Friday, May 28, 2010

Bootleg Review - 11/8/09, Madison Square Garden, New York City

The famous River show, another one of those legendary shows every Springsteen fan who wasn't there wished he or she were. This new bootleg I just got is another great sounding matrix of an AUD and IEM recording. I dunno how these guys do it. It sounds so good you could mistake it for an actual soundboard recording if you listen to it on shitty laptop speakers.

Out of all the E Street albums, The River has always been my least played one. Songs like Crush On You, Cadillac Ranch, I Wanna Marry You, I don't really find all that good. But listening to this 21st Century take on the 1980 classic, I'm beginning to enjoy this album more. The band sounds really tight, and though this was the first (and perhaps only) time they were doing this, it seemed to me that they've been playing these songs every night. After the opening song Wrecking Ball, Bruce introduces the album and provides some backstory to it. Then, the band launches into The Ties That Bind. Bruce's voice was in top form throughout the show. Two songs I wanna mention here: The Price You Pay and Drive All Night. Best live versions ever. Gives me the chills every time.

Other notable versions were Fade Away, Stolen Away, and and the always fun I'm A Rocker. Requests included a rare Atlantic City, Can't Help Falling In Love, and Sweet Soul Music, in which Bruce added his own lines about Sam Moore, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and James Brown.

And to close the show was an awesome cover of Jackie Wilson's Higher And Higher. It's the perfect closer for an E Street Band show. I hope Bruce doesn't retire this song on their next tour!