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Springsteen/Houserockers turn it up on Night 2

Written by Scott Mervis on .

BruceJoePHOTOS BY STEVE KALINSKY

If and when Bruce Springsteen comes back for another round with Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers at Soldiers and Sailors, get tickets for the second night.

Once again, the Friday night session had more of a party vibe and the feeling that they just didn't want to quit as the set rolled on till midnight.

BrucealoneSpringsteen, more in the moment than in night one, changed up his openers and a few songs in the middle of the set, really tapping into that early '90s era with "Better Days," "Lucky Town" and "Human Touch." The latter turned out to be one of the surprise highlights of the set with the Houserockers' dynamic backup.

"Savin' Up" was even better than Thursday night, as Springsteen went into soul preacher mode. "Down the Road Apiece," which they played in previous years, was a runaway train, as guitar wiz Rick Witkowski stepped forth with a crazy solo that just lit the place up and drove the energy for the final hour.  Ed Manion was another MVP on this night, adding soulful work on sax.

Springsteen's acoustic encores were gorgeous: "My Beautiful Reward" done so quiet and tenderly you could hear a pin drop in the room, and lovely, boozy "Jersey Girl" sing-along (with  Manion stepping in beautifully) sent out as a gift from Jersey to Pittsburgh.

Bruce was in great form and seemed to have more fun as the set rolled on, and kudos to the Houserockers for learning so many of his songs and nailing them so perfectly.

Here is the set list

Further on up the Road
I'll Work for Your Love
Outlaw Pete
Hear the Devil Knocking
John the Revelator
Somewhere East of Eden
Adam Raised a Cain
Never Be Enough Time
Racing in the Street
Pumping Iron
Atlantic City
Better Days
I Still Look Good for Sixty
Pink Cadillac
Frankie Fell in Love
I'm Not Sleeping
Junior's Bar
Save My Love For You
Savin' Up
Hearts of Stone
Talking to the King
Lucky Town
Human Touch

Down the Road Apiece
Twist and Shout
Leaving Train
Light of Day

My Beautiful Reward
Jersey Girl

 

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