"The Boss" comes alive in the greatest city in the world!
I became a Bruce Springsteen junkie in 1992. The first Springsteen album I bought was his then newly released Human Touch in a small music store while on vacation in Florida. From then on I was hooked—in the span of only a few months I acquired every Springsteen album ever released. From there I started to purchase bootleg CDs and rare live shows (but on the grounds of incrimination that's all I'll say). Sadly, Springsteen and his E Street band broke up at the end of the "Tunnel Of Love" tour in 1988 and wouldn't play together again for ten years. Fans like myself assumed that we'd never get to see Bruce and the band play live again (Springsteen compiled a new band for touring in 1992, but fans sighed that it just wasn't the same). Our fears were squelched in 1998 when Bruce announced that he and the E Street band would be touring once again! I personally saw three shows in Los Angeles and was exhilarated. In 2001 HBO premiered a live concert of Bruce and the boys on the last leg of their tour in New York City at Madison Square Gardens. Columbia Music Video has put together a two disc set that includes over 25 songs, a featurette, photo gallery and more!
Have you heard the news? There's good ROCKIN' TONIGHT!
Facts of the Case
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live In New York City is a rare glimpse of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in concert. This two-disc set includes the songs:
MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN
Also included on this disc is the song E-STREET SHUFFLE over the end credits, plus snippets of the songs BACK IN YOUR ARMS AGAIN, ADAM RAISED A CAIN, and BLOOD BROTHERS in the featurette "NYC Serenade." Filled with heart-pumping music, this is a comprehensive concert that should be at the heart of any true rock fans DVD collection!
Plain and simple: if you're a Bruce Springsteen fan then you'll want to own this two-disc set, no questions asked. If you've never had the visceral experience of seeing Bruce and his band then this is the next best thing. Bruce Springsteen is known as being a thoughtful writer and talented guitarist. However, I'm pretty sure that his biggest claim to fame is that of being one of the best live performers ever to grace a concert hall or stadium. Springsteen knows how to shake-up a crowd and get them to their feet. I'd seen Sprinsgteen play on a solo acoustic tour in 1996 in support of his album The Ghost Of Tom Joad. It was a memorable concert, but it lacked the energy and spark that I'd heard on his live albums. When I was able to get ninth row tickets to the reunion show in 1999 I was more than ecstatic. It was the first time I'd see Springsteen on stage with all his band members in tow: Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, "Little" Steven Van Sant (also star of HBO's The Sopranos), his wife Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Roy Bittan, Danny Federici, Max Weinberg (of Conan O'Brian fame) and Nils Lofgren. It was a night of unforgettable entertainment. Older songs were rearranged into new versions (YOUNGSTOWN, THE RIVER, BORN IN THE U.S.A.), and old standards like BACKSTREETS and BORN TO RUN were dusted off and played to sound as new as a baby's bottom. All in all Springsteen put on a show that was part revival meeting, part frat party and totally uplifting!
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live In New York City is a great way to experience Springsteen live in the comfort of your own living room. If you have a surround sound system set up with your TV it will make the experience all the more thrilling. The song list reaches back into Bruce's early career (LOST IN THE FLOOD, TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT, THUNDER ROAD), pulls out a few recent tunes (IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND and BORN IN THE U.S.A.), gives us some rare treats (THE PROMISE, MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN) and throws out a few new songs for fans to chew on (LAND OF HOPE AND DREAMS and the controversial AMERICA SKIN (41 SHOTS)). While some of your favorites might be missing (what, no TUNNEL OF LOVE, MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER or DOWNBOUND TRAIN?), this is still an exhaustive retrospective of Springsteen and the band's career and a great treat for fans who have never experienced him life.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live In New York City is presented in what appears to be 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a very nice looking print that has a rough, "live" quality to it that suits the concert well. You can almost feel the sweat pouring off of Bruce's forehead as the camera pans in for a close-up. Colors look sharp and clear with black levels equally solid. There was a slight amount of edge enhancement present during a few songs, but you won't notice it since you'll be too busy jamming along with MURDER INCORPORATED…
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, as well as Columbia's PCM Stereo. Both of these tracks sounded very full and bombastic. The 5.1 track sounded a tad better due to some more vibrant acoustics (from what this discerning reviewer's ears could tell). While this may not be the same as being at the concert, this should reproduce that feeling evenly through your stereo. There was absolutely no distortion heard during any of the songs, and the overall fidelity of the track is rich and full. Not surprisingly, there are no optional subtitles are included on this disc.
Extra features for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live In New York City include the exclusive featurette titled "New York City Serenade: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band with Bob Costas." While this featurette feels all too brief, I was enthralled to hear Springsteen and his band members' thoughts and feelings about their reunion, the concerts, and the music they played. This is a short but decent extra feature to have on the disc. Also included on this set is a short photo gallery that spotlights band members on and off stage.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
My only complaint about this concert (and the companion CD that followed) was the lack of songs from the Bruce Springsteen: Tracks four-disc box set that was released right before this concert started. While it's nice to hear BACK IN YOUR ARMS AGAIN during the featurette, it would have been nice to have heard the whole song during the actual program. What can I saw? I'm nitpicky…
Throw out your Britney Spears, Pink, and Backstreet Boys CDs and come see what a REAL rock band is supposed to sound like! This is a great two-disc set that should please Boss fans everywhere. With a few insightful extra features and a great 5.1 mix this is what your DVD player was made for!
This disc is so innocent that it comes close to sainthood. Case dismissed!
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