I'd like to applaud the team of Fanatic records for churning out consistently fine bootlegs re-mastered from Joe Kivak's tapes. With the pace they've been going I've been getting my weekly doses of Bruce history in and then some. This new release is no different than most what Rob Oslan from Fanatic releases. A decent registration from killer shows taken from the original tapes. Almost all of them have been audience recordings thus far, including this one. By now those who have been paying attention to these releases know what that means, nice collector items with warts and all. Fanatic releases are rarely easy listening. Fortunately this tape is somewhat of an exception. While not the clearest tape you've ever heard, the sound is consistent and relatively pleasant to the ears. No major drops, just a few, and very decent instrument separation. On the whole the tape sounds a bit crackly, like a transistor radio that doesn't quite pick up the signal but does the job well enough. Fanatic records promises us a red hot and rocking show and definitely delivers on this one. Sandy's on this tape, which makes the recording complete, not all past releases were.
This show appears to be yet another exceptional exiting show from Springsteen's early days. The speed with which the band crashes through the set begs the comparison to the Magic tour, albeit on that current tour "Kitty's Back" has been brought down to more sensible proportions. I'll leave it up to you to decide which you prefer, but to my ears this Kitty is red hot! Blow, Big Man, blow!! Kitty isn't the only moment on this tape where the show reaches damn near orgasmic proportions. As far as there's something like musical porn, the E-Street Band is it! Just listen to Steve and the Boss going at it during "Saint In The City", faster, harder, faster, harder, until........ If there should ever be a rating system for guitar solos, this one is triple X. For historians, this is also the show where "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" was recorded and "It's My Life" debuted. Judging from the cheesy ad libbing in "Rosalita" and during the encore break, spirits were exceptionally his on this cold December night. So imagine my shock when you can actually hear two guys in the audience debating whether they should stay or not. Don't!!! This is history in the making you dumb wits! If it was you leaving the venue that red hot night, I'd advise you not to download this recording. You're likely to hang yourself.
Download the full show in mp3 here
"Saint in the City"
Recording: 3+ out of 5
Show: 4,5 out of 5
Artwork: 4 out of 5