Monday, June 23, 2008

Boot Tracker, June 21st 2008, Hamburg, Germany

"What a show and what a setlist," A fan was quoted saying on Backstreets, "If you can call it that! It was more like a wishing well or a request-night made in heaven." Isn't that the truth! After Amsterdam I felt the shows couldn't get any better than that. After seeing the set list for Hamburg though I found myself banging my head against my wall realizing I could probably have made it to this show if I had tried. Oh well, can't have them all. The nicest thing about the Hamburg set list is the perfect balance it strikes up between fan(atic) favorites and crowd pleasers. There's what Springsteen calls his punk song, the obscure "Held Up Without a Gun", last played live in front of an audience in 1980, balanced with a crowd pleaser like "Hungry Heart". On the latter Springsteen starts out solo acoustic, followed by the band after one verse. An unique version, making it something quite a few fanatics will drool over. Unfortunately the recording of this excellent show aims at the fanatic segment. Though it is a bit better than most recordings I've heard so far from the European Stadium leg, there's too much echo to make it a bootleg that is easily enjoyed. It serves to assure yourself they can still play the hell out of those obscure songs, it is proof you can woo a stadium crowd with a gorgeous rendition of "Incident on 57th Street", but that's about it. As a souvenir of the show it will be adequate, but I imagine this is a recording that's for the archives mostly. Still it was great fun finding out why banging my head into a concrete wall was entirely justified.

Held Up (Without a Gun)

MP3 File

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.

Recording: 2,5 out of 5
Show: 5- out of 5
Artwork: none


Anonymous said...

I`m not the only one thinking the tape sounds way better than it`s judged here! The mp3 sounds extremely flat and crappy compared to the original flacs. Maybe trying another codec or higher bitrate would help. Thanks for all your efforts anyway.

SoulBoogieAlex said...

Just for clarification, I always judge the recordings on the basis of the original FLACs. MP3s are provided here as an extra service to those unable to torrent.

Garett said...

As recording and distribution technology has improved, it's fascinating how spoiled we've all become.

Twenty-five years ago, I was paying big bucks for vinyl boots that sounded like they were recorded by tapers out in the parking lots of some venues. And I was so excited to even have access to recordings of shows--often shows that took place years earlier--that I was unable to attend!

Now, we've got pretty much unlimited FREE access to damned near every show Bruce and the band put on, usually within days of the show taking place. And even I sometimes find myself moaning about whether or not the sound is a bit muddy in a particular recording, or whether the vocals could be more upfront, or whether there's too much echo, or...YIKES!

This is a great time to be a Springsteen fan. Let's be thankful for what we've got.

SoulBoogieAlex said...

You've got an excellent point there Garett. We are becoming spoiled. Just to be clear though, like I mentioned in previous posts, I appreciate the effort the tapers put in and enjoy most bootlegs I download. If only because it allows me a peak into the show.

However, I would never have parted with my hard earned 25 bucks for this recording, a recording has to be pretty damn good before I would have been willing to pay for it.

The fact that technology has advanced means we'll never have to pay for another recording again, but also presents us with another problem, how to shift through the enormous flood of bootlegs coming out of a tour. I started doing these reviews to help along. The more bootleg I hear however, the more critical I become. So maybe that's part of why I ranked this bootleg the way I did.

Let's be honest, only us fanatics want to hear every show, more 'casual fans' (how casual are you anyway once you start collecting bootlegs) might want to stop at high quality recordings. The San Jose matrix is one, currently setting the bar for the rest of the Magic tour. I imagine that even the fanatic fan will find him or herself spinning San Jose quite a bit more than Hamburg in the future.

Albert said...

I am still waiting for that very good Amsterdam bootleg that you played an example from, to be released though.
I hope it will be relesed somewhere soon.

SoulBoogieAlex said...

That one is not mine to release unfortunately. I'm in as much exited anticipation as the next for that one to pop up. If it is as good as the taper claims, we should buy him tickets to other shows!