Liisa's Show Review:
Bruce Springsteen at Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Friday June 5th 2009

2009 Liisa Sarakontu, lsarakon@gmail.com

Just when Nils says in that interview that he has been in The ESB for 23 years now, I wake up. Dang, my dreams are having details all wrong! As it is just 2:30 am, I go back to sleep but wake up again at 5 am. Okay, time to get up and walk to the stadium to get a new number for today. It is still raining a little, but the weather doesn't look bad. Forecast promises mostly no rain and a degree or two more than yesterday, when it was really chilly.

It takes a while before I find the line from the forest behind the stadium (they are not allowed to be on the street in front of the stadium before 7 am) and they are just doing a roll call. I join the line and after the roll call ends, I get number 172 on my hand. Cool, much better than yesterday! I am guaranteed to get to the 2nd line from the stage nearly anywhere except by the middle catwalk.

Next roll call is at 10 am, so I walk back to hotel to draw a new request plate. I have still another piece of pink cardboard and a Swedish paper said that it is Bruce's and Patti's 18th anniversary today, so this is a no brainer. Pink + Patti + a love song definitely equals to Pretty Flamingo.

I manage to get some shut eye before heading back to stadium, and I meet my room mate Merja there. She has just arrived to Sweden and came first here to get her number. Uh oh, the roll call gues say that today we shouldn't leave the line at all after this except to go to bathroom - and guess who forget her ticket to hotel? Merja has also to get her luggage there and check in, so we leave the line after that roll call and walk that 20 min to the hotel.

Luckily it doesn't rain any more, but those clouds don't look too good. It isn't any warmer than yesterday, and now it's also windy and so the weather feels even colder. I've better take my raincoat again with me. We change clothes, leave all the stuff we are not going to need today to the hotel and buy some food and drink on our way back to the line.

The day goes on much like yesterday, except that now it is easier to sit, the ground isn't wet but just little damp and there are ponds here and there on the sidewalk. After all we were able to leave the line today too, but more people are hanging around than yesterday. There is little rain every now and then, but it isn't that bad. And people are dressed more heavily than yesterday.

Soundcheck time! I don't recognize the first tune until that nice Danish guy in blue jacket says that it is Good Lovin'. He is Morten, and we continue to listen to the soundcheck together. Downbound Train, yes! Oh wow, Queen of the Supermarket! Surprise, Surprise, no way! Seven Nights To Rock! And this sounds familiar too, wait a minute, it is the intro of Land Of 1000 Dances, way cool! Then it is the intro of Land Of 1000 Dances INTO Devil With The Blue Dress a couple of times. This has to mean that they might be doing Detroit Medley which starts with a snippet Lo1000D. Morten and I smile, this promises a good show tonight!

Green wristbands are dealed out, we walk through the security check and then inside to the stadium. Let's see, I saw the two first shows from Clarence's side and so it is time to me to go to the other side. Being close to a catwalk would be nice, as Bruce doesn't come to the fences at all on this tour, just to the catwalks. Hmm, those people leaning to the catwalk on Soozie's side are not that tall so I decide to stand behind them.

When there are 3 or 4 lines of people and more are arriving, the British couple in front of me decides to sit down and we all do that. We form a group of 6 or so people and we tell each others all kinds of funny stories from previous shows during the next 2 hours. Most other people stand up quite early, but we just sit nearly until the camera guys come to the stage. I love to rest my feet, I feel much better than yesterday when I was quite tired already before the show started.

The camera lady on the right side of the stage smiles to the audience and people cheer and raise hands. Then she takes her own little camera out, points it to the crowd and waves a little. Everybody start cheering and waving wildly at her as she pans the audience in front of her and finally turns the camera to her own face, says something and closes it. Probably something like "Look Mom, Bruce isn't yet on stage and these crazy Swedes are doing that all for ME!"

Tonight an older tech guy does the drying of the floors and he checks carefully all the stage levels and ramps to make sure that there are no slippery spots tonight. We wonder what happened to that poor guy who did the sweeping last night when Bruce fell, is he made to take out the trash tonight?

