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I would like to quote Joad once again:

Originally Posted By: Joad
The 2009 performance of Darkness album hit me like a fifty ton truck. Bruce sings those songs like he wrote them yesterday and with the experience of a 60 year old man. It honestly brought tears to my eyes. I am not sure young Bruce ... can match this.

When I started listening to boots (after a long non-Bruce time in my life) in summer 2009,
I was very touched by his emotional rendition of "The Promised Land" during the Magic/WOAD tours.

Even though myself I usually preferred his 78/80 voice; I found the new performances of "Promised Land" even better than what he released in the 70s & 80s.

I always enjoy the Rockefeller Plaza version from the 2007 NBC Today Show
(even though something goes wrong at the start; he is very intense there)

and watching the 2009-11-22 Buffalo video; it always brings tears to my eyes when I see
how he places flowers on Danny's altar on the stage
and then jumps into the finale of the song.

What is your favorite performance of "The Promised Land"?

[And how 'bout "Long Walk Home" - I think there's some connection between those two?]
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I'm assuming you mean as a full band version--the Joad/Devils version is my favorite.

This is a good question, because although there hasn't been any structural change in the song its position in the show has changed its meaning over the years. In 78' it was much more of a defiant song to me, coming in the midst of Darkness, Streets, Prove It, etc. in the first set. On the River tour, it was part of the post-Independence Day/Who'll Stop the Rain upbeat section of the first set, usually teamed with Two Hearts and/or Out in the Street. The defiance turned to joy, which was immediately undercut on that tour by The River song.

By BITUSA it was pure celebration, bridging the gap between Glory Days and My Hometown. To me, it's pretty much stayed that way since. Live, the harmonica intro is a moment of recognition and the rest of the song is a celebration of the band--Clarence and Steve get solos, Roy has a chance to shine, and Springsteen has the harmonica solo. That's why I liked the refocus on the lyrics solo. But of the band versions, Darkness versions are closest to the tenor of the song as it was written originally: angry, wary, defiant, persevering.
Originally Posted By: Mando
My favourite version has to be as the opener to the 2003 show in Milan - Bruce, the E street band and 90,000 voices.

Correct. Simply stunning. The kind of track the repeat button was created for.
Paramount 2009 sounds like Bruce missed his bran muffin. The kind of performance that sends you to a Proctologist.
Are you retarded? Hell yeah it was better in '78!
Originally Posted By: Mando
My favourite version has to be as the opener to the 2003 show in Milan - Bruce, the E street band and 90,000 voices.

and the Morricone Once upon a time in the west intro too
I agree tha Paramount 2009 is stunning

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- have just one thing, just one thing in your whole life that you do that makes you proud of yourself, I don't think that's too much for anybody to ask...

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