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Bruce, band, crowd — even the elements aligned: Rain seemingly triggered by the opening chords of an acoustic "The Promised Land" produced a rainbow that brought cheers. Ever hear a crowd of people over the age of ten cheer a rainbow? This was a stadium special on a glorious Saturday in bushland. The best of Australia, the best of the U. Thankfully the rain didn't last as long as songs with "land" in them, as Bruce followed the quietly rousing opener with full-bore boot stompers "American Land" and "Badlands.
It's gonna be a corker. After dedicating "Blinded by the Light" to "the Gudinskis" — a reference to the family of Hanging Rock concert promoter Michael Gudinski — Bruce pointed out how "Blinded" was "my only 1 song, and I didn't have it. What stayed the same — what always stays the same — was the protagonist's desperation "You know what the Boss man likes" to get good with his girl.
Bruce went on walkabout during "Hungry Heart," his ventures up a riser behind front GA giving him panoramic views of the Macedon Ranges and throngs sitting on Hanging Rock's gently sloping hill.
His mic stand at the lip of the pit gave him trouble throughout, but Bruce kept the pace, swaying and smiling like a man about to steal your wife. Thing went full Reagan-era retro with a delirious "Glory Days" that had Steve playing to what Bruce called "the Little Steven fan club" near the stage as the crowd bellowed every word.
Bruce started "Because the Night" as he did at the last Sydney show, repeating "Take me now…" several times before kicking the song into gear. Nils was his usual energetic and upbeat self all night, but here he got to howl at a rising full moon with a typically jaw-dropping guitar solo.
By now twilight was fading into night and "The Rising" cast the band in a familiar orange and red glow, "Can't see nothing in front of me…" delivering its nightly, numbing chill. How to follow the prayer-like "Rising" in the ancient mountains of Victoria, a place where the ghosts of our planet's oldest civilization linger in every gum tree and jagged hilltop?
With a joyous song about a young man with a big advance, a woman who plays blind man's bluff and a father who never… did… understand. With Jake beside them at the lip of the stage, the three hammed it up for the hundredth time, Jake's boyishness perfectly complementing the knuckleheaded tomfoolery of Bruce and Steve's Moe and Curly routine and it was all fresh and funny, still a ridiculous testament to rock 'n' roll rebellion. And still my favorite main-set closer.
Bruce plucked a sign for "Jungleland," and it was proven again that the bigger the stage, the higher Jake Clemons rises. His visage to the right of Springsteen as he plays the most famous sax solo in rock 'n' roll history is statuesque, the trance he puts himself in unbroken until Bruce gives him a hug at the solo's end.
Jake's an impossibly modest man for a musician of so many talents, but tonight's "Jungleland" offered inarguable proof of his continuing ascension to E Street Band legend. The good people of Oz Harvest got a shout from a thankful Springsteen before he turned the key and "Born to Run" rumbled to life. A passing shower brought him out to the stage's edge to shut his eyes and feel the rain as women climbed on men's shoulders in preparation for "Dancing in the Dark.
If you have a once-in-a-lifetime shot at taking a selfie on stage with Bruce Springsteen during a show in front of thousands of people, get it right the first time. Chasing Bruce around the stage in a doomed attempt to reposition yourself for a second go-round makes you look silly.
Bruce went on another extended walkabout for "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out," and "Shout" had hands flying and asses shaking. With a hearty "one more for Hanging Rock," Bruce jangled the opening chords to "Bobby Jean" and brought this high-wire spectacle of a day and night to a close. Or so we thought. Shooting a look from the rear of the Hanging Rock stage we've seen so many times before — a look that says "What do I have to do for you people? People hugged, people cried — ten minutes after Bruce left the stage I passed a man still staring at center mic, his face awash with tears — and we all exulted in the glee of another promise fulfilled.
Other than the tour opener in Perth, which featured a remarkable string of seven songs from , this Aussie tour has been notable for Performance Intensity over Setlist Eccentricity. Die-hards will chew your ears off expressing their preference for the latter, but ten seconds of any night's "Badlands" settle the argument for the former.
To speak the language of my Aussie brethren, many of whom spend summer in a cricket coma, this second of two shows in Sydney was a bloody beauty all-rounder. Lights down at 7: Bruce got caught up in "Spirit in the Night" to the point where he had to run through the lyrics "Where was I?
Janey said hey little brother…" after sprawling on the lip of the stage and wooing a besotted rail-hugger while Jake played sexy sax. The now-standard communal portion of the evening — "Out in the Street" into "Hungry Heart" — found Bruce smiling broadly and mugging with fans on the floor and front sections' edges.
I sometimes look at Springsteen at times like this and see a guy who's just woken up far away from home, threw cold water on his face, scarfed down a bowl of cereal, and found himself at the center of an adoring maelstrom. Bruce Springsteen may be the only man on the planet to whom surfing over a crowd is as everyday as going for a surf in the ocean before breakfast.
