Joad is definitely not Nebraska, I agree. Nebraska was an accidental triumph that couldn't be replicated. Joad is frequently compared with Nebraska because, at least superficially, it shares that minimalist aesthetic (albeit with markedly different outcomes). Joad seems to be Springsteen's concerted effort to focus on the lyrics almost at the detriment of musical accompaniment. A song like "Galveston Bay," for instance, is a poignant and ultimately hopeful set of lyrics but it's not easy to recollect the melody. Personally, I wish the entire album had been recorded with the small ensemble that accompanies him on the title track, "Straight Time," "Youngstown," "Dry Lightning," and "Across the Border." That said, the concert made a lasting impression at least partly because (with a small handful of notable exceptions on The River tour), it was the first time he had played theaters and concert halls since the Darkness tour. And with it being just him (with an occasional behind-the-curtain keyboard accompaniment), particularly in the waning moments of the pre-omnipresent smartphone era, you could almost literally hear a pin drop while he was storytelling. He drew me in and blew me away.