Sunday, May 11, 2008

Boot Tracker, December 11th 1975, South Orange NJ

Within the past 24 hours Fanatic records released two tapes again, of whom this '75 show seems to be the most interesting. According to Bruce Base there's only an incomplete recording of this show, with predominant hiss. This Kivak recording is both complete, although Twist & Shout seems to be cut at the end, and is pleasant to listen to. There's some metallic interference when the audience cheers, but nothing major. On the whole this recording is pretty, pretty good. Though the audio seems a little flat, the instrument separation is decent and there are no major sound drops. This Seton Hall show is one you pick want to give a spin so every once in a while. I mean merely decent or not, it captures a kick ass show once again.

It always amazes me how varied Springsteen could make his tours with only three albums out. You'd say that gives you little room to wiggle. Yet this December show is a very different experience compared to the Bottom Line shows a mere 4 months earlier. The E-Street band is tighter unit, the show pieces have been changed completely and different songs are slipping in and out. Stevie's sensual slide guitar on "Pretty Flamingo" is finger licking good. Really that man is an underrated guitar player, especially these days where he always seems to be operating in Nils Lofgren's shadow in the minds of quite a few fans. Nils may be technically superior but Steve knows how to tell a story with his guitar. You can see that voluptuous princess of the board walk strolling by, her dress swaying in the summer breeze. You can feel why these cocky punks are daunted by her, hesitant to go and talk to her, you understand why they admire her from afar, not just from Springsteen's story, but from Steve's guitar as well. The band makes Kitty come alive in much the same way, Kitty is playful, a tomboy, easier to approach yet harder to grasp. The band tries to capture her in a play ground of solos every evening, but she always seems to elude them, slip through there fingers. Yet every time they try to catch her its a joyous game.

As always the tape closes with some killer encores that make you wonder if you really need anything else in your music collection but Springsteen. Obscure hits like "Party Lights" pop up, one of only two known performances, along with staples like "Quarter To Three". The band plays them all with an ease that is uncanny for a couple of cats that haven't even been playing together a year.

"Pretty Flamingo"

MP3 File

Download the full show in mp3 here.

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

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