Live in New York City
Coming after a sequence of lacklustre albums in the 1990s, Live in New York City received plenty of hype, due to the return of the E Street Band. The set-list largely concentrates on Born To Run through to Nebraska and is surprisingly light on hits, opening with outtake ‘My Love Will Not Let You Down’ and all but skipping Born In The USA; the sole representative from the latter is a Nebraska style take on the title track.
Even if you’ve heard all of Springsteen’s studio records, Live in New York City is worth tracking down for the reinventions and new tracks. ‘Atlantic City’ and ‘Youngstown’ are recast as rockers, and both out-muscle their studio counterparts, while ‘Lost In The Flood’ is more assertive than on Greetings From Asbury Park. The new songs are both worthwhile – ‘Land Of Hope And Dreams’ has a neat riff and the controversial ‘American Skin (41 Shots)’ is a memorable account of a notorious police killing. 1970s’ classics like ‘Jungleland’, ‘Prove It All Night’, ‘Badlands’, and an unlisted ‘Born To Run’ are presented in perfect form. No matter how great the band sounds, they can’t rescue lame River songs like ‘Out In The Street’ and ‘Ramrod’, and sixteen minutes of ‘Tenth Avenue Freezeout’ isn’t as engrossing on record as it doubtless was on stage.
Springsteen and his E-Street Band can pull songs from his catalogue at will, and make them sound terrific.