Columnist CJ LaCava
(Born in NJ and now in the UK)

Live DVD Shelved? It's Saturday Night! Orange?
Posted on October 24, 2000 @ 1:00PM GMT

A lot of time and money was spent recording the final three nights at MSG (under the direction of Jonathan Demme). It's my opinion some of the performances suffered from taping logistics (especially 6/29). Springsteen fans around the world have been holding their breath wait for an official release date from the Springsteen management team or Sony Music. An official release from the tour would not only be a wonderful reminder of the E Street reunion, but it would be historically significant as well. Let's face it - how much longer can Bruce and the band put on shows like we saw during the past two years?

There has been no official announcement about the live DVD and there are many rumours now that point to the project being shelved indefinitely. Fans are depressed and disappointed - speculation as to why Bruce has decided not to follow through with the live release is everywhere. Was the footage not up to par? Does Bruce want to mix in a few overdubs (thus delaying the release)? Will this footage ever see the light of day? No one knows for sure.

So what's next? We know there is a fair amount of new material ready to be unleashed to the public. This material was heavily featured and emphasised during the MSG stand. One would think if the live project is dead, a new studio release must be planned. The rumours about an Asia-Pacific tour in 2001 also continue to pop up. Once again - all we can do is wait and see.

Saturday Night

Crystal Cat's first official release from 2000 is an audience recording from MSG's 6/17/00 show. I have a friend who travelled to NYC from Sweden to see this one - and he claims it was spectacular. This show ranks 5th in the unofficial Stone Pony London best night at MSG 2000 vote (see the News section for more details on the MSG best show vote).

After an energetic six-song opening, Bruce welcomes audience with, "Good evening New York . . . on a Saturday night!" The setlist is impressive: the debut of the E Street Shuffle and great rarities such as Atlantic City, Racing in the Street, Spirit in the Night and Rendezvous are included. I especially like the show's flow at the beginning (Two Hearts to Rendezvous to Atlantic City) and during the first encore. I'd call the performance that night very good, but not great when compared to the top shows during 1999/2000. You can hear that the band isn't exactly all together at the end of Further On Up The Road and within Tenth Ave. Light of Day is also a bit flat as compared to other MSG nights.

The audience is really into the show on this boot - sometimes a little too much. Some guy a few rows over is having a sing along to Badlands (but then again, aren't we all?), a couple tries to impress us with their knowledge of the words to Racing in the Street, and there is a bit too much crowd noise during the slow songs (especially during an almost perfect version of The River). Saturday Day night does give us probably the best version yet of the reunion tour's final version of Born in the USA - it gives me a shiver every time when Bruce sings, ". . . I'm 10 years, I'm 15 years, I'm 25 years burning down the road . . ."

I have to admit, while I'm so grateful to CC for getting this MSG show to market so quickly, that the sound quality of the boot is disappointing. I would rate it below LA Night in this respect and some collectors claim that there is an audience recording circulating around that is actually better sounding then the CC release. I can't confirm or deny that report.

The bonus tracks are wonderful with some of them sounding better than the 6/17 show itself. Saint in the City, Another Thin Line, Does This Bus, Human Touch and Incident on 57th Street are all in there and really add a lot to this release. There are no bonus tracks from 7/1/00 - and this is because CC will soon release a boot from this show as well (thank goodness).

Not a great release from CC, but still worth trading for. I love the artwork on the front cover of Saturday Night - it sums up the MSG stand pretty damn well.

Orange's Live 1975-88 4CD Bootleg

Now where did Orange get all of this un-circulated soundboard material? On disk1 we get a nice mix of early recording from 1975, 78, and 80. Disk 2 has a few tracks from River tour at the end of 1980 and the rest are from the Born in the USA tour. Disk 3 and 4 are all from the Tunnel of Love Express.

Have you ever seen the BBC's Springsteen special that was made in 1998 (just around the time Tracks was released)? A heck of a lot of the material on this boot was used in the BBC special. I wonder if somebody working on this BBC project (or maybe later he or she just raided the BBC vaults) made a copy of some of these tapes . . . and then made them available for a bootleg. A lot of the earlier tracks were already released on the Live 1975-85 The Outtakes boot.

If you are a fan of the Tunnel of Love shows, then you will love this collection. The tracks from Copenhagen and Basel are impressive and the 1984/85 tracks on Disk 2 are also pleasant. However, I personally am not a big fan of these shows and find myself stuck on Disk 1 and 2. There are some priceless moments on these discs that I will never get tired of hearing: especially the story before Santa Claus in Coming to Town - it always puts a smile on my face.

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