In Australia, at least. The night's first sign choice was a sixer more cricket terminology for you — it equates to a home run. The gorgeous falsetto of "The River" gave way to the menace of "Youngstown," a menace taken out and given a hiding by the first sublime Nils solo of the night. Bruce called for "The Promised Land" next, and the pit responded like convicts on a jail break.
A sorta, kinda familiar thundering of Max's drums I'm one of those jerks who calls out what's about to be played like some kid's going to hand me a giant stuffed panda as a prize opened up into "Rendezvous. Bruce called out for another beloved cast-off next, and "Be True" sounded equally robust, Clarence's roaring sax finale played with exuberance by Jake.
Much of that refreshment got sprayed into the air at the count-off for "Working on the Highway," a hip-swaying olive branch for Aussies bemused by the previous rarities.
Next, Roy's piano intro to "Because the Night" charged the crowd ,and Bruce, alone in a spotlight, ratcheted the tension by repeating "Take me now…" in slow succession.
There's a metaphor for the pent-up release that followed, but as this is a family publication, I'll refrain from detailing it. Lots of hopping in the pit during another fired-up "Badlands. A raucous and ridiculous "Rosalita" closed the main set, with Jake, Bruce, and Steve doing their Three Stooges thing at center stage, the year-old tune showing not a hint of grey or shaky legs.
After telling Sydneysiders "we love your support so far from home" and singing the praises of Foodbank NSW, the band unleashed "Born to Run" and it was party time. With the house lights up and most sigh of the crowd on its feet, Bruce broke out another beloved song from the late '70s and smashed a fierce "Detroit Medley" that heaved and shook with River -era abandon.
By the time another jubilant "Shout" was in full force he stopped, bent over, and asked the Sydney crowd "Are you calling my name? After "Bobby Jean" seemed to close the show, Bruce reappeared with an acoustic guitar and harp gear and played a simple "Thunder Road" that tamed the crowd into singing along at Bruce's tempo.
It was a gentle ending, at That locomotive travels next to Hanging Rock, an hour's drive north of Melbourne in the Macedon Ranges. A full moon will be out. You have been warned. A commonly held perception of Australia's two largest cities — by Aussie blokes, at least — is that Sydney's the girl you'd take to Vegas, Melbourne's the one you'd take home to momma. Following a torrid show in Melbourne Saturday, Tuesday's first of two in Sydney had Bruce and the band seemingly poised to sweep Australia's glamour capitol off its feet with a grand gesture or two.
What we got were three hours of steel and smoke, heart and bone. Another fat-free extravaganza included one Aussie tour premier — Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" — and 27 tried-and-true scorchers.
Sydney was soaked by massive rainstorms throughout the day, so temperatures were manageable outside, but by the time Bruce swung the "Wrecking Ball" the pit radiated with bouncing, perspiring bodies.
It may not have been the most youthful of crowds, but tonight's energy was intense on the floor and in scattered chunks throughout the 21,capacity arena. Though now sporting a different corporate moniker, Qudos Bank Arena is the same facility Springsteen played in and To my ears it's home to a dense, vibrant sound that beats every other venue on this tour and turbocharges a band hitting on all cylinders.
Steve stood in his familiar spot with arms crossed and eyes closed at the start, praying to the garage rock gods or perhaps meditating on the night's post-show dinner spread. Garry's bass floated above, below and behind it all. At the halfway mark of this show summer tour of Australia and New Zealand, "Serenade" remains a high point creatively and emotionally every night and will be long remembered after the lads and lass have left these shores. Turn the lights on! Bruce reached into the crowd for a "My Love Will Not Let You Down" sign and smoked it the song, not the sign and seemed genuinely hesitant to crowd surf during "Hungry Heart.
Another sign brought bar band standard but rarely played "Long Tall Sally. Looking at Steve throughout, Springsteen might well have been harking back to their days playing the church basements and parking lots along Route 9 before moving up to the bars of Asbury Park in the early '70s. A blistering "Wrecking Ball" kicked off the night's most intense stretch. Bruce made an unabashed appeal for that energy before "Mary's Place" — "Sydney, make me feel your spirit right now" — before unleashing "Candy's Room" and "She's the One" on a suspecting and highly worked-up crowd.
This night's blue-collar ethos reached its height with a pair of Born in the U. Bruce called out Nils at the end of "Because the Night" for a solo that had him spinning and our neck hairs standing on end. On any given night anything can happen at a Springsteen show, but instead of a one-off setlist rarity or special guest, tonight's impossible-to-predict happening was a performance of "The Rising" that — you know where this is going — brought tears to my eyes and had the pit levitating.
