Working On A Dream Springsteen Playlist

By: Lucas Jensen / March 26, 2009

and Co. just completed two hometown rehearsal shows, and some superfans are grumbling about setlist selection. It’s not that the shows are bad; it’s that the setlists are rather stale. The Boss has a huge catalog with tons of deep cuts, and he’s been sticking to the same jams for a while now. As Bruce aficionado Ben Lazar tells Bruce via blog post: “You’ve just added some new songs to a pre-existing framework.” Lazar has come up with his dream setlist, including notes about what key in which Springsteen should sing certain songs. I thought I was a pretty serious fan, but it turns out I have a lot to learn. Lazar’s dream playlist and detailed set notes after the jump.

1. Cover Me (It rocks, it’s about hard times, and it’ll be a cooking opener – just no prolonged intros, ok? Count it off in the pitch black, and then when Max’s drums kick in, have the stage lights explode. They’ll love it – even your core fans that say they hate it will be like, “Yeah, that’s a pretty great opener.”)
2. Roulette (Uh, can we say financial crisis, anyone?)
3. Outlaw Pete (I’m not a big fan of this one, but I know it’s important to you to play it.)
4. My Lucky Day
5. Spirit In The Night
6. Working On A Dream (Bruce, I heard the rehearsal version – you brought the song a whole step higher. Bad move. Bring it back down to the original key.)
7. Seeds/Spare Parts
8. This Life (Sounded gorgeous in the rehearsal, but please drop the crowd participation part – too cheesy. Having the background vocalists is a great move though.)
9. What Love Can Do/Good Eye/Queen Of The Supermarket
10. Candy’s Room
11. Cadillac Ranch/I’m Goin’ Down
12. Leap Of Faith
13. Girls In Their Summer Clothes (Do it in the same key as the recorded version, ok Bruce? It’s one of your greatest songs ever, and you bringing the key up on the Magic tour just didn’t work – it killed the melancholy at the heart of the song which makes it so wonderful.)
14. Kingdom Of Days
15. The Last Carnival
16. Backstreets/The Price You Pay/Long Walk Home
17. Born To Run (It needs a new context to freshen it up, but you can’t not play it.)
18. Born In The U.S.A.

Encores

19. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? (Says it all, right?)
20. Open All Night (Rock it, baby)
21. Pink Cadillac (A little humor is nice.)
22. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
23. Land Of Hope And Dreams/Raise Your Hand (Totally different songs, I know, but in a way, they’re very similar. Use em depending on your mood.)
24. Eyes On The Prize (You’ll have em weeping and raising their fist – perfect way to close it out.)

I agree about “Cover Me”, and I like the topicality of the choices here. Plus, any setlist with “Candy’s Room” on it is okay in my book. But if you’ve gotta play “Born To Run” then I think you have to play “Thunder Road,” right? Maybe take it back to the just-Bruce version of the ’70s. If it were up to me, they’d be playing “Adam Raised A Cain” and “Jungleland”. Lazar offers up further suggestions, including nixing “Mary’s Place” for good, which I wholly support. That might be my least favorite Springsteen song ever, and that includes “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On).”

What about you, Idolator fans of the Boss? I know I asked this around the Super Bowl, but instead of 15 minutes you’ve got more than two hours. Are you with me on “Adam Raised A Cain”? What about “Dancing In The Dark”? Am I only the only one who thinks that song is the Eternal Jam?

Some Advice To Mr. Springsteen [Deeper Shade of Soul; HT: Don’t Forget The Coffee]

Setlists: 2009 [Backstreets]