That's Nils and his accordion and again he plays that Swedish tune. Some people sing along tonight, and the band takes their places. Ah, the first song is Downbound Train, like we guessed! I love it and I'm so happy that I hear it tonight. All it ever does in that carwash is rain, but luckily it has now stopped here and when looking at the sky it seems that we are not getting any more tonight.

Badlands is a strong singalong, and My Lucky Day is treated like any old hit, people cheer, jump and raise their hands high! This is slightly boring on the album, but it works fine in a show. Then oh, this is Candy's Room and many people in the pit go totally wild. Outlaw Pete sounds so good, the audience loves it and Finns (Taapsa and Rane) behind me raise their blue fan forum t-shirts high during every Can you hear me? part. I guess I keep my shirt on as I don't have more than bra under it, but at least I open my coat and stretch the shirt front so that the text is visible.

Pete is followed by Darlington County, oh how fun! Bruce and Nils come to my catwalk and uh, people are really crowding and pressing now. Tight, but never mind. I'm big and not too fragile. Working On A Dream makes everybody raise our hands and wave. When you raise your hands tonight, you can't actually get them back down due to the dense crowd but who cares, now we just sing along and sway.

Seeds is good tonight too, and during Johnny 99 there is absolutely no room to dance. Ok, we jump up and down then. During this song I'm pressed tightly to the back of the guy in front of me and another guy is pressed to my back and we all pump up and down in the same rhytm. Well, didn't Bruce promise in his WOAD rap to build a house of sexual healing? One more song before collecting requests but hey, this intro doesn't sound exactly like TGOTJ and sure, this is actually Youngstown! Cool. I really loved to hear the Morello-ish version of TGOTJ, but Youngstown is better. It was one of the highlights of Helsinki show last summer and it is good here tonight.

And then it is time for the request collecting, the band should start Raise Your Hand but this sure isn't it. Anyway, Bruce doesn't have a guitar now and goes to the front of the stage so this has to be the sign time after all. My Pretty Flamingo cardboard is still pinned to my fanny bag belt and nearly intact, and I take it and raise it high. Nope, not a glance to my direction. The request collecting is over and the song turns out to be Good Lovin'. Yeah, it was a really good idea to see several shows in one city as there is so much variation in the set list now!

First request is Hungry Heart and then oh oh, we get Growin' Up! Gee wow, I really love to hear it. Bruce also has also collected plates saying "How's Your Ass Tonight?" and "Your Ass Looks Good" and he assures us that his ass is indeed ok.

What could be the third request song, oh what does that big paper say, now Bruce turns it over and it is E Street Shuffle! Crowd goes wild! But when he shows it to Jay and Steve, they seem to decide that Jay can't do it yet and Bruce picks up Thunder Road sign instead. Well ok, I love this song too but Shuffle would have been great. But this might mean that some other European city is going to witness Shuffle. During Thunder Road's guitar part Bruce and Steven go to the opposite ends of the stage and run back to the middle stage at the same time. Or at least they were supposed to do that, Steve was little late but anyway he was running again!

Still one more request? That's a small paper, no it's actually some kind of paper hat, and it says Queen Of The Supermarket. Band starts the song and Bruce runs to a little kid and places the hat to her head before starting to sing. What a fun song, and they do it so nicely. When following the setlists I had already said goodbye to hopes of hearing this ever live. I'm so lucky to be here tonight, swaying and singing with this crowd.

Waitin' On A Sunny Day is another crowd pleaser and singalong again, just like The Promised Land. And then still another request, Lost In The Flood. We just stare and listen in awe as Jimmy the Saint drives to his destiny and that poor Spanish-speaking kid gets shot in the street. Just. Like. Wow. This is one helluva show.

Crowd really roars as the song ends, and the band goes straight into Radio Nowhere and everybody goes just totally wild. This is a new song, but it gets people moving even better than any of the old classics. I join again that jumping up and down and I too scream is there anybody alive out there with all these loud Swedes. Who said that old Bruce can't write hit songs any more? And that kiddo sure can beat those drums.

