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Monday, November 9, 2009

Bruce and The River

The Boss rocked MSG on Sat and Sunday nights, performing two of his best albums live. While I was fortunate enough to see Bruce Springsteen at his final Giants Stadium shows where he did "Born to Run" and "Born in the USA," I was not able to get to the World's Most Famous Arena to see "The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle" and "The River."

My buddy, Spy, who has seen over 100 shows, put Sunday's concert in his "Top 3" all-time. That is a statement that Spy takes seriously and doesn't toss around lightly, trust me.

More artists should play their albums live and in their entirety as so many young fans now purchase songs for their ipods with itunes and don't even listen to an album in full and from song-to-song. Springsteen can lead the charge for people to get back to the basics of listening to full albums.

I woud also note that the Fab Faux does such a great job of performing The Beatles albums live and in their entirety. Last month, I enjoyed "Let It Be" and "Abbey Road" both done perfectly.

Back to Bruce... I am going to suggest to one of our pals, Wayne LeBeaux, who runs Bruce's tour, that the Band entertain the idea of doing "The River" on a special short tour next summer, maybe in Boston, NY, Philly and LA.

Here are some reviews:

Another magnificent night at the Garden with The River, the first-time (and if Bruce's prediction ("too long!") proves true, only) complete performance of the 1980 double album that Bruce honored as "the gateway to my future writing" on albums like Nebraska and Tunnel of Love."

Some of The River's songs, of course, are mainstays of the E Street Band's touring repertoire, like "Hungry Heart", "Out In The Street", "The Ties That Bind," and the title song. And some are brought out a tantalizingly few times a tour, usually in some far-flung outpost lucky enough to hear a rare "Drive All Night" or "I Wanna Marry You". So forRiver aficionados to hear the entire album, and so thoughtfully and energeticaly performed, it was a night to remember. The last part of the show featured some very strong performances, including one of the best "Atlantic City"s in memory, a rousing "Sweet Soul Music," not played by E Street since 1988, and a loose but moving "Can't Help Falling In Love," culminating in a great, almost endless "Higher and Higher" to lift the crowd from their seats and out in the street.


Context has always been important to Bruce Springsteen's music, and he reinforced that notion with a galvanizing performance of The River in its entirety for the first time on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. In a precise, exhilarating, and high-energy show, Springsteen faithfully reproduced all 20 of its songs. Most have appeared in shows on various tours since the album's 1980 release, and usually to great effect. But hearing the songs in their original order left many in the building gasping in astonishment.

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