Saturday, April 25, 2009

WOE IS MO...Red Sox Beat Yankees In "Cardiac Kids" 5-4 Victory...BRUCE And The E Street Band In Hartford..The Full Review

Frustration turned into sudden euphoria times two as Jason Bay walked to the plate. There were two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the NY Yankees were up by a score of 4-2. The crowd was quiet but hopeful and Mr. Bay delivered in a HUGE way, clubbing a two run tater to knot the score at 4. The game, started by Chamberlain and Lester, had turned into a battle of the bullpens, a definite plus for Boston. In the bottom of the 11th, just scant minutes after I returned from a glorious Bruce Spingsteen & the E Street Band show in downtown Hartford, Kevin Youkilis, our best hitter (by far) launched one out of the park to send his team and their fans into a frenzied victory celebration. It seemed as if the whole city roared their approval. I know that I did, voice or no voice. Here's what Bay and Pedey had to say after the game...

"Until you win the game, it's really hard to jump up and down and get all excited about anything, so once Youk hit that ball, it was a relief and we could enjoy it a little more," Bay said. "Winning that game makes all the difference in the world in enjoying
it."

“Early in the game, it seemed like we had a million chances to score a lot of runs,” said second baseman Dustin Pedroia after the Sox extended their winning streak to eight games. It was definitely frustrating, one after another. But we were able to find a way to win in the end.”

That was just game one of eighteen between these fierce rivals. Game two, televised nationally by Fox and Fox HD, will start today at 4:10pm EDT with AJ Burnett, who's always tough against the Red Sox, ready to go against Josh Beckett. This game is a toss-up in my mind...if it gets to the bullpens, I like Boston's chances. Hell, I like 'em anyways. GO SOX.

The Bruce show began at 8:21pm EDT and went nonstop to 11:05pm. And I mean NON STOP! Here is the complete review and setlist from a tremendous Friday night in north central Connecticut. My thanks to the Hartford Courant...
***************
"Bruce Springsteen rolled into Hartford Friday for the third time in a little more than 18 months, which may seem like a lot. Then again, plenty has changed since the last time the Boss was here, in February 2008, including the meltdown of the world financial system and rising unemployment at home. So it was an audience particularly eager for a hopeful message, piled into the XL Center during a period of economic hardship. Sounds like Bruce's time to shine.

And shine he did. He and the E Street Band opened strong, with "Badlands," a high-energy song that fell into the hopeful-message category. More than a few of the others tipped toward economic hardship, including "Johnny 99" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad," neither of which were on the set list here in 2007 or 2008. Nils Lofgren played a bluesy guitar lick to anchor the former, written in 1982 during an earlier hard-luck period, and the band blew through a succession of quick solos from violinist Suze Tyrell, pianist Roy Bittan and Lofgren, before guitarist Little Steven Van Zandt took over on a coda at the end.

(The song was one of several to feature drummer Max Weinberg's 18-year-old son, Jay, sitting in for his dad. The kid can play, and Springsteen egged him on, particularly on "Radio Nowhere," so the younger Weinberg could prove it.)

Lofgren ripped through another fierce solo as "Tom Joad" built from acoustic dust bowl-style ballad into a furious, snarling musical recrimination. During the start of "Raise Your Hand," he let the band vamp while he collected signs and t-shirts offered by fans at the front of the stage. When the song was over, he held up what looked like a napkin, upon which was written "Wild Thing."
"So, you think you can stump the band, eh?" he cracked as he launched into the iconic riff from the Troggs' hit. Next came a sign that read, "Rockin' All Over the World." Sure enough, Bruce and band nailed the John Fogerty rocker.

There was no stopping the band from there: "E Street Shuffle" rolled into "Waitin' on a Sunny Day," followed by "The Promised Land." There was a brief respite for "The Wrestler," from last year's film of the same name, and then it was full-bore through "The Rising," "Born to Run" and, to close the main set, "Cadillac Ranch."
Springsteen and the band returned to play a five-song encore that included a version of the Stephen Foster tune "Hard Times Come Again No More" and, to the crowd's delight, "Rosalita" to end the show.

Set list...

1. Badlands
2. Outlaw Pete
3. Jackson Cage
4. She's the One
5. Working on a Dream
6. Radio Nowhere
7. Seeds
8. Johnny 99
9. The Ghost of Tom Joad
10. Raise Your Hand
11. Wild Thing
12. Rockin' All Over the World
13. The E Street Shuffle
14. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
15. The Promised Land
16. The Wrestler
17. Kingdom of Days
18. Lonesome Day
19. The Rising
20. Born to Run
21. Cadillac Ranch

Encore

22. Hard Times Come Again No More
23. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
24. Land of Hope and Dreams
25. American Land
26. Rosalita
***************

I made it to my car on weary legs but with a look of sheer happiness on my face. THANK YOU, Bruce. You and the band are the best...by far. 35 years down the road for me and I wouldn't do it any other way.

Enjoy the game this afternoon and as always, BE WELL. Have a great warm weekend. As Bruce wrote and played and sang, "I BELIEVE IN THE PROMISED LAND." Last night, it was in MY hometown...Hartford.

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