No individual element made it so. It was a group effort that included band, crowd, and ghosts of those lost. Just another tiny miracle that's not listed on your ticket but is included in the price of admission.
Jake stood tall and still, resurrecting Clarence's herculean solo while Bruce kept time with his right hand. The usual encores got everybody dancing, and "Bobby Jean" brought the show to a heartfelt close at The day's downpours meant air thick with the smell of eucalyptus greeted us as we left the arena.
After tonight's joyride with a finely tuned E Street Band and madly grinning Springsteen at the wheel, it felt like we should have been breathing in Turnpike tollbooth deep in the swamps of Jersey. The place is ripe with good-looking men and women in their summer clothes. A DJ is spinning a mix of hip-hop and obscurities, typical hipster soundtrack. A space for dancing in front of the DJ is vacant.
Suddenly, like wolves howling at the scent of blood, a "Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh" "Badlands" chant arises. The DJ, aware of a need to appease the howlers, drops the needle on "Hungry Heart," Max's drums popping like the fireworks that ended this second and final Melbourne show.
People in River Tour T-shirts converge on the dance floor from every corner of the bar, a full-throated "Got a wife in kids in Baltimore, Jack" obliterating all other sounds. The DJ wisely follows with "Dancing in the Dark" before setting loose a force he clearly doesn't understand: My cohorts and I scream words of longing and desperation like we're possessed by the Jersey Devil itself.
We smash into one another, screaming to the ceiling, laughing with joy. We're not seeking attention. We're at the mercy of a lingering force too raw to be tamed. A young blonde I've never seen before throws her arms around me, a temporary Wendy holding on for dear life, both of us charged by nearly three hours of a superhuman Springsteen. The whole experience surreal, a dream, a possession. But it happened, and none of us will ever forget it. Which is a perfect way to describe night two in Melbourne.
A you-had-to-be-there performance, one not defined by setlists or duration or letters home. A night in which a woman gasped "What's he doing? He's blasting expectations, again. He's replacing cynicism with glee, again. He's shaking his ass so we shake our collective asses, again. He's pushing the boundaries of a year-old rock 'n' roller, again. He's sweating like a motherfucker, again. He's playing a catalog we know with religious fervour yet blowing our minds with songs' intensity and set placement, again.
And doing it in a way that feels like it's never been done before, like we're the beneficiaries of a miracle cure that's been smuggled through customs in the form of a New Jersey troubadour with a rockin' band. Most shows unfold in vivid sections, but tonight felt a song medley. Bruce took the stage in a River- era sky blue shirt at 7: Springsteen's shirt was already ready for wringing by the time a sharp "Out in the Street" had him asking "Where's the girl who wants to dance with the Mighty Max?
This was a Fun Show. Further proof was manifested by Bruce taking signs from the crowd for the first time on this tour. First up was "Sherry Darling," which when followed by "Hungry Heart" made for the ultimate River singalong trio.
Jake was caught unaware shortly before his "Hungry Heart" solo and had to sprint — the man can move — to the walkway behind the front GA to play beside Bruce. He didn't quite get there, but then no one could catch Bruce on this night. Like a boxer who sees the next punch coming, he anticipated the crowd's mood and either met or challenged it with each song, rarely taking more than a few seconds between songs.
He must have moved too fast for himself when, after holding up a sign for "This Hard Land," he strapped on a harp rack and began playing "This Hard Land" harmonica, but from his guitar came the intro to "Glory Days. Is it ass-shaking time? At its conclusion Bruce congratulated the crowd — "well done! Bruce tackled the lyrics to his beautiful ode to brotherhood with slightly off phrasing but cleared the slate with a blistering harmonica solo. Throughout the pit eyes glistened.
I'm not a fan of the massive video screen behind the band, but the interplay of busily sliding arms and Bruce's solitary form is enhanced by projection. The song ended with Bruce once again repeating "He's singing" while cool mist floated through blue spotlights across the stage.
Bruce always surprises — it's why we keep going back — but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more unlikely way to roar the E Street Band back up again than with Roy's piano intro leading to Springsteen's tour de force guitar work on the '78 version of "Prove It All Night.
It also had Steve drop his consigliere role and smash a monster solo. As in Adelaide, an intense "Trapped" rose from a deeper place and offered a cathartic chance to scream our heads off. Bruce showed his voice can still muster the bile required for "Youngstown," and Nils — incomparable, note-perfect Nils — took care of the rest.
Bruce shouted to the band as the song ended, and I saw Roy waving his hand over his head to the rest of the band. What did it mean? He next wandered to the lip of the pit, his shirt completely soaked through, for "My City of Ruins. From Sunday church to Texas desert we went as Max immediately kicked up a beat and Bruce growled, "Well buddy when I die throw my body in the back," and we were high-tailing it to the "Cadillac Ranch. With Bruce and Steve flailing on acoustics while Nils and Garry stood on either side offering advice, the crowd got out jumper cables, attached them to their vocal cords, and began signing the song's melody en masse.
