The final Giant Stadium show sounds like the best of the three night stand so far and also is the best bootleg I've heard of the three nights. Though I must admit, with all the versions coming out, I haven't been able to listen to all of them. For the first two nights I put my money on the Travitz tapes, but after hearing positive things on the first two Bossman recordings I figured I'd give him a try. I'm glad I did. This Bossman tape is decidedly clearer than the Travitz tapes of the first two nights, although marred by the same heavy bass. So I'm tempted to see if the other two Bossman tapes compare to this one in quality. That isn't to say that all is good however. There is some slight echo on this tape and the sound isn't as balanced as I'd hoped. Worse is the amount of audience chatter. The beer runs and inane social chatter completely ruin Springsteen's tour premier of "Pretty Flamingo" including a nice rap on his relationship with Patti and the Big Man's coming marriage. Probably the reason why the preacher shtick replaced the raps all together in the new millennium. You have to wonder how much of it came across in the stadium as well.
This third night came across as the most loosely constructed set list yet. Compared to the first two legs, this does tape the pace out of the show some, which was often at neck break speed in 2007. But when tightness and high speed R&R is replaced with a full hour extra show and rarities galore, I don't think many of us will complain about the relative loss in pace. Especially not when there are plenty of stadium wreckers like "Cadillac Ranch" to whip the show right back on track. And just listen to Charlie rip into his organ on "Light of Day," of high energy there's no lack. The loss of pace is relative anyway. At the age of 58 Springsteen still delivers R&R shows with an energy level that will make many 20 year olds go green with envy, even when the night is loosely constructed. The loose set lists of late also add an element of surprise that is arguably more thrilling than neck break speed shows. During the first two legs, the out line of the show was more or less set in stone. With the recent shows anything could happen, you never know what you'll get. Even during shows without debuts, you stumble from one surprise into another. This Giants Stadium show not only got two debuts with "Pretty Flamingo" and "Jersey Girl," choice rarities like "Blinded by the Light" remind you of why Springsteen used to be such a hard ticket to score.
"Blinded by the Light"
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: 3+ out of 5
Show: 5- out of 5
Read the review from Rolling Stone magazine here