• Ron RoXtar*

Springsteen Spreads Magic in Canada

Bruce Springsteen : Magic Tour Ottawa Oct 14th and Toronto Oct 15th’ 2007

"Is there anybody alive out there?!" Bruce Springsteen bellowed, seconds before launching into the guitar chords of Radio Nowhere. There''s something to be said for an artist like Bruce and the E street band where every moment or song seems like... Magic. This tour is certainly for die-hard Springsteen fans since the two hour twenty minute sets deliver plenty of rarely played songs, newer material and virtually ignores the greatest hits. Bruce is playing fan favorite songs like Adam Raised A Cain in Ottawa or Candy''s Room in Toronto, and can get away with this kind of revolving setlist more successfully than any other artist. Newer songs like Last To Die fit in well with older classics like Badlands. Since the setlist on this tour is changing nightly there are some standout points to be made about both of these Canadian dates.

The Ottawa crowd seemed to catch on quicker than Toronto. The best example was on the song Reason To Believe. Bruce was wailing away on harmonica and stopped in a mili second where the crowd chanted "Whoo!" This would continue on and on. Ottawa picked up on it right off the bat where as Toronto had to be coaxed into it. This once acoustic number has now become a ZZ-Top inspired blues hip shaker. After Nils Lofgren''s brilliant guitar solo, Bruce sang the final verse and chorus with the effect of muffled 1930''s distortion. It was brilliant and a highlight. Both nights the title song Magic was performed with Bruce and his wife, Patti Scialfa, flowing beautiful vocal harmonies in sync. This would happen again in Ottawa for the rarely played single, Tougher Than The Rest from his 1987 album Tunnel Of Love. Toronto would be treated with Bruce and Patti''s rockabilly duet of Town called Heartbreak from her recent solo album.

While Bruce was not hanging upside down on the mike stand like on The Rising tour he was playing more harmonica on stage then he ever has in his career. Not too mention he also changed guitars more than ever as well. The playing was passionate and moving, to the point of feeling a built up sexual intensity. On Livin'' In The Future and Darlington County Bruce was strolling the full length of the front and backstage walkways creating plenty of audience participation. Darlington County became an onstage party area with band members dancing around while violinist Soozie Tyrell played her heart out. Toronto was treated with two rare and ancient special requests For You and Incident on 57th Street from his first two albums. The encore would bring out the obscure nine minute Thundercrack from the Tracks boxset. While this stuff is rare, it was... magical just in the sense it was being played at all.

The only real lull moment was the the Beach Boys sounding Girls in Their Summer Clothes from Magic which was the opening song of the encore. The song was played with little reaction from band or audience and gave nothing to the performance. It would have worked better in the middle of the set and with Bruce walking around, not on guitar.

For the Ottawa encore Bruce brought out two special guests, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne from Arcade Fire. Together they played the ultra rare State Trooper and Arcade Fire''s Keep The Car Running. It was almost hard to tell whose song was whose because the musical arrangement and lyrics fit perfectly with both. This was Ottawa''s magic moment.

With the houselights raised Born To Run followed into Dancing In The Dark which had everyone with fists pumping or feet dancing. The final song was American Land from the Seeger Sessions where not a single person either night was sitting down. We were all too busy doing our best folk dancing.

Since it is still early it will be even more surprising to see what tricks Bruce and the E street band can pull out their rabbit''s hat as the tour continues.

Ottawa setlist

Radio Nowhere The Ties That Bind

Lonesome Day

Gypsy Biker

Magic

Reason to Believe

Adam Raised a Cain She''s the One

Livin'' in the Future

The Promised Land

Tougher Than the Rest

Backstreets

Darlington County

Devil''s Arcade

The Rising

Last to Die

Long Walk Home

Badlands (encore)

Girls in Their Summer Clothes

State Trooper (with Arcade Fire)

Keep The Car Running (with Arcade Fire)

Born To Run

Dancing In The dark

American Land

Toronto Setlist

Radio Nowhere

Night

Lonesome Day

Gypsy Biker

For You

Magic

Reason to Believe

Candy''s Room

She''s the One

Livin'' in the Future

The Promised Land

Town Called Heartbreak

Incident on 57th Street

Darlington County

Devil''s Arcade

The Rising

Last to Die

Long Walk Home

Badlands

(encore)

Girls in Their Summer Clothes

Thundercrack

Born to Run

Dancing in the Dark

American Land

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