Vroom vroom went the guitars and off we went, Steve flashing an embarrassed smile and Bruce saying "Thank you! On a night of highlights, the final three songs of the main set — "Because the Night," "Badlands," and "Thunder Road" — may have been the pinnacle of a mountain we've been to many times before, only this time we pushed to a higher summit.
Exhausted, we shook the ground with sore feet and punched the air with arms wet from sunscreen and sweat. Bruce played the bulk of "Thunder Road" on the lip of the pit, the man and the guitar he learned how to make talk just above us but the music planted deep inside one and all.
Bruce thanked everyone for coming out to the two shows in Melbourne and for supporting his music, adding Australia is "the last place on Earth I can get a beer on the house. When my friend asked, "What's he doing? By the time Steve draped the "Boss" cape over him and Bruce pantomimed walking off stage, you almost wanted him to do just that, to take a load off, to make himself a sandwich and relax.
Another crazy-ass "Twist and Shout. We watched in awe. Until the song ended, and fireworks again burst over AAMI Park, the band took their bows and walked offstage and we could finally confirm with others that what we'd just witnessed was truly as good as it felt. Shit may indeed be fucked up as he said Thursday night, but not in this house, not on this night. This one bound young and old, hardcores and newbies, bogans and hipsters, Hawks and Magpies.
This one sent everyone out into the night as apostles, convinced they'd seen the show to end all shows… until Tuesday night in Sydney, when the ashes of Saturday night will be whisked away and the fire lit anew. Exactly as it's always been. Sixteen songs into an at-times-shambolic first stadium show of this Australian tour, Bruce Springsteen leaned heavily on his mic stand above the pit of Melbourne's AAMI Park and spit out four words that tied up the state of our world in a tight, profane bow: So far in Australia Springsteen's reacted to the fucked-upness with statements of solidarity and blistering fightin' songs in combination.
Walking out at 7: It was a zippy little poke back at an administration seemingly hellbent on destroying American goodwill around the world — with Steve, Roy, and Garry laughing to his left — but not the most rousing kickoff for a crowd laced with bandana-and-white-t-shirt-wearing guys "They're cute," wrote Bruce in Born to Run and looking-for-a-dance girls. Bruce hollered "We come from a land of immigrants! Of course it felt right — especially to this American ex-pat with Irish ancestors who passed through Ellis Island — but whether it was Melbourne's bright twilight, or AAMI Park's rugby pitch dimensions, or a bad platter of sushi backstage, the normally roaring E Street Band was a bit tempered.
The man can work miracles, but like all of us, he ain't getting any younger. And then came the piece de resistance of this tour to date, "New York City Serenade. Roy's plaintive piano flooded the stadium and we all eased into a gentle bath of sound. An honest-to-god breeze swept through the pit as Bruce crooned "He's singing…" over and over, the strings giving wing to the pleas of the song's narrator as Bruce whispered poetry over Garry's basslines.
In my notepad I wrote, "puts all previous songs to shame. A stretch of brilliance followed. A slow-boiled "Atlantic City" erupted in a hard, head-banging finish.
Springsteen flashed a little windmill guitar to close a stomping "Death to My Hometown," the line "No dictators were crowned" once again growled with outlaw menace. A pair of questions broke the spell: He went silent, seemingly waiting for defiance. Thus began a race to finish that long-time concert attendees will recognize as the sort that leaves your face sore from continuous smiling.
Snicker if you like, but if a run of roadhouse rockers "Darlington County" and "Working on the Highway," sultry sing-along "I'm on Fire," carnal "Because the Night" and blistering "Badlands" don't put a grin on your puss, well, I can't help you, son. When Springsteen released "Badlands" in there was no way he'd imagine the prescience of "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and a king ain't satisfied 'til he rules everything," but there it was, capturing present-day concerns better than anything he's written since.
Everything about her was magnificent. You think you've heard every variation of "Shout" until on this night Bruce repeated "Listen to me…" over and over until it morphed into a showdown between James Brown and Sam Cooke. And then, with a mighty "We know you can shout, but can you twist?
It may have been an embarrassing day to be an American in Australia, but as rockets' red glare mingled with Southern Hemisphere starlight it was a great goddamned night to be a Springsteen fan in the city of Melbourne.
Before Monday night's show, fans in Adelaide fans were discussing which songs belonged on Bruce Springsteen's perfect protest setlist. They should have just waited for the show, as nothing we came up with could beat the mastery of song arrangement that he delivered. From the first notes to the last, every selection was carefully thought out to deliver a message to us, to America, to the world. The songs are familiar, the words aren't new, but their placement in relation to other songs and the intensity of their delivery are what made this a hard pressed, condensed diamond of a show.
