This one was released by Fanatic records way back in January this year before I decided to start this blog. I've only recently started to appreciate this boot in full. Maybe that's because it came in a flood of '76 boots by Fanatic and I was initially disappointed that the infamous November 4th 1976 "Streak Of Light" show wasn't one of them. That show ranks top ten in my book and I'm still hoping for a serious upgrade from the version(s) now available. So I downloaded this one because of the interesting guest spot for Patti Smith on Rosie and subsequently let it sit on my hard drive. Earlier this weekend I decided to give it its first spin. I was pleasantly surprised that this tape, sound wise at least, is more consistent than that November 4th show.
Rob Aslan from Fanatic very modestly calls this a very enjoyable boot himself in his own description. I think its more than that. Sure there's a bit of an echo in the sound and there are a few drops during "Rendezvous" but nothing serious. The show may not be an FM broadcast but it is a very good audience recording indeed. Especially considering it has been sitting on Mister Anonymous tape for more than thirty years! People may tend to forget this in the digital age, but back in the day of actual taping, you know cassettes, recordings had the very annoying tendency to disintegrate all by their selves. So reconstructing and re-mastering a tape from such sources no mean feat. We're lucky to have these sources all together. I shudder to think how many of these recordings we're accidentally taped over, lost in the flood or even chucked out when the initial exitement over Springsteen subsided for some. Mister Anonymous is a gift indeed!
And I love what I'm hearing on this show. This set is only a notch under the earlier mentioned "Streak Of Light" show. Energies are high on this show and the crowd is exceptional rowdy. Screaming and hollering through out the show, making it extra impressive to hear them fall silent during "It's My Life". Springsteen would perfect this epic of adolescent angst a few days down the road, but the version here is not too shabby either. The story telling during "Growing Up" is taking shape during this part of the tour very nicely indeed. Though they would not nearly be as epic or cosmic as they would become during the '78 tour every single one of them in '76 was highly enjoyable. Then after that, BAM!!, the Miami Horns rip their way through "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out". They stick around after that to bring Rosie home and deliver a raving version of "Fine, Fine Girl". Patti's cameo during Rosie is the anti-climax of the recording, it's a train wreck, miss Smith seems totally out of place on stage with one of the tightest bands in history. This little minus is more than compensated by the performance of "The Promise" that follows. Rowdy as the crowd was earlier on the boot, you can hear a pin drop when Springsteen takes this one to the stage. The show is still available from the Dime, get it while you can!!
Download the full show in MP3 format here.
Sound: 4- out of 5
Show: 4,5 out of 5
Artwork: 3,5 out of 5