Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's emotional ten-night stand at Madison Square Garden inspired an Emmy-winning HBO special, a critically acclaimed live album, and now this 2-DVD set, featuring 11 songs not included ... more »in the HBO broadcast, as well as "NYC Serenade," a 15-minute featurette culled from rare interview, concert and rehearsal footage. Songs: My Love Will Not Let You Down, Prove It All Night, Two Hearts, Atlantic City, Mansion on the Hill, The River, Youngstown, Murder Incorporated, Badlands, Out in the Street, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Born to Run, Land of Hope and Dreams, American Skin (41 Shots), Backstreets, Don't Look Back, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Lost in the Flood, Born in the U.S.A., Jungleland, Light of Day, The Promise, Thunder Road, Ramrod, If I Should Fall Behind. 190 minutes.« less
Boss Fan | Take a Right at the Light, Keep Going Straight Unt | 04/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Q: What transforms a guy who formerly shrugged off Springteen into a die hard fanatic in one lighting-bolt of an electric moment?
All of a sudden, I "get it."
Let me set the scene: I came home, dogged and tired, from work. I turned on the TV which, thanks to my roommate at the time, was tuned to MTV (I mention my roommate was watching because I despise MTV, both for what it has become and its contribution to; scratch that; its LEADERSHIP of, all that has become wrong with pop music today). And to add insult ot injury, who's video was on? Creed. Without getting off on a rant of what is probably a hundred reasons why, I'll simply say I hate f**king Creed! For the purpose of the story I do have to mention perhaps the biggest reason why: they are laughably fake in their stupid posturing and are poor performers at that. Their standard riffs and the laughable b.s. that is their overly-rightous lyrics simply enhance this disgusting sherade. So I let out a sigh of contempt, because I can't do a thing about their stupifying success, and move forward to HBO to see if I can catch a movie; and what's on? Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band Live in New York. Towards the end of a song (later I would come to know and love it as "Out In the Street") Bruce was prancing around the stage as the crowd chanted a chorus of, "Oh-oh-oh-oh!" I watched for a minute, smiled at the fun he and his band, whoever these guys are, were having, and decided to move on. Then a funny thing happened. All of a sudden there was a close-up of Bruce's sweaty face. His face red, he stood at the mic and shouted, "New York City!" The crowd screamed. He yelled it again. They screamed louder, drums thudering in the background. One more time: "New York City!!!" The crowd reached near meltdown. "Lets Go! One! Two!" A crisp piano plays the opening notes to "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," as the audience "sings" along to the melody. Bruce walks the stage, throwing his arms in the air, pointing at every section of the audience, an I-Mean-Business look on his face. I gotta see what happens. After a long work-up, he jumps off the piano he has now taken to, runs back to his mic, and again: "One, two, three, four!!!" The band busts full-force into the song and I am feeling something very exciting. As I watch Bruce rip through this song with more vigor, passion and flat-out rock chops than maybe anyone I've ever seen, I think to myself, now this is how it should be! This is ow its done! THIS is why I hate Creed and all their ilk! I flip back to MTV for a split second. Creed is still on (it must have been more than just one video - treat!). I flip back to Bruce. And back to Creed again. The difference is staggering. I'm flipping thinking, "rock star, douche bag. Rock star, douche bag." Back to Springsteen one last time and I say there. How could it get better. He hadn't introduced the band yet. After the band intro I was giddy with excitment from all the energy the was radiating out of Bruce, his band, the obvious love and comrodere between them; and the audience for that matter, and myself. The song is coming to a close, still at full force and Bruce, obviously tired, but somehow more vitalized than when he started, throws up his hand and yells, "Save me somebody!"
As it turns out, Bruce saved me. I finally understood why he is so popular. I never got the whole "Church of Springsteen" thing and never thought his biggest songs I heard growing up were anything so special. I liked them fine, but I like a lot of songs and artists. I only regard a handfull as beign something more; something special. Turns out I never gave Bruce enough of a chance.
Since 2000 when this all went down I have become a die hard Boss fan. I have all the albums, I've been fortunate enough to see him a few times (thanks to "The Rising" and its tour coming right on the heels of my new found love and respect for the Boss as a performer and his lyrics), I've found quite a few songs that have inspired me in one way or another, I've gotten others into him and, God help me, I even karaoke his stuff. I consider myself on board with those who have been with him as far back as they can remember, because I feel like I have been too.
"Tenth Avenue," which is roughly 3 songs from the end of the HBO version, was what drew me in. The concert would soon be over and, obviously, I had fallen hard. Both for Springsteen and this live performance. I was kicking myself for not coming to this realization sooner, but I could not wait to right this terrible wrong. I rushed out and picked up the DVD and watched it over and over. At the same time I bought the cd version and listened to it over and over. This, other than previously purchasing "Greatest His" in '95 when I was 16 (even as a non-die hard Bruce fan I knew then that it was severly lacking in many a great songs; I just didn't realize how many), was my main introduction to the Boss. Years later, I wouldn't have the introduction any other way. Knowing what I now know about Bruce, his songs in various versions, and his live performances, the stuff captured here ranks among his best. At least in terms putting someone-new-to-Bruce's jaw on the floor.