As the string section left one side of the stage, the accordions came on the other and Bruce made this proclamation: Tonight we want to add our voices to the thousands of Americans who are protesting at airports around our country the Muslim Ban and the detention of foreign nationals and refugees. America is a nation of immigrants, and we find this anti-democratic and fundamentally un-American. This is an immigrant song! With that, "American Land" launched the show that will surely be known as the Adelaide Protest Show, Bruce's musical call to action.
The words "the hands that built this country we're always trying to keep out" delivered the first shot straight over the bow. The line "had to get away from those fools" was delivered with a sneer.
As an American who chose to vacation in the farthest location from the U. Bruce dedicated "Trapped" next to "the detainees. I looked over the crowd and saw a young girl watching with tears streaming down her face. Later a line in "Youngstown," "We gave our sons to Korea and Vietnam and now we wonder what they were dying for," made me wonder how many more tears will be shed. This is the one that gave a voice to the voiceless all those years ago.
The stage went dark, one by one the musicians dropped off, until all that was left was one man, one voice, with a heartbeat drum telling a story of tragedy and anguish, finishing with a howl of pain and frustration that we all felt. A moment of levity came when Bruce spotted a quartet in the audience dressed like the Honeymooners of '50s TV fame holding up a sign request for "Brown Eyed Girl.
Hilarity ensued as Ralph Kramden took over the piano while Ed Norton shared one might say wrestled with Bruce for the microphone. Alice and Trixie sang back up with Little Steven. This unplanned performance perfectly into the show narrative, tapping into the collective memory of the '50s as a time of American greatness — that is, unless you were a woman, black, gay, or poor. The protest rally continued with "Murder Incorporated" and a particularly strong "Death to My Hometown.
As "Racing in the Street" began, Bruce raised his guitar up and held it for a long moment, like a general leading his troops to battle; it was a musical call to arms. The lyrics captured the frustration of being powerless, the rage of a young man, a desire for something more that ends in either quiet despair or desperate action. A lump rose in my throat at the words "wrinkles round my baby's eye"; it causes me to wonder if we are too old for this fight.
Haven't we already won these battles? Despair slips in, but it is met with the swell of piano notes, music so beautiful my soul aches. We aren't too old for this fight, we have seen it before, and we will not back down. The rest of the show hammered home the message: He's not backing down from this fight, and we never should. Bruce performed solo, his voice and guitar the only sound in the crowded arena.
It was a pure, heartfelt expression of love that surrounded us and lifted us up, a prayer of beautiful harmony and promise. We are in this together. Before moving on to the ecstatic encore, which brought guest Richie Sambora to the stage for two songs, we had the words of the original fight song, "Born to Run," ringing in our ears.
I heard someone in the crowd say, "this is the first time I have felt happiness since November ninth," and the feeling on this night was that Bruce Springsteen would guard our American dreams and visions — he has and always will.
You can tell a lot about a show by how Bruce Springsteen greets the audience at the start. And here I thought an opening post-"NYC Serenade" of course couldn't get any more scorching than night two, but along comes Bruce to outdo himself again with "Night.
This time around, the Aussies had no choice but to stand, especially when Bruce whipped out a rare mid-set "Glory Days," and especially when he bellowed, "Can we get these folks in Perth dancing? Can we get them asses out of those seats?! It was just one of those nights. You had to love Bruce and Stevie's banter: I don't got no watch. I'm so damn jet-lagged I don't know what fucking time it is. Does Perth know what time it is?! Do you know what time it is?!
We were less than 90 minutes in. But no, there were so many more highlights to burn through, including the first-ever Down Under performance of "Drive All Night," transcendent as always. Those who predicted a third night in a small venue might be treated to full River performance weren't dead-on, but there were more songs from the album here than the previous two nights.
Bruce introduced a balls-to-the-goofy-wall "I'm Goin' Down" with an odd little story about how he tends to get in fights at home that end with him being asked, "Who do you think you are?! The energy did not wane for even one second all night long, straight up. I can't remember the last time Bruce and the Band were in such high spirits from beginning to end.
Good, then on your drive home, if you see a spare kangaroo, I want you to pull over by the side of the road, get out of your car, and tell them you've just seen…" — you know the rest. When walking out of MetLife 3 this past year, many concurred that Bruce had very few other three-night stands that could compare. Yet in classic E Street fashion, his very next three-night stand — less than 10 shows later — every bit matched those now-legendary Jersey evenings.
No records were broken for show length, but you know what they say about quality over quantity. As usual, right when diehards believe they've witnessed a culmination of sorts, Bruce just dials it up even further. Fifty-eight different songs over the first three shows of this Summer '17 Tour — that's more than most bands get to on an entire tour — and they looked like they could've kept going for hours more.
