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130 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2005
Q: What transforms a guy who formerly shrugged off Springteen into a die hard fanatic in one lighting-bolt of an electric moment?

A: THIS!

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!"

Amazing!

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.

My loss.

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.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
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.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2004
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!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2001
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).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2001
An incredble video - sound quality and picture the best I've ever seen! It's a treat and a gift to be able to have this - thanks Bruce for giving this back to us! This video is a MUST for the hardcore and casual fan alike!
One small complaint - some of the BEST stuff was left off. Just watch the snippet of Blood Brothers and Back in Your Arms Again. Makes you want the whole thing! And Blood Brothers and especially the E-Street Band chant that happened the last night of the tour 7/1/00 underscored the entire 2 years of the tour! This stuff should have been included!
Also: why on earth was the song order shuffled around? It makes me think that the person editing this video didn't have a clue about the tour! (Bruce, you didn't do this did you?) As you watch it it's obviously the songs are out of order - in one Bruce is soaked with sweat - then the next song comes up and he's bone dry! Because of this you don't get the true 'concert experience' because it doesn't seem to flow. OK, those of us who were there for multiple shows can tell you which song was recorded which night, just by looking at the color of the audience wristbands and who's in the first row! But if you're watching for the sheer enjoyment of a concert video - the obvious 'out of sequence'material is very distracting.
It seems to me that the DVD was produced for the widest audience in mind, the'hard core' fan (like me) and the casual fan who mainly listens to 'Greatest Hits' - and from a marketing standpoint I can understand that. But I would have rather seen the 'interviews' and the 'pictures' from disc two replaced with the entirety of the last half hour of 7/1/00 - which was THE most powerful concert experience many of us have ever had the honor to attend.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
If only this had been a beginning-to end-record of a complete Bruce Springsteen concert, it would have been perfect. There is a show's worth of material, over three hours, but it's broken up and out of its normal order.
The first disc contains the complete HBO special from last year, along with special that features Bob Costas interviewing Bruce and the band. The second disc contains 11 songs not included in the original special. These are all the bonus tracks from the CD plus several more.
The first disc is great of course, and there's nothing wrong with the performances, but the material on the second disc is even better, with performances of "Backstreets," "Darkness on the Edge of Town," "Born in the U.S.A.", "Jungleland," "Light of Day," "Thunder Road" and "Ramrod." I have a feeling that long time Springsteen fans will find themselves returning to the second disc more than the first.
This package contains some typically brilliant Springsteen performances, but I wish it had been organized into a more cohesive whole.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
To give you some historical perspective first, I joined the Bruce bandwagon around 1975 - relatively late by some standards. I first heard Bruce in concert in 1978 on a radio broadcast of a full show from the Darkness tour. I saw him in Largo, MD for the River Tour in 1980, the Born in the USA Tour in 1984, the two album tour in 1992 and the reunion tour in Philadelphia in 1999. This DVD is worth every penny for any fan of rock and roll music and is required for every Bruce fan. The sound and picture are absolutely perfect. After viewing several bootleg videos from the 70's and 80's, it is awesome to see real camera work, hear clean sound and see Bruce at his best. He has not lost a thing. In fact, of the concerts I've seen, the Philly concert in September 1999 and these NYC concerts on the DVD are the best. My TV is 32 inches, but if you are considering buying a surround sound system or a big screen TV - now is the time. This is a DVD I'll play over and over (unlike any other music video or any video for that matter).
All of the standard songs are terrific but, strange as this may sound, I liked Land of Hope and Dreams the best. It, along with 41 Shots, shows Bruce still has the writing ability and his music continues to grow with the times. I'd stack Hope and Dreams up there with his best tunes. It was a treat to see some of the Tracks tunes (The Promise, My Love Will Not Let You Down, Don't Look Back) and they were excellent; though Rendezvous (featured at the Philly show) and Loose Ends (two of the best Tracks tunes that would have worked on a number of his albums) would have been nice additions. Which brings me to a small request to Bruce: When are discs three and four from the tour going to be released?
Thank you Bruce for giving back to the fans.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2001
This DVD makes up for all the misgivings I've had about the HBO special and the CD. The HBO
show wasn't long enough to feel like a real Springsteen show; The CD was hastily assembled
and the songs questionably sequenced. The DVD is twice as long as the HBO special, and now feels
like a real show and the songs on the second disc were put together with as much care as
the first disc. The sound quality is the best I've ever heard on a DVD - unlike the actual
shows, the piano is now at the right sound level. I was very impressed by the way they avoided 2
pitfalls that often sink live recordings - the audience noise is not overly loud and there is
no dialogue between songs. Camera work and editing is first rate. I saw Springsteen 4 times on
the 1999/2000 tour, and this captures the experience better than I thought any video could.
It is just great songs and performances all the way through with a band that is at the top of their
game. It's hard to know where to start with the music but that sax solo in Jungleland always blows
me away. I agree with the person who said they would play this more than any other video - I know
I will.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2007
If you want to see what a rock legend looks like, it is imperative that you watch this, possibly more than once.

A true rock legend is someone who actually transcends the genre. This DVD captures a man in his element, in his time, doing what he was put on this earth to do, without shame and without remorse. To put it simply, he plays and sings every note as if it were his last. He seizes the day and lays bare his passions. This is more than a rock concert, it is a lesson on how to live your life.

I'm not your typical gushing fan. I'm not going to say "All Hail Bruce Spingsteen, he's my hero!". Frankly, I don't know the man and I don't believe in hero-worship. But what I do know is that he understands his job and he does it very, very well. He knows how to touch people, how to lift their spirits and get them to aspire to something better. He speaks from his heart. His show is, in many ways, a religious experience-with ONE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION. It is all-inclusive. It's all there for the asking. You don't have to be a certain type of person, or subscribe to a particular set of beliefs in order to be a part of this. All you have to do is say "Yes, my heart is open. I want to be happy.". And, of course, you have to buy a ticket. There's no mission without margin, after all.

Bruce transcends the rock 'n' roll genre because he refuses to be defined by it. He acknowledges that he is an entertainer, but yet he continues to approach his work in earnest, with a certain reverence that makes it more important than what it otherwise would be. He understands that, above all, music is a means of communication. It is a way to connect with your fellow man and find common ground. He's not isolating himself from the audience. He's not talking about things that others can't understand. He's not trying to be vague and inscrutable. He's an idealist, a humanist, and he is using his medium to push us all to higher ground.

This DVD is about the church of the common man. And I say "Amen, my brothers and sisters. Throw off your shackles and be free!!!". Sing it loud and sing it proud Bruce. This DVD is what rock 'n' roll was meant to be. It's emotional, it's raw, it's honest. After watching this show I can honestly say that there is a force in the universe that moves us from within, and one of it's manifestations is Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band. The only question that remains is "Will you testify?".
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