It has begun!

Springsteen Begins Tour in N.J.
Bruce Springsteen opened a concert tour at an arena within sight of New York City’s changed skyline Wednesday, offering songs inspired by the terrorist attacks to a hometown audience.
Standing in near darkness bathed only from a soft light from behind, Springsteen began singing “The Rising,” with full stage lights coming on when he reached the gospel-like chorus about resurrection.
Half his 22-song set came from his new album, also called “The Rising.” It’s the fastest-selling disc in his career, with 526,000 copies sold since its release July 30.
The 46-city concert tour began Wednesday in Springsteen’s home state, at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., across the Hudson River from New York City.
Many of the 2,823 people killed at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 were from New Jersey, including more than 150 from Monmouth County, where Springsteen owns a farm.
Springsteen has said he was inspired to make the album partly by a fan’s shout, “We need you,” when he was taking his kids to the beach shortly after the attacks. It is his first rock album in nearly two decades with his longtime compadres, the E Street Band.
“The Rising” includes a mix of remembrance, uplifting exhortations such as the title song, and catchy pop tunes designed to help people move on with their lives.
During the song, “Lonesome Day,” he beseeched the audience to raise their hands during a chorus of “it’s all right.”
Many in the audience had seen Springsteen before, several times, greeting him with a cheer of “Bruce” and roaring with familiarity when Clarence Clemons stepped forward for his first saxophone solo.
Springsteen concerts are usually marathons that are part revival meeting, part party, and always with a social message.
In addition to the new songs, he performed several old favorites during his two hour, 25-minute set, including “Born to Run,” “Glory Days,” “Thunder Road” and “Born in the USA.”
“I’m excited, too,” he said at one point when the audience momentarily resisted his pleas for quiet.
He is booked for 39 concerts in 39 North American cities, and seven in Europe, the first leg of what is expected to be at least a year on the road.