So after going back and listening to all Bruce's stuff, falling in love with much of it, and driving everyone crazy who doesn't share my fascination with him (although most who watch this and have heard some of the stuff I told them they just had to hear, do see what I'm talking about; even if it doesn't convert them the way it did me, they can see there is so much more to Bruce than they ever thought and now understand why he is a legen to so many), I can honestly say that "Live in NYC" improves on many of Bruce's best works. And that's not an easy thing.
I've read some people complain about a relative lack of hits and standards here, but what is here is as good as anything he has ever done. To see the setlist does not do the quality justice since Bruce improves on so much and does so much differently. Emotionally, every song benefits from his live energy. Besides "Tenth Ave..." standouts include "Atlantic City," which completely reinvents the song. Bruce's vocals are so tight, so emotive, they send chills. Ditto "Youngstown" and "Lost In the Flood." All three of these songs best their album versions here. Only the DVD contains performances of "Backstreets" and "Darknes On the Edge Of Town," and its a damn shame there wasn't room for them on the CD because they too fall into the better-live category. Again, its the emotion in both the vocal quality as well as the all around playing; from Bruce's guitar work to the band's playing as a whole. I've been trying to get these audio versions ("Darkness" apears on the "Waiting on a Sunny Day" single along with "Thunder Road" and "Born to Run" from these NYC shows; but "Backstreets" remains MIA). "Light of Day" works in the same vein as "Tenth Avenue...," with Bruce takin' us to church and baptising us with his gospel of rock n' roll. It is an energetic, frenzied moment that will get you on your feet as if a you were just hit with 1,000 volts of electricity. Most concerts should be so lucky as to have one moment such as this. This show has (at least) two.
And I can't begin to explain his guitar chops on "Prove It All Night" and "Murder Inc." He is phenomenal to watch work that axe. Both the DVD and CD give all the guitar solos a big, blistering, stand out sound. You've never heard Bruce like this in the studio (this guitar-hero-greatness extends on an equal, and maybe larger, scale on the Barcelona DVD, if only because there are more chances for him bust it out on that set).
For that legendary E-Street comrodere, you can't beat "Tenth Ave..." here, but "Two Hearts," the super-chardged, cut-lose fun of "Ramrod," the block party that is "Out in the Street," and the emotional bond of "If I Should Fall Behind," are all a thing of beauty to behold - especially during this reunion phase. This crew needs eachother. Just look at Bruce's "Plugged" from his E-Street departure days - they are not the same apart. Yes, Bruce is a solo artist and the songs are his, but he is never better than when he is with his brothers (and first lady) at his side. Together they make his songs theirs - and ours. This is a band - not Bruce and some backing band. They are not replaceable. Even "E-Steet Shuffle," which plays over the end credits, sounds so good and so fun, I wish we could see the performance and I wish it were included on the CD.
So maybe there was a reason I had to stomach Creed after all. Oh yeah, and as far as this item, if I didn't mention it; get it! Both the DVD and CD.
It may just change your life.
Hope and Dreams
James D. DeWitt | Fairbanks, AK United States | 05/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some day someone will make the perfect rock concert DVD. Until then, this one will be the benchmark. Just short of perfect, it's got all the magic and energy of a live concert, but with better views of Bruce and the Band.Fifty-two years old, thirty-something years of performances behind him, Bruce Springsteen remains transcendant. Reunited with the E Street Band, he shows in song after song why he is the very best: there is nothing held back, there is nothing artificial and there's nothing between you and what he feels and believes. All those years down the road and he still believes passionately that rock and roll can save us and redeem us.The DVD has two disks. The first is the HBO broadcast, and also includes "New York City Serenade," largely a worshipful interview by Bob Costas. The second DVD has eleven additional songs, a few of them superior to much on the first DVD. Let me recommend especially "Land of Hope and Dreams," Bruce's answer to the spiritual "This Train Is Bound for Glory," and a lot more. Bruce's train, I promise, you, is a lot more inclusive. If "41 Shots" doesn't move you, if 'Layna's plea to her son doesn't give you goose bumps, then you must be dead. And if hearing the members of the E Street Band sing the promises of "If I Should Fall Behind" to each other doesn't give you hope for the next album, well, go break out your Lawrence Welk records and stop bothering rock fans.With each album, with each concert, Bruce Springsteen reaffirms his belief that rock and roll can save your soul. Buy this DVD. See for yourself."