Lonesome Day and The Rising allow us to breathe a little - but not too much, everybody has naturally to sing along. And Born To Run means that we have to shout as loud as we can and raise our hands high.

Encore starts with Hard Times, and it sounds once again so good. Love this. Then it is time for 10th Avenue Freeze-Out, with full Super Bowl coreography with that one-two-knees down-four-hanging from the mic stand, YES! It's so fun when Bruce and the Big Man wave together during that part when all the little pretties are supposed to raise their hands. We big uglies have had our hands in the air already for a while!

Land Of Hope And Dreams starts and the couple in front of me leaves giving me the possibility to go to the front line. They might have left to get better line number for the Sunday show, but how on earth can anybody leave like this during encores? No matter if they will be mostly songs played in other shows already, I'm going to stay here for sure, especially as now I have my elbows on the stage itself! Ok, this is just the right catwalk and Bruce isn't going to come here any more, but there is nobody between me and the stage, oh how lucky I am! Besides, I already managed to pat Bruce's leg when he came here during one of the earlier songs. Can't remember which song, but I sure do remember how strong his thigh feels under those moist jeans...

Now we are into American Land, and I think that the middle catwalk is arranged a little different than earlier. There seems to be stairs straight to it, no more high jumps up and down but more just walking nicely. After American Land Clarence, Steve and Bruce once again gather to the middle of the stage to decide if they should continue. This time the decision comes quickly, Bruce points at the moon and says that it is a sign that they have to go on with Glory Days. Boss time!

And then straight to Devil With The Blue Dress. I scream (how on earth can I make any sound at this time of the night) as this means I'm getting my very first Detroit Medley ever! It's little hard to dance when the metal edge of the catwalk is pressing my chest but who cares about such minor details? When I see the camera lady Kim point her camera straight to me, I try to dance even more fiercely, wave my hands and sing along. I even remember to open my coat a little more so that my shirt would be more visible. (And sure, next morning during the breakfast a Swede told me that he saw me a couple of times on the big screen previous night.) There's a long part of Land Of 1000 Dances in the middle of the medley, and we all shout that naa-na-na-na-naa as loud as we can.

The show ends with Dancing In The Dark. I'm soaking wet under my too heavy jacket and I walk slowly outside to meet my roommate Merja, who has been somewhere in the pit too. Hey, my legs are not nearly as bad now as yesterday, that sitting sure helped! And I still can speak about nornally, voice is not gone! How's that possible with all that singing and shouting?

What a superb show, this was so good! No Kingdom of Days this time, no greetings to Patti like yesterday but we got QotS, another song from WOAD.

Only minor fault to me was that DitD was the last song; I think it would have worked better if Bruce had switched the two last songs so that Detroit would have been the last. Is there any way that Sunday would be still better? Hardly, as Clarence was now sitting for nearly all of the show and Bruce was perhaps moving a little stiffer. Saturday is a free day for the band, but do they have enough time to rest before the next show? But hey, I have now seen Detroit Medley live (and what a medley it was!) and I can (again) die happily!

Set List

Start time 8:15 pm

Intro: Idas Sommarvisa
1. Downbound Train
2. Badlands
3. My Lucky Day
4. Candy's Room
5. Outlaw Pete
6. Darlington County
7. Working On A Dream
8. Seeds
9. Johnny 99
10. Youngstown
11. Good Lovin'
12. Hungry Heart
13. Growin' Up
14. Thunder Road
15. Queen Of The Supermarket
16. Waitin' On A Sunny Day
17. The Promised Land
18. Lost In The Flood
19. Radio Nowhere
20. Lonesome Day
21. The Rising
22. Born To Run

23. Hard Times
24. 10th Avenue Freeze-Out
25. Land Of Hope And Dreams
26. American Land
27. Glory Days
28. Detroit Medley/Land Of 1000 Dances
29. Dancing In The Dark

End time 11:10 pm

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