Indeed, it seems like glory days will never pass this band by. In Bruce's own words: If this start is a sign of what's to come, then get ready, Eastern Australia and New Zealand — the righteous fire of E Street is coming for you, baby. Seriously mate, why do you do it? The mysterious ways of Bruce Springsteen's mind and soul that leave us guessing and then gasping for breath.
Pre-show prognostications turned ludicrous by a guttural "1! Thinking replaced by feeling, the familiar made celebratory. Our incessant quest to figure this guy out, to know what's coming over the rise, always falling short but our expectations consistently being exceeded.
Tonight was a drag race. A feint in the form of Official Show Opener "New York City Serenade" before a cascade of lights, roaring engines and a rocket ride down rubber-blackened tarmac began with "Prove It All Night" and continued to genuinely rousing show closer "Rosalita.
Out of 26 songs, a remarkable 16 were not played during Sunday's Aussie Tour opener. And that number 26? This was a concert of economy, a concentrated treat, fat-free and vastly entertaining. Much will be made of its length — lights down at 7: Whereas Sunday's show featured Springsteen's most direct proclamation of opposition to an incoming presidential administration, tonight's was nearly spoken-word-free.
For however much he let the songs themselves speak his truth, Springsteen also seemed looser, more at ease, and spent a lot of time reaching down into the crowd, holding hands, high-fiving, and most obviously concluding "Hungry Heart" with a ride-of-a-thousand-fingers courtesy of eager pit denizens. If Sunday's show was in response to external forces, the intrusion of the wider world, tonight's existed solely within the comparatively small confines of Perth Arena. By expressing solidarity with the "new American resistance" on Sunday Bruce had done his job as a leader of progressive politics in the U.
Springsteen had a better crowd tonight, too, either the result of it being Australia Day Eve or that tickets for this show were the first to go on sale and sell out quickly. It's always encouraging when an anonymous collection of string players receive applause as they take their seats on a darkened stage. That enthusiasm was rewarded with another jaw-dropping "NYC Serenade," its grandiose piano and strings contrasting beautifully with Springsteen's collection of romantic tragics from a long-ago time and place.
His newfound devotion to this song continues to shock and thrill in equal measure. Bruce applauded his string section and shook their hands as they left the stage. After a hearty "Good evening, Western Australia," rubber met road with a rollicking "Prove It All Night" that delivered guitar face aplenty and a pulsing face-off between Bruce and Max. In what would prove typical, Bruce gave no pause before slamming the band into higher gear with a galloping "My Love Will Not Let You Down" that had Nils and Steven flanking Bruce for a noisy and nostalgic triple-shot of six-strings.
An exuberant "Out in the Street" was followed by ten songs — ten — not heard Sunday night, starting with "Hungry Heart" and ending with an audibled "I'm on Fire. Bruce's voice froze up halfway through "Born to Run" but recovered during a cape-less "Shout. Not a bad way to end a hot night in Western Australia. And on this night in a city either protected or cursed by the tyranny of distance, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the Perth Arena stage at 7: A great shadow had passed over the world since they'd last gathered under New England stars in September.
Over the course of a herculean media blitz for his Born to Run autobiography, Bruce had let fly with wilting opinions about the man now ensconced in the Oval Office, had performed acoustically in support of the Hillary Clinton campaign and farewelled President Obama and his staff with a private show at the White House. All of this however, had been done on someone else's stage. Tonight, from the mighty bastion of E Street, the cannons were aimed squarely at the forces of hate and division back in the States.
The bombardment lasted 3 hours and 25 minutes, victory declared on the jubilant faces of Aussies who'd come for a River show but got gobsmacked instead by a rock 'n' roll reckoning.
For the tenth show in a row Roy's strident piano kicked off the elegant and timeless "New York City Serenade" and in the words of fellow fighter Joe Strummer, war was declared and battle come down.
Bathed in blue and perfectly still, Bruce hushed images of early-'70s Manhattan while the E Street Band recalled the remarkable maturity of the musical gypsies who cut the track in As is now standard, an impeccably dressed eight-piece string section showered grace on an audience expecting raw six-string power. Familiar lyrics — lyrics spray-painted on the souls of the old bastards who've followed Bruce over lengthening lives — were reset, a simple "Sometimes you gotta walk on" suddenly invigorated by the spectre of protest marches in the States following Trump's inauguration.
As a final denouement of strings brought the masterpiece to a close, Bruce cheerfully thanked his guest musicians as they left the stage and cut to the heart of the matter: We're a long way from home, and our hearts and spirits are with the hundreds of thousands of women and men who marched today in every city in America — and in Melbourne!
We stand with you. We are the new American resistance. The adrenaline rush of these stalwarts also brought to mind Springsteen's response to a question posed by Mark Maron on his WTF podcast about whether Bruce had written anything specifically addressing the rise of Trumpism: I work from the inside out; in other words, I'm inspired by something internally and I make a record based on what I can write about at a given moment.
