Tom Morello, famed guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave (who records solo albums as The Nightwatchman), is filling the shoes of Little Steven Van Zandt on Bruce Springsteen‘s Wrecking Ball Tour of Australia. Springsteen and his E Street band returned “Down Under” after a ten-year hiatus to an eager crowd last Thursday, March 14 in Brisbane. Morello provided his signature scorching guitar virtuosity that only added to Springsteen’s knock-out stage show. Van Zandt is missing this part of the tour because of his filming commitments for his television show Lilyhammer.

According to setlists posted to the Springsteen fan site Backstreets, Springsteen covered Australian punk legend The Saints early on in the show opening night, playing “Just Like Fire Would.” Morello’s guitar playing was spotlighted during his solo on “Murder, Inc.” and he duetted with Springsteen on “The Ghost Of Tom Joad,” a song that he’s often performed with The E Street Band (and covered years ago as a member of Rage Against The Machine).  

Other notable songs that he’s performed include “High Hopes” (an outtake from the sessions for his 1995 Greatest Hits album) and a solo acoustic “Blinded By The Light” on March 15 in Brisbane, and the Seeger Sessions song “Pay Me My Money Down” on March 18 in Sydney. 

After a no-requests opening night, Bruce he has taken audience requests on the tour. During the March 18 concert, reacting to a fan with a poster, the Boss launched into a high-energy “Adam Raised a Cain” featuring another explosive Morello guitar lead. Springsteen continues to feature tracks of his latest release and tour’s namesake. Springsteen’s Australian tour goes through March 31, at which point he goes to Europe (where Van Zandt will rejoin the band). No U.S. dates have been announced. 

Alex Long & Carl Harp / WNCX


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