When I was reviewing the Bossman's tape of this show the New York City taper's version was rumored. Going on his excellent reputation and his past Magic recordings, I was looking forward to this show quite a bit. Unfortunately it is not the upgrade I had hoped for. Though there is little echo and the sound of the band is pretty much in sync , the tape has a fairly distant and dark feel. This taper has taken the effort to master his recording, so I doubt that the quality of this tape can be improved much by raising the audio levels. This version is the best one yet, but not all that much. Overall it is one of those tapes that benefits from cranking up the sound on your stereo. Another bonus is the relative absence of intrusive audience noise. The NYC taper seems to have placed himself strategically. Listening to this tape, there seem to have been less beer runs during "Pretty Flamingo" than there actually were. Though you hear quite a bit of chatter going on, it stays more in the background than on the Bossman tape I reviewed earlier. Still all those improvements are only slight ones.
What remains stunning to me however is the performance. Especially earlier mentioned "Pretty Flamingo," this song seems to have been thrown in to the set totally unrehearsed. If it wasn't for a cue here and there, there would way of knowing. Though this version can't compete with the classic '75 version, it is pretty cool to listen to the band pull it off so nicely. Though I realize taking those request is part show, some of them always turn out to have been on the set list anyway, the way he handles it is something I enjoy hearing every time as well. Just when the band thinks they have to play "Incident on 57th Street" for a few bald fans, the Boss stops and turns to notice another sign and shoots "Blinded By The Light" at the boys. I think it was the Star Ledger who pointed out in one of their reviews that doing a stadium show is usually something artists do with quite the amount of rigor. The Rolling Stones or U2 play tightly constructed set lists to bring the evening to a good end. Springsteen takes a complete opposite approach. While this sometimes seems like its bound to end in a train wreck, at a Springsteen show this is part of the thrill. It is exiting to see what he pulls from his hat next, there's suspense in watching him pull it of, thrilling to hear him add little things to set list war horses. Only an artist performing at the top of his game could pull it off. And that's exactly what the Giants Stadium got three nights in a row.
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 Rollingstone review here
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