When I saw the Essexboy version pop up on the Dime, my heart skipped a beat. Faith has been rewarded I thought. Essexboy has a very decent reputation when it comes to recording, so this recording was bound to be an upgrade from the first version I reviewed a few days ago. While it is an upgrade, it isn't exactly what I hoped for either. The sound on this one is fairly muddy as well and I can't say I'm all that impressed with the instrument separation either, on the whole the recording sounds distant, listening is like having seats in nosebleeds. What this bootleg does do though is capture the audience real good. The crowd is so rowdy and loud that I'm beginning to wonder if a decent recording of this show is even possible. Not that I'm complaining though. The London show was simply stellar and is really getting my juices flowing for the Amsterdam gig I've got line up later this month.
Springsteen knows how to work the stadium. The way he brings it down to the size of a small club is remarkable, seeing how there are no special effects. Just a band and some of the hardest rocking tunes R&R has ever known. The "Working on the Highway" and "Cadillac Ranch" two pack for example is very effective in getting spirits high. Some R&R bands manage to get the exitement Springsteen puts in those two in a full show. As I said earlier, this London shows was age defying. Some fans might complain that the set leaned heavy into the light weights tunes, but in my view Springsteen is one of the few artists that still manages to capture R&R's true spirit. Straight forward, simply hip shaking music that aims for the gut. Hail, hail R&R indeed! That first night in London ranks amongst the best shows of this tour and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a recording that will really allow those who were shut out out enjoy the full glory of it. Unfortunately, this one isn't it as well.
Download the full show in mp3 here
A small request, only burn mp3s for personal use, 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 out of 5
Show: 5 out of 5