Orlando is the second very good recording in a row, just a notch below the excellent Tampa bootleg but certainly a little more than just enjoyable. Orlando was the second show since Danny's passing and as it should there seems to be as much grief as celebration. This is a very special show indeed. Bootlegs, in my view, shouldn't be judged on the circumstances, but should simply be judged on the quality of the show and the sound. This show is excellent, somehow they seem to be getting better and better. With Danny's passing in mind I find this applauding, I wonder if I would be able to push on with so much resolve, so much dedication, if I had just lost the friend with whom it all started. Springsteen had been on stage with Federici for 40 years, since he was eighteen. As Springsteen's moving eulogy testifies, that means you shared just a little more than just the music. Danny and Springsteen were integral parts of each other's life, music being the glue that kept their friendship together through good and bad.
Orlando opened with a highly emotional "Blood Brothers", a hard rocking version of the song grabbing you by the throat instantly. Luckily it is followed by a cathartic "Night". Overall the show finds a good balance between high strong emotion and breezy moments. There's Springsteen forgetting the lyrics to "Spirit In The Night", proof that he doesn't rely on his teleprompter with every song, and a delightful rendition of "Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street". Again Springsteen proves he is able to awe and surprise even on the staples of his repertoire. "The River" has a moving piano intro that for a while there keeps you in the dark on what's coming and "Prove It All Night" is simply on fire this show, the best version I've this tour. If we could leave the '78 intros out of the equation for a moment, it might even be one of the best versions in his career. This band is still proving it all night, night after night. That all that hard work of the past 40 years payed off becomes apparent when Roger McGuinn from the Byrds joins in for two tunes in which the two giants pay their mutual respects. This tour had a few amazing guests spots and this is one of them. As with almost every song of the night the band nails "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Hey Mister Tamborine Man". I'm starting to believe the Boss when he claims that the band never played better.
Download the full show in mp3 here
Sound: 4+ out of 5
Show: 5- out of 5
The story behind the McGuinn guest spot.
Orlando Sentinel review.