Back home after three shows in the States (and boy, what a show in Philly!). I think that for the first time in years Bruce is managing a tour with great ideas, and soul. I know there’s some criticism by fans regarding his choice of proposing a “backward” tour, giving that a series of The river shows have already occurred in 1980 and 1981. But for me, this is a great tour: I think Bruce has chosen the idea of giving a new life to the present and improving it, instead of trying to re-live the past: so the entire The river set has been rehearsed, studied and thought up. The songs are beautifully arranged, the choirs very well chosen, and the Band always delivers, both in the rock rides and the intimate ballads. And having him there explaining what he tried to do in writing an album like The River, and presenting some songs talking to us like he didn’t do in a long time, well, for me that was beautiful. The river is one of the three albums of my life, and it has been a true privilege to have the chance to see it in its entirety not once but three times.
I’m not entirely convinced about the second set of the concert, where he plays 10/12 songs – mostly the same – show after show. But I have to admit that I see no other possible solution other than playing them like he does, or closing the show after Wreck on the highway (that, I admit, would be in any case a fantastic show). Ok, maybe he has lost some spontaneity during the years, that’s probably true. But it’s the entire The river album we’re talking about, what’s to complain about spontaneity? it’s the river, say amen somebody!