When a band stops in Kansas City, it’s generally considered bad form to play the song of the same name – not because the tune isn’t great, but because it has become a cliché, as one act after another plays a tepid, ill-rehearsed version, each thinking that they’ve stumbled upon an original idea.
The last time Bruce Springsteen played here, he played his set and his encore, finishing with “Land of Hope and Dreams,” which had closed every show on the entire tour. As the band took bows, Bruce looked up with a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face, stepped to the microphone, and said “It has to be done!” First, I cringed, but then he launched into the longest and best version of “Kansas City” I’ve ever heard, complete with an extended solo barrelhouse piano improvisation by Roy Bittan that dissolved into a giant E Street climax.
The Boss is back in town tonight, and Trip is here, too (ask him about the barbecue), and in honor of the event, we go back through the files to bring you Teenage Kicks’ Best of Bruce.
Blindsided by the Flight
The Greatest Ever?
Trading Wings for Wheels
Memorable Springsteen (Part Two)
Memorable Springsteen (Part One)
I Am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass