After nearly 45 years of touring, Bruce Springsteen finally found himself in South Africa. Last night, Springsteen, his E Street Band, and Tom Morello opened their High Hopes tour with a show at The Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town.
The Boss and the band opened the evening with an apropos cover of The Special AKA’s “Free Nelson Mandela”, a tribute to the recently-deceased revolutionary. From there the setlist hit many a familiar highlight (“Badlands”, “Atlantic City”, “Spirit in the Night”), bolstered no doubt by Morello’s presence. The Nightwatchman traded off vocals with Springsteen during their new take of “The Ghost of Tom Joad” near the end of the set.
For an encore, they opened by once again dedicating a song to Mandela: Wrecking Balls’ “We Are Alive”. Then came a no-doubt spectacular run of “Born in the U.S.A.”, “Born to Run”, “Dancing in the Dark”, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”, and a cover of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout”. The 27-song, three-hour set closed out with The Boss taking a solo acoustic run down “Thunder Road”. See the whole list, plus a few clips, below.
Springsteen will play two more gigs in Cape Town (1/27 and 28), and each gig will be available for purchase through the Boss’ official bootleg series.
“Free Nelson Mandela” (The Special AKA’s cover)
“Heaven’s Wall” (soundcheck)
Free Nelson Mandela (The Special AKA cover)
Death To My Hometown
Out In The Street
Spirit in the Night
Pay Me My Money Down
American Skin (41 Shots)
Because the Night
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Land of Hope and Dreams
We Are Alive (dedicated to Nelson Mandela)
Born in the U.S.A.
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Shout (The Isley Brothers cover)
Thunder Road (solo acoustic)