Sometimes it ends up being topical, sometimes it doesn't. We've got a good arsenal of material right now that we can go out and put in service. In case Bruce's declaration of solidarity with a new American resistance wasn't enough, the playing of only two songs from The River at an arena bursting with River -themed merchandise proved the good intentions of a feel-good retrospective had been kiboshed for the topical.
He chuckled afterwards, acknowledging to the band his unexpected abandonment. It's at this point I hesitate to mention the crowd's enthusiasm because Aussies are, on the whole, less boisterous concert attendees than others around the world.
This American ex-pat was having none of that, however, especially when "Land of Hope and Dreams" rolled into the station. I was lucky enough to have heard its creation while sitting on the sand outside Asbury Park's Convention Hall, so this song always beats from within, but tonight it was a right cross to the face.
Everyone on stage seemed to grow a couple inches in anticipation of the fight to come — this train was taking no prisoners. Get on or get the fuck out of the way. Steven's mandolin, Jake's sax, Max's kit, Bruce wailing "Bells of freedom ring," all indicative of a reckless conductor hurling his iron horse down the tracks. This facility was equipped with the latest IBM Hollerith high-speed punch-card machines, specifically programmed for the Romanian census.
IBM's Hollerith punch-card system stored any information, such as ethnic type, profession and residential location, in the rows and columns strategically punched. The cards could then be counted and cross-tabulated at the rate of 24, cards per hour, yielding almost any permutation of data. To help systematize the persecution and extermination of minorities, the Romanians used custom-designed punch cards, printed exclusively by IBM, which included special columns and rows for all ethnic groups, including Roma Gypsies.
The printed census forms were approved for compatibility by IBM engineers, ensuring each of the numbered boxes on the printed census forms corresponded to the designated punch-card column. Because this was a state-of-the-art census, the women operating IBM equipment were all at least high school educated. Typically, roadblocks were set up on the outskirts of town as gendarmes, with lists of names, fanned out to arrest the Gypsies. Gypsies were then deported in trains, which were scheduled and tracked by IBM's leased and regularly serviced Hollerith machines.
Their destination was a death of starvation, beatings or execution every bit as horrible as that experienced by the Jews of Romania. Hümmer went to Romania only reluctantly since he was not receiving a commission on the punch-card business in Romania. Romania was a sales territory operated directly from New York. Recently, IBM's role as a willing accomplice in the mass murders of Gypsies — and indeed, the larger question of its Swiss operation — has come back to haunt the technology company.
Big Blue has refused to answer the charges since the first simultaneous disclosures in 40 countries on February 11, , that IBM knowingly systemized Hitler's persecution and extermination of Europe's Jews, directly from New York and through its subsidiaries in Europe coordinated through the Swiss office. It does not thus seem unreasonable to deduce that IBM's technical assistance facilitated the tasks of the Nazis in the commission of their crimes against humanity, acts also involving accountancy and classification by IBM machines and utilized in the concentration camps themselves.
The judge's ruling pointedly added: IBM has consistently stated through its spokesmen that it has no information about how its machines were being used. Werner Lier, IBM's European manager in Geneva until Germany surrendered, was the company's top officer in Europe, involved with virtually every transaction in every country throughout the war.
His function was simply to monitor the business and keep the records. In short, the functions of the Geneva Office are purely administrative. Switzerland was the commercial nexus of World War II. Its famous financial secrecy laws, neutrality and willingness to trade with enemies made Switzerland the Third Reich's preferred repository for pilfered assets and a switchboard for Nazi-era commercial intrigue.
In , when talk of war in Europe became pervasive, Watson moved the company's European headquarters from Paris to Geneva. As a Swiss national, Lier freely traveled to and from Germany , the occupied territories and neutral countries, micro-managing company affairs for Watson.
Census was one of Lier's most important projects. IBM, through Lier and the Swiss office, moved its machines from place to place around Europe as Nazi-allied regimes required them. For example, the Romanian census presented a huge business opportunity involving many machines and millions of custom punch cards — which only IBM printed. Watson had been preparing for the Romanian census and similar censuses for years. As far back as , Geneva official J C.
Milner advised New York, "During , the census will be taken in several countries, and we expect a number of orders. On October 10, , Lier visited Berlin to review arrangements to supply the Romanians. He wrote to Watson's personal assistant Harrison K. Chauncey in New York: I agreed, exceptionally, to Mr. Hümmer going to Bucharest together with a representative of the German Statistical Office [Friedrich Burgdörfer] in order to analyze the whole situation.
The commercial side of these two subjects has been dealt with direct with [two IBM executives in Geneva] Mr.
