One of the few shows missing in action has arrived! A good moment to look back before the tour kicks off on its second European leg. The Magic tour needed some time to really heat up, but from Anaheim on the shows have been on fire almost without exception. Charlotte is no exception to the rule, captured here on a decent audience tape. There is little to no intrusive audience noise, which is always a big plus. Unfortunately there are more than a few sound drops, especially at the beginning of the show, which never helps a recording. But overall this taper brought us a very fine audience tape that'll give you a good taste from a band that still manages to sound like they are in their mid thirties. The energy of the shows, the fast pace, the tightness off the band continue to amaze me. Perhaps it is the youthfulness the band radiates that made the passing of Danny Federici all the more shocking. An E-street show can give you such a strong sense of being alive that they sometimes seem almost immortal. The opener, "Souls of the Departed" painfully reminds us that we are far from that. Though the song serves to channel the emotions surrounding the Phantom's passing here, it fits the theme of the tour like a glove. Written as an eulogy for the casualties of the first Gulf war, I was surprised it hasn't been a more regular guest on the tour. Though the "Lucky Town" album hasn't been one of his most successful, that song counts as one of the strongest on that album. In my mind it deserves a more frequent spot in the set.
Every show since Danny's passing has seen a nugget from the past, closely associated to his place in the band. Charlotte got "Wild Billy's Circus Story", an absolute rarity. More inspiring than the nugget itself though is how Springsteen has allowed its audience to grieve with him by telling, often, entertaining stories about the Phantom. Scooter still allows you to grow up with him, even if the aging proves painful. Such uninhibited soul bearing is a rare quality in an artist and probably one of the reasons of Springsteen's lasting appeal. Both on the personal as the political aspect of live he continues to challenge us, to force us to reflect on ourselves. He could rest on his past success, probably haul in a shit load of cash doing a greatest hits tour, but I guess the Boss likes to keep it interesting for himself as well, delivering a shit hot rocking show while at it. No wonder people like him better than Hannah Montana.
"Souls of the Departed"
Download the full show in mp3 here
A small request, only burn mp3s for personal use, but never use an mp3 based CD in a trade. The Quality of mp3s deteriorate rapidly every time a CD is ripped. Using high quality music files such as FLACs is essential in keeping the trading pool healthy.
Recording: 3 out of 5
Show: 4 out of 5
Artwork: 3 out of 5