It sounds like Essexboy took the two week break in the tour to figure out what went wrong with his earlier stadium recordings. While this still isn't a very good bootleg, it is much clearer than the earlier Essexboy tapes we've reviewed here. Stadium's aren't the breeding ground for good recordings anyway, so this might be one of the best ones to come out of the European summer leg of the tour. While the shows are picking up momentum, the quality of the bootlegs is dropping considerably. The swirl of sound that comes with those huge washing tubs have been noticeable on all tapes so far and this recording is no exception. So basically Cardiff is a recording for the hard core collector who wants every single show released. I suspect quite few of the visitors of the show will enjoy this one as well, but speaking from personal experience, I've thrown out plenty of recordings such as these. Some are basically too hard to listen to and don't do the actual performance justice. Even with recordings from a show where I've been I need a certain level of base quality to recapture the spirit of the evening. Many of my favorite bootlegs from tours I've followed are rarely the shows I've visited.
Download the tribute to Tim Russert in mp3 here
I might be too biased to say anything sensible about the show at moment. I'm still on a high coming back from last night's Amsterdam show. Right now it feels nothing on this tour even remotely came close to that night. Seriously though, from what I can tell, Cardiff got a stunning performance. The feel of the show is much more serious than Amsterdam, a difference spurred by a few select differences in the set list. Songs as "Atlantic City" and "Devil's Arcade" give this show a dark and brooding edge. "Jungleland" adds that overwhelming emotion that grabs you by the throat and refuses to let you go for the full ten minutes of the song. "Thunderroad" was dedicated to Tim Russert on this show. Russert passed away earlier this week and aside from Springsteen having a huge amount of respect for him, Tim was one of us, a fan/addict who chased that Magic from show to show. While Russert might not mean much to the average European, most might not even know who he was, from what I've seen he's one of those journalists that set the bar for others. The politically biased journalism, influenced by party lines is an important part of what Springsteen feels he needs to bring under our attention with this tour and album. As an anchor man Russert appeared to be the type that could be trusted with bringing objective journalism that shied away from political propaganda. In an era where commercial and political arguments continue to pressure high quality journalism Russert's passing is a loss that will be felt.
"Thunderroad" (for Tim Russert)
Download the full show in mp3 here
A small request, use mp3s for personal use only. Keep them in your iPod or on your computer but never use a 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.
Read an interview with Tim Russert on Springsteen here
Recording: 2+ out of 5
Show: 4.5 out of 5