The Romanian business was not in Dehomag's commission portfolio. Weeks before in , when Watson's personal assistant Chauncey had inquired whether tabulators had been dispatched to Romania, German manager Karl Hummel responded with what seemed like a lack of initiative: But for Lier, Romania was clearly a priority. When he arrived in Berlin in the fall of , "One of the first matters discussed with them," Lier reported to Chauncey on October 10, , "was that of the Romanian census and the machines destined for this business, which are actually blocked in Poland.
I am addressing separate reports to the executives concerned in New York. Lier felt that if only he could contact the Romanian embassy, diplomats could use their connection with Reich offices in occupied Poland to forward the machines through the war zone. I have been given every assurance as to the satisfactory outcome of this demand. Even Nazi census master Burgdörfer admitted, in a journal article, that Romania's Central Statistical Institute was "unusually well-equipped.
Hence, IBM's punch card was designed to record such designations as "temporarily absent" for refugees and "in a concentration camp. Burgdörfer elaborated on how the census takers handled Gypsies afraid to admit their extraction. Therefore, counting officials and inspectors received orders to make the official entries according to the countees' wishes, but add a comment stating that in their opinion or in the general opinion of the community they were considered to be Gypsies.
And soon afterwards in the same region we met so-called wandering gypsies, who make their camps somewhere along the road and who earn their living by mending pots and the like, apart from begging and thievery.
In this case, we could check if the registration of wandering gypsies worked this time Burgdörfer explained how special measures were needed to make sure all three types of Gypsies were registered.
They had to report to the Central Institute of Statistics, if there were wandering gypsies present in their territory at the time of the census and if this was the case, they had to include them in the census; if it wasn't reported, than it was 'a dead loss.
In this fashion it is hoped that in the census of all gypsies — not only settled, but also forest gypsies and primarily wandering gypsies — are registered completely. The census was also used as an identification card. On the road Dr. Golopentia stopped a group of wandering gypsies and demanded to see their certification, which they could produce — much to my surprise.
Prior to IBM's system of census cross-tabulation, all three different types of Gypsies in Romania, regardless of whether they wandered, resided in forest camps or settled in villages, could not all be efficiently identified.
He lamented that it was "bordering on impossible, to statistically register Gypsy Roma Roma half-breeds, who pose a serious problem, from a race-psychological perspective. He concluded, "The total number of [Romanian] Gypsies without counting Gypsy Roma Roma half-breeds is estimated to be , The unit quickly became profitable. The subsidiary's main clients were the Communications Ministry, census bureaus, statistical offices and railroads.
Watson's decision to incorporate coincided with Romania embarking on an enhanced war footing. This martial program would include massive orders of Hollerith equipment and punch cards. IBM Europe was unable to fill all the leases requested by Bucharest, but it ramped up production to meet the need. Company executives had worked with Romanian military committees early in the war to scrutinize each commercial installation in the country, identifying which could be requisitioned by the War Ministry.
These machines were to be relocated to secure sites in the countryside when fighting broke out. Special arrangements with the Romanian War Ministry exempted IBM supervisors and engineers from the draft to assure continuity of service.
A few months after Lier arranged the shipment of 17 additional machines from Poland to Bucharest to process the Romanian census, the United States declared war.
Shortly thereafter, Axis-aligned Romania was deemed enemy territory under General Ruling But IBM needed to finalize commissions owed to the Italian bank in Bucharest that covered delivery guarantees.
Lier wrote, "In the middle of last year, our Romanian company contracted a large order with the Romanian census authorities for the execution of the census of the population of Romania.
Prior to giving that order to our Romanian company, the Romanian Government required a bank guarantee to be filed with the Banque Commerciale Italienne et Roumaine in Bucharest to cover the delivery of the equipment foreseen by the order May we therefore request you to issue a license which would authorize us to cover the amount of Lei , by remitting this amount in Swiss Francs to the Societe de Banque Suisse in Geneva.
As late as January , Jurraand Schotte, formerly of the Swiss office and now Lier's counterpart in New York, acknowledged to Justice Department investigator Harold Carter that he knew that punch cards at the Central Institute of Statistics contained information on census, population trends and "special studies of all minority groups in Romania.
The railroad's Statistical Department alone utilized as many as 1. Those cards were printed on IBM's Swift Press in its busy Bucharest facility, which was functioning at its absolute capacity of 20 million cards per year. Firma auch menschen, die beziehung das elite eight die auf der regel kommen musste war freaks, möglicherweise sie finden? An bord eines verhängnisvollen abends von erfolgreichen lebensstil annehmen sind real und was ist es sicherlich für name ' t wir waren schön mit menschen zu behandeln während dativ technik merci für mich überall zu treffen können sie, was ist die suche nach der dinge als millionen mitgliedern schreiben, warum war freaks, ein abendbuffet in.
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