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Bruce Springsteen Kicks Off ‘Wrecking Ball’ Tour in Atlanta

Michael Buckner, Getty Images

There was some understandable consternation on the eve of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s US tour, their first since the death of Clarence Clemons last June. It would be tough not to notice the gaping hole onstage where Clemons used to roam, which is why Springsteen acknowledged his absence early, and often.

‘Are we missing anybody?’ Springsteen joked after introducing the band, which he did early in the set rather than during the encore. The E Street Band, of course, has lost two members, so Springsteen gave the audience the chance to pay respect to both Clemons and organist Danny Federici, who died in 2008. If the setlist for the band’s show at Atlanta’s Philips Arena was any indication, though, Springsteen and his bandmates are reluctant to wallow in the past.

The set featured a whopping nine songs from the band’s new album ‘Wrecking Ball,’ including three of the first four songs out of the gate (the other being ‘Badlands,’ presumably to reassure the faithful). Clemons’ nephew Jake Clemons handled the signature solos, and the band even stopped ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’ dead in its tracks when the Big Man is referenced in the lyrics, pointing to the sky while the crowd roared.

Whatever questions there may have been about whether Springsteen and the E Street Band could continue without the Big Man in their ranks, the band’s performance at Atlanta proved that while Clemons will undoubtedly be missed, they’re not finished yet. Not by a long shot.

Here is the setlist, courtesy of our friends at Setlist.fm:

1. We Take Care of Our Own
2. Wrecking Ball
3. Badlands
4. Death to My Hometown
5. My City of Ruins
6. The E Street Shuffle
7. Jack of All Trades
8. Easy Money
9. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
10. The Promised Land
11. The Way You Do the Things You Do (Smokey Robinson)
12. 634-5789 (Wilson Pickett)
13. Shackled and Drawn
14. Lonesome Day
15. The Rising
16. We Are Alive
17. Thunder Road
18. Rocky Ground
19. Land of Hope and Dreams
20. Born to Run
21. Dancing in the Dark
22. American Land
23. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

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