Springsteen at Wachovia Center, 10/6/07

October 6 / Philadelphia, PA / Wachovia Center

Notes: Only three shows into the tour, and Bruce and the band have found that next level. Chalk it up to the locale, to it being the second show of a stand, to their determination to rise up to a challenge, whatever -- Philly 2 was an electric show. That was signified right out of the the gate with "Night," a real shot in the arm as the opener, bumping "Radio Nowhere" to the second slot for the first time. In all there were seven songs not played the previous night, most of which served to elevate this very high-energy show.

"Town Called Heartbreak" was suddenly transformed, with a full-band treatment and a particularly happening organ intro. That song went right into a true Philly special, "Incident on 57th Street" -- which they nailed. Odds would have seemed against such a thing this early in a tour.... but hey, it's Magic. (And "incidentally," that'll teach anyone who decided to hit the bathroom during the Patti song.) Next up was the wildest one of the night, a completely spontaneous "Cadillac Ranch." A true audible, Bruce impulsively called for solos left and right, catching Steve in particular off guard, and pushing Soozie to center stage to countrify the song a bit. In the encore, "Dancing in the Dark" was also ramshackle but right, working really, really well as a replacement for "Sunny Day."

For all our talk about rehearsals honing the new songs, chops, transitions, pacing, yadda yadda yadda... all those things have to be there, sure, that's the foundation (and you don't think "Incident" sounds that good without practice, right?), but this one demonstrated that what really makes for a powerful show is spontaneity, energy, and a venture or two off the map. Keep keepin' 'em on their toes, Bruce. If Friday was a bit wobbly, they fixed all those wheels for tonight, clearly the best Magic show yet.

Radio Nowhere
Prove It All Night
Gypsy Biker
Reason to Believe
The Ties That Bind
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
Town Called Heartbreak
Incident on 57th Street
Cadillac Ranch
Devil's Arcade
The Rising
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
* * *
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
American Land