Long Time
- with Southside Johnny
Black Book - Nils Lofgren
Shine Silently - Nils Lofgren
Merry Christmas Baby
So Young and In Love
Christmas, Baby Please Come Home
(a fave of mine, period)
My City of Ruins (with gospel choir)
Here Comes the Sun - Bobby Bandiera
I Don't Wanna Go Home - with Southside Johnny
Santa Claus is Coming To Town
The entire E Street band was on the stage at one point or another, except for Steve who was busy filming for The Sopranos, and Roy.
I arrived in Asbury around 6:00 PM and found Bernie on the will call line - we got in fairly swiftly, but no metal detectors except for a cheesy wand - much to my surprise.
Lil, the ticket lady from Concerts East, made an announcement that she will NOT be honoring any lists of line attendees (on will call) - that it was up to US to manage the list! Be warned! There was indeed a drop line, but I don't know anything about how it was handled tonight.
Bernie and I got to 2nd deep from the stage, positioned between Bruce's center stage mike and The Three Redheads (Patti, Soozie Tyrell and Lisa Lowell - I think that was Lisa). From shut-out on tix to 2nd from the stage, life is good! Gorgeous stage decorations, same as last year, but the big wreath in the middle had red, white and blue lights & ribbons. Ted told me that Bruce & Terry bought all the decorations - I don't doubt Ted!
My highlights: It was beautiful and appropriate how Bruce opened with two Beatles songs. After My Sweet Lord, he said "God Bless you, George." Bruce dedicated Seaside Bar Song to Dominick Santana, owner of the Stone Pony. I never thought I'd see the day when he played BOTH Thundercrack AND Seaside Bar Song in the same show!!! My 1999/2000 tour wish finally came true!
Patti's "new" song was gorgeous. Not sure of the title - Be Your Man? An up, bouncy song.Bruce intro'd it saying "she's STILL workin' on that album". Patti: Your fans love you! Please put out your album and do a tour!! Her vocal sounded a little like Ronnie Spector - can't go wrong in my book with Ronnie. Bruce did a nice guitar solo, and Soozie on mandolin. Then Patti did my fave on Rumble Doll: Spanish Dancer. Absolutely gorgeous. Patti has a presence when she's at center stage mike, she can direct a band, and she has what it takes to do her own little solo tour (she's got the best teacher for a husband!). Hopefully someday.
Bruce intro'd Garland Jeffries as an old friend - I remember him from the late 70's. Garland said how he met his wife at the Stone Pony 21 years ago - then Bruce said "So did I, but I married somebody else!". They brought out some of the gospel singers who were at the Basie shows last month, and they shared mikes with Patti, Soozie and Lisa. I think the song was called Welcome to the World - it started out slowly, incorporated a rap beat, then turned into a full-blown reggae song. Bruce played guitar - I always wanted to see him play reggae! Note to guitar players: it's all in the UPstroke! Bruce sung a verse too. Bernie was also equally impressed with this song as I was.
Next Garland Jeffries did a song called New York. Nice quiet sax by Clarence (YES Clarence!). He sung of some of the buildings in NYC, including the "twin towers". A very reflective and sweet song.
Next Bruce calls into the mike: "South!" Enter SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY! Complete in black baggy pants, t-shirt, lavender jacket, and yes, the black Converse sneaks! My God, there we had The Jersey Powerhouse on stage: Bruce, Southside, Bobby Bandiera, Patti Scialfa, LaBamba, the Miami horns, DOES IT GET ANY BETTER??? This Time It's For Real! Seeing South reaffirmed that I NEED A SOUTHSIDE SHOW!!! Is he playing New Year's Eve?
Love on the Wrong Side of Town: Some playful mock arguing between South and Bruce about who wrote the song - South said Steven wrote it; Bruce said he did. Bruce admits he only wrote the first 3 intro chords. It was great to see these two old friends clowning around on stage!
