To help create the necessary nostalgic atmosphere at the NEC the stage was framed by velvet drapes and chandeliers hung from the rafters. As we were a distance from the stage the two large video screens were a help too so we could see him and band.
As well as acoustic and steel guitars there were banjos, fiddles, an accordion, a tuba, trombones, trumpet, double bass and even a washboard.
Bruce delivered an energetic show, including Old Dan Tucker and Mary Don't You Weep and the whole band seemed to having a good old time onstage. The band members all had a spot up front during the show, showing their talents with solos or duets but always very tight and enjoying the crowds appreciation. The best we thought was Further On (Up The Road) with vocals from most of the band - a haunting, gospel feel.
Opening with Blinded By The Light (a very different arrangement), a buoyant and fine-voiced Bruce, at times unable to contain his excitement, dancing across the stage, encouraged us all to join in, at one time saying "it's time for the british ass to get off the british chair", mixing up folk numbers with recent material such as Devils and Dust and My City Of Ruins with more poignant fare When The Saints Go Marching In and Ghost of Tom Joad.
We saw a man who knows how to please an audience and were thanked for "taking a risk in coming out to see us". I wasn't sure that the folk direction would be our "cup of tea" but at the end we thought that we had had our moneys worth. He wound up the show with 6 songs and finished with Froggy Went A Courtin’! The fact that the song had the whole Arena on its feet and singing along speaks volumes for the power of The Boss. Not bad for a 56-year-old rocker.
Blinded by the Light
Old Dan Tucker
Further On (Up The Road)
O, Mary Don't You Weep
My Oklahoma Home
The Ghost of Tom Joad
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?
Long Time Comin'
Jesus Was An Only Son
Open All Night
My City of Ruins
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
When The Saints Go Marching In
This Little Light of Mine
Froggie Went A-Courtin'