An amazing show by Bruce Springsteen in Austin on April 5, 2009

Posted by Dan Keeney
Bruce Springsteen’s hand-written playlist from
the Austin show is close, but not quite accurate
because they took three requests from
the crowd during the 3-hour show!

What does Bruce Springsteen have to do with public relations? Absolutely nothing, except that being able to go to the occasional concert is one of the rewards for working hard and building a small PR practice.

As entrepreneurs, some of us like to spout about the flexibility that our independent businesses allow, but we can be trapped by the smallness of our companies and find it hard to get away. I have fallen into that trap in the past, but I work hard to enjoy the fruits of my hard work, too.

Springsteen is no fruit, mind you, but his music is one of my vices. One of my first assignments as a reporter at the Loveland High School newspaper (the now politically incorrect “Redskin Reporter”) was to review The River when it came out. I have that clipping somewhere, but I’m not sure where. I didn’t give it a great review because I thought the pop sound of some of his songs were a bit of a sell-out.

That year I went to two of his concerts, seeing him at McNichols Arena in Denver and later sleeping out at Red Rocks to get good seats. My buddy Chris Buck and I — along with a couple thousand other whackos — were stunned when the whole band came out at about 3:30 in the afternoon, which was five hours before show time, to do a sound check. It was raining, but nobody cared a bit. They played four songs, ending with Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Here Comes Who’ll Stop the Rain.” It was one of those moments that you think at the time you’ll remember forever and here it is nearly 30 years later and I REALLY DO STILL REMEMBER IT!

So I am happy to share the Sunday night Arpil 5 show I enjoyed at Frank Erwin Center in Austin with you. The set list shows 27 songs, which would have been amazing, but it is wrong because as the band was wrapping up their final jubilant number, Bruce spotted someone holding up a sign with a request, grabbed it and ran through one final classic — Glory Days — from Born in the USA.

If you really enjoy The Boss and would like to get a sense of what the show was like, here is a link to almost all the songs played in order on my playlist. If this is the first time you’ve heard of, it is a great social network built around sharing songs legally. It is what the music industry should have thought to do about 10 years ago. There might still be a music industry if they had figured it out.

To give you a feel for the show, here is a brief video uploaded from the road. There are plenty of unauthorized videos on YouTube as well, but I don’t want to get a cease and desist letter, so I’m not posting them.

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