Friday, April 25, 2008

Boot Tracker, March 29th 2008, Seattle WA

With the flood of bootlegs coming out constantly, the latests Ev2 releases from the Magic tour almost slipped past this blog. The first release was the Vancouver show, we reviewed here earlier. Since both the Ev2 release of this show and the original tapes are fine recordings indeed, I'm letting that one pass by. They are basically interchangeable, there's no need for an upgrade when it comes to that show. Seattle is a different case. The Ev2 version of that show stands as one of the best recordings I've heard from this tour. Crystal clear sound at points, working especially well on the softer more brooding tracks. This Ev2 release features the best version of "Devil's Arcade" I've heard so far. The organ opening sounds nice and full, a clear fiddle sound for Soozie, Max's drums have that big sound the song needs while the subtle rim shots come out equally nice, great stuff. Ev2 outdid himself on this re-master.

The show features a fairly rare performance of "Your Own Worst Enemy" that is worth the admission price alone. The songs from "Magic" really benefit from the subtle mastering on this boot. There are few boots where the material from the latest album come out quite as nice. Every single one of these are good contenders for a live compilation of the album, should somebody want to make one. March is also the month where Springsteen slowly started to shake things up in the set list, so that gives this recording some extra leverage as well. The set isn't yet as surprising as it would become a few days to weeks down the road, but there are some fine gems here. The high light of course is the fantastic performance of "Point Blank", a song that seems to be getting better performances in recent years than it did during the River Tour, and that is saying something. But classics like "No Surrender" and "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" find mighty versions here as well. "Because The Night" maybe benefits from the excellent sound on this recording, few bootlegs have Nils' solo screaming out of your speakers quite as well. Stevie's not so sweet but oh so soulful vocals on "Long Walk Home" rarely sounded as powerful on earlier recordings. Highly recommended.

"Devil's Arcade"
Download the full show in mp3 here

Sound: 5- out of 5
Show: 4+ out of 5
Artwork: 3,5 out of 5

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