Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Carousel Show

That highly talked about but extremely secretive show Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performed last week at Asbury Park is finally out on webcast, in glorious high-definition. It's them saying thanks to us long-time fans. This is perhaps the best free Christmas gift I've ever received. So basically Backstreets invited about sixty odd fans down to the Carousel House along the boardwalk, where he and the boys played several songs from The Promise. We only get to see half an hour's worth, but boy, what a treat it is.

Those in attendance that particular day must've been the luckiest bunch of people in the world. The show begins with Racing In The Street ('78), done live for the first time. I never thought I'd hear Bruce start with the line "I got a '32 Ford, she's a 318." It's even more emotional and awe-inspiring than the album version. And guess who he brought along with him? The great David Lindley, on violins. That part where Bruce plays the harp at David is incredible.

This whole thing was filmed by Thom Zimny (and again fine sound mixing by Bob Clearmountain), so the mood is pretty similar to that of the now legendary Paramount performance of Darkness. Again, only the original E Street Band, this time with a small horn section. Gotta Get That Feeling, one of my current favorites, works pretty great live, but it doesn't seem to have that celebratory vibe I got in the album.

Next up is Ain't Good Enough For You. This is where things start to get interesting and surreal. I thought the audience were already getting up close and personal with the band just standing a few feet from the center stage. This time, Bruce gets everyone on the stage with him. They're so close to the band they're literally breathing down their necks. Some people look out of place when standing so near Bruce, like they don't know what to do, which is kinda hilarious to watch.

The Promise has David Lindley back on fiddle. He's old, but one cool looking fella. Instinctive musical abilities. This is the first time a full band version is done since the '78 tour, and it's a hell of a knockout. Please Bruce, let this be a tour staple. The band actually played more songs like Talk To Me, The Brokenhearted and Save My Love, which are not on this webcast. Hopefully we'll get to see it in the future.

The last song is Blue Christmas, a la Elvis. Towards the end, the audience crowds around the Boss, all wearing Santa hats. I love it when he speaks directly into the camera, wishing everyone happy holidays; just like one of those 60's live music TV shows. You can tell from all this that he and the band are just itching to go on out the road. From the looks of it, it'll probably be sooner than later.

This is my last Springsteen-related post of the year. It's been another great ride, with the fabulous Hyde Park DVD and Darkness box set. Thanks, Bruce and company. Merry Christmas and happy new year :)