Friends Help Springsteen Wrap 'Vote' Tour
Bruce Springsteen got a hand from some familiar faces last night (Oct. 13) in East Rutherford, N.J., in what served as one final taste of the Vote for Change tour to oust President Bush from the WhiteBruce Springsteen got a hand from some familiar faces last night (Oct. 13) at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., in what served as one final taste of the Vote for Change tour to oust President Bush from the White House. The 21-song set was studded with collaborative appearances by John Fogerty, opener Jackson Browne and surprise guest Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.
After opening with a solo guitar instrumental version of "The Star Spangled Banner" and leading his E Street Band into "Born in the U.S.A." with the house lights on, Springsteen invited Vedder to the stage for duets on "No Surrender" and "Darkness on the Edge of Town." The crowd erupted into a chant of, "Eddie! Eddie!" and sang along while Vedder and Springsteen traded verses on Pearl Jam's "Better Man." "Bruce asked me to play this song," Vedder quipped. "And he's the boss, I'm the employee."
One song later, Fogerty took the stage to share hits like "Centerfield" and the once-again topical "Fortunate Son" with Springsteen and company. Following an emotional version of 2002's "The Rising," the sold-out arena got revved up again when Browne came out to join in on "Racing in the Street."
Springsteen took time during the instrumental portion of "Mary's Place" to talk about the tour's aim of helping mobilize the progressive, pro-Kerry/Edwards vote in November, literally speechifying like an impassioned preacher. "To all of you undecided voters, It's October 13th, what are you waiting for?" he bellowed, summing up his thoughts on Bush's re-election bid with, "in the words of a New Yorker, you're fired!"
As with the multi-act Vote for Change finale held Monday in Washington, D.C., the show closed with all the evening's performers sharing the mic for the Elvis Costello-popularized "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding" and Patti Smith's "People Have the Power."
Vote for Change, sponsored by MoveOn PAC and benefiting America Coming Together, was organized by a group of high-profile managers and artists through 11 key swing states. "Our first goal was to inspire people with the music, and I know that this great group of artists did that," Springsteen manager Jon Landau told Billboard.biz earlier this week. "Secondly, we wanted to take these shows and this very positive attitude to the battleground states so that people there could see that these artists cared enough to take music to them."
Landau declined to comment on Springsteen's post-VFC tour plans. As previously reported, Columbia will on Nov. 9 unveil the first DVD of the artist's "MTV Plugged," featuring several tracks not released on the prior CD or home video edition.