Nils comes out! Does a gorgeous song called Black Book. I caught Bruce and Patti watching from the wings off the stage. Bruce exited the stage every now and then and it was neat to watch HIM watching the others on stage. Bruce comes back out for Nils' Shine Silently - GREAT backup vocals by the girls on this one.
Merry Christmas Baby - Clarence played sleigh bells and sax. Bruce was getting looser, and bumped with Patti, spoon style!
So Young and In Love - I went ballistic at this point, thinking it was Christmas Baby Please Come Home (similar intros). Bruce followed a teleprompter on some songs, this one included (not that there's anything wrong with that). He was getting looser, and stood on his monitor for a few lines of the song.
Kitty's Back! Always a thrill to hear this one! A JAMMIN tune if there ever was one.
And finally, Christmas Baby Please Come Home. I am partial to U2's version of it, but this is one of my Bruce Wish-List songs, so I was in my jumpin' clappin' glory days. Last song of the "first" set - 2 hours long at this point (the show started at 8:15 PM).
My City of Ruins - Bruce is at the piano, mentions all the charities for the shows, and earnestly encourages everyone to visit, patronize, and BELIEVE in Asbury Park. You didn't have to sell me Bruce - my heart was always there in your city. The gospel singers came out on this one. About halfway into the song, Bruce leaves the piano and switches to guitar. A fine version of the song - and he was visibly pleased with the vocals by the singers.
Here Comes the Sun - By Bobby Bandiera, alone on a black Takamine acoustic guitar. He did a terrific version, with intricate guitar picking, and I caught Patti encouraging him along with her eyes, and they hugged as he left the stage after the song.
I Don't Wanna Go Home - Southside comes back out - they started the song in the wrong key - too funny as Bruce & South looked confused but having fun together. I love it when they make mistakes on stage and laugh about it!
By the way, Bruce was wearing dark gray curdurory Levi's, and a nice button-down black shirt with sparkly beads down the chest. A nice festive touch to these holiday shows. And Patti! She stole one of Stevie Nicks' skirts! Lookin good there, Red! A black layered chiffon above-the-(naked) knee but a very obviously "Stevie" thing going on! Soozie wore a really pretty black tunic with white lacy embroidery on the cuffs of her sleeves and bottom of the shirt. I've never seen her up close before, and she's one helluva soulful singer and musician.
ROSALITA!!! Bruce intro'd it saying something about Asbury Park but I couldn't make out what he said. NOW I'M GONNA GLOAT: I swear he looked at me as he sang the line: "some sweet little girl's tongue, and Rosie, YOU'RE THE ONE"!!! OK END OF GLOATING.
And last but not least......Santa Claus is Coming To Town - complete with Bruce's mom and two aunts dressed in cute, sexy Mrs. Santa Claus outfits, as they threw candy canes out to the audience. I got one from the lovely Adele! Santa came out (was it Terry Macgovern under the costume?) too. Last year Bruce's kids (and other kids as well) were dressed as elves on stage, but not tonight. Bruce and his mom (and aunts, and EVERYONE) were having so much fun onstage, and why not? This was a New Jersey night at it's finest.
Sorry I didn't get to see anyone, but I scooted out of the show in a hurry so I could stay awake driving home since I get sleepy on long drives alone - but I was so high that I made it home in one hour with no problem.
If the guy who was driving a dark colored van with Rhode Island plates in the Berkeley Carteret hotel parking lot is reading this, please contact me! As I was walking from my car to the show, this guy stops me and asks me if I have a map. I said "For what?" He said "I got lost in your eyes.....(something about being pretty).". Howtheheck he saw my eyes, in the dark, who knows, but I just wanted to say thank you for the compliment!
I couldda been in bed one hour ago, but I HAD to get this all out tonight. Goodnite, it's alllllllright. Thank you Bruce, and Merry Christmas!
A Late Juliet
2001 Asbury Holiday Shows