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 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.
There's only one better way to experience these performances by Bruce Springsteen and his reunited E Street Band, and that's if you were actually in Madison Square Garden when they were recorded in June and July 2000. This two-disc set includes more than three hours of music. Disc One features the 14 songs that were aired by HBO in 2001, while Disc Two adds another 11 tunes released here for the first time. The Boss and his band are in top form; their sheer exuberance at playing together, not to mention the joy and inspiration they provide their audience, are palpable, thanks in no small part to the excellent direction and superb sound (Dolby Digital 5.1 or PCM stereo). Highlights? Almost everything, from timeless anthems like "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road" to the riveting "American Skin (41 Shots)" and a bluesy, solo "Born in the U.S.A." All together now: Bruuuuuuce! --Sam Graham