Live In NYC - Best Music/Concert DVD
R. Gorham | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bruce came back in 1999 and ended his amazing world tour with an incredible 10-night triumph at Madison Square Garden in NY. I seriously doubt that any other man or band could do this but Bruce Springsteen. The man is older, but he can still sing, play guitar, and in my mind, will always have the stage presence of a god. Bruce delivers a great show... Bruce leaves a part of himself on the stage each and every night. I've seen Bruce live before, bit I missed out on this tour (I don't recall him making it through Arizona). But after viewing this concert on DVD, I feel like I was there. I was never one for MTV or watching music videos... but this is different. This is an "experience". Great song selection (not just the hits), outstanding camera work & editing, superb sound (better than the CD). What's not to enjoy? Bruce & Band have set the bar extremely high for a DVD music concert experience. The ONLY other music DVD that's close (tho a distant 2nd place to this one) is the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over". Highlights include "The Promise", "American Skin" (about the Diallo shooting), "Lost In The Flood", "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", "Land Of Hope & Dreams" and "Badlands"... heck, it's all good. If you are even the slightest of a Springsteen fan, this will be a real treat for your eyes & ears (5 stars)."
This is what got me to love Bruce
John F. Dorman | San Diego | 12/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For a long time, I was skeptical of Bruce Springsteen. I never gave him a chance because I just had in my mind the typical caricature that's been conjured up of him: one-dimensional, anthemic and elementary songwriter, and average guitar player. After buying this DVD on a whim, I found myself kicking myself for not getting into his music much earlier. To put it simply, this is one of the finest concert DVD's I have seen. A friend of mine saw Bruce on the Born In The USA Tour in the 80's, and he described the show this way: "I've never been in a place where there was more happiness on such a large scale." This DVD perfectly conveys that "happiness" on the part of the crowd. You can see it on the faces in the crowd: 50 year old men who are probably accountants or executives, looking up at Bruce with an expression of awe and joy, thanking him for the years of happiness and companionship he's provided through his music. It is so obvious that Bruce loves what he does, and he can't seem to get enough of the crowd interaction. The opener, "My Love Will Not Let You Down" is a song that was only recently released on the box set "Tracks," and it starts things off right. Bruce's exuberance from the first song is infectious, and the quality is so good that you honestly feel like you're right there. "Atlantic City" is rearranged perfectly, and the buildup at the end is breathtaking. "Youngstown" is transformed from an acoustic ballad into a heart-pounding, exclamation-inducing powerhouse, thanks to Bruce's impervious vocal chords and Nils Lofgren's brilliant guitar solo (it will leave you speechless). The highlight for me is "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out," the E Street anthem. From Bruce's acrobatics at the beginning to the band introductions to the perfection of the band's backing and Bruce's antics, this performance is priceless. Disc One, despite being culled from two shows, flows extraordinarily well as a "single show." Disc Two has some great performances of classics, and a nice extra with interviews. It is obvious how much fun Bruce and the band are having, and as Danny Federici said in an interview on Disc 2, "We enjoy being together more now than we did before, because when you're young, you don't know what you have." What they have here is a remarkable testament to the strength and integrity of one man and his band. All I can say is that this DVD turned a former Bruce-skeptic/disliker into a fanatic. The 3-CD live set "Live 1975-1985" is a great companion, as is Dave Marsh's book "Two Hearts: The Definitive Biography." Bruce, as I've learned, is quite a bit more than most think. And one helluva performer!"
I'm in Awe....
J. Schneider | Mosinee, WI United States | 05/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The sound quality on this is unsurpassed by any live recording I've ever heard... heck - I can go to actual concerts and not hear it sound so good... and that's merely the sound quality.How about quality of performance... in a word: breathtaking. Bruce's vocals are spot on... just brilliant, and his guitar playing is the best I've ever heard from him - better than in the studio... I play guitar, and I listen to some pretty talented guys... this is the first I've really taken note of Bruce's playing: there's a raw energy there, and he doesn't hit bad notes... pretty darned phenomenal.The rest of the band? Their usual spectacular selves: Max holds down a perfect rhythm as usual, and drums with great energy all the way through as he's known for... Little Steven is as cool as ever... Clarence even cooler still... Patty gorgeous and providing excellent harmonies... keys and bass all spot on as usual... oh - and Nils? The way he shreds the ever living daylights out of "Youngstown" left my jaw on the floor... amazing!The album features Bruce's raw power in so many ways... during "41 shots", he says, "We need some quiet", and poof: you can hear a pindrop... a friend of mine says: "It's easy to get 20,000 people screaming at the top of their lungs... you know you've got real power when you can get 20,000 people to shut up". True enough... the Boss was in charge that evening... easily a "must own" for any Boss fan... even the you casual fans. The serious fans already have it... I'm a casual Bruce fan, and this DVD is simply amazing."