Live In New York City captures Bruce Springsteen reunited with the E Street Band in 2000. Their first concert together for 11 years.
For me Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band belong together like strawberries and cream. One without the other doesn’t feel right and it’s going to be tough hearing them play again with a replacement for the Big Man (Clarence Clemons).
Bruce Springsteen Live In New York City Overall Rating – 25/30
Set List Rating – 8/10
- My Love Will Not Let You Down ( originally on the studio album Tracks)
- Prove It All Night (Darkness On The Edge Of Town)
- Two Hearts (The River)
- Atlantic City (Nebraska)
- Mansion on the Hill (Nebraska)
- The River (The River)
- Youngstown (The Ghost Of Tom Joad)
- Murder Incorporated (first released on Greatest Hits)
- Badlands (Darkness On The Edge Of Town)
- Out in the Street (The River)
- Born to Run (Born to Run)
- Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (Born to Run)
- Land of Hope and Dreams (not previously released)
- American Skin (41 Shots) (not previously released)
- Lost in the Flood (Greetings From Astbury Park)
- Born in the U.S.A. (Born in the U.S.A.)
- Don’t Look Back (Tracks)
- Jungleland (Born to Run)
- Ramrod (The River)
- If I Should Fall Behind (Lucky Town)
There is also a DVD of Bruce Springsteen Live In New York City with the following five extra tracks:
- Backstreets (Born to Run)
- Darkness On The Edge Of Town (Darkness On The Edge Of Town)
- Light Of Day ((not previously released))
- The Promise (Tracks)
- Thunder Road (Born to Run)
It can be tough to objectively assess a set list for a Springsteen concert because he usually tries to shake things up a bit with rarely played songs, unreleased tracks and cover versions. That’s what helps to make Springsteen in concert such an addictive event.
My bias is that I love albums 2 to 4 – The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town so my dream Springsteen live albums are from 1975 to 1978.
I’m not saying he hasn’t written good songs since but I don’t want to lose Rosalita, Kitty’s Back, Thunder Road etc for any later song.
I bought this album when I first saw it because it had Jungleland, criminally left off the Live 1975-85 album. Live n New York City got other traditional crowd-pleasers like Born To Run, 10th Avenue Freeze Out, Born In The USA and The River.
But it’s also got unusual songs like My Love Will Not Let You Down, Don’t Look Back and Murder Incorporated. It also featured unreleased songs Land of Hope and Dreams and American Skin (41 Shots), recently written and inspired by a police shooting.
The set list isn’t perfect for me but I like what Springsteen is trying to do. I don’t like the fact that five tracks appeared on the DVD but were missed from the CD, especially because three of them came from my prime Springsteen period.
I give the set list 8 out of 10.
Performance Rating – 9/10
Bruce Springsteen has a reputation as a tremendous live performer and he thrives when he’s backed by the E Street Band.
He loves playing live and it shows.
I always think of this as a loud album, no matter what the volume is set at. It feels like a full frontal assault on the ear drums.
Perhaps it’s because acoustic numbers like Atlantic City and Youngstown are turned into rockers.
Or perhaps it’s the roar in Bruce’s voice as he belts out these songs.
More likely it is the fact that this version of the E Street Band is guitar driven by both Nils Lofgren and Steven Van Zandt playing hard and heavy and supplemented by Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa.
But don’t worry if you love the sax of Clarence Clemons. It still brightly colours many of the songs.
This performance is packed with excitement and energy.
And the songs are adapted to the live environment – changed and expanded. Just like a live concert should be.
The more you listen, the more you realise what an extraordinarily good group the E Street band are.
Atmosphere & Authenticity Rating – 8/10
Springsteen back with the E Street Band and if not in New Jersey, the next best thing so he’s playing to avid fans.
And it shows as the group and crowd respond to each other.
These concerts over 12 nights at the Madison Square Garden are more authentic than the compilation album Live 1975-85.
I mentioned the guitar-heavy sound and I can imagine some people will love it but I miss the jazzy feel of early Springsteen. When I want to listen to traditional Springsteen, I’ll be reaching for the London 75 concert but this has its place when I want to rawwwk!
While you’re listening, it’s hard to believe that this glorious noise is being created by a group of middle aged men in their fifties or very close to it. But in my mind I know it and believe rock’n’roll is best played by the young.
Trouble is there aren’t any young groups as good as Springsteen and the E Street Band but I believe they were even better 20 to 25 years ago.
Here are some videos of Bruce Springsteen performing live in 2000.
Out In The Street
Adam Raised A Cain
Total Rating For Live In New York City – 25/30
This is a great live album.
There’s no doubt about it.
But I don’t think it’s the greatest possible Bruce Springsteen live album.
The set list misses too many of my favourites. The performance lacks some subtlety and it’s recorded at least twenty years after the prime.
I don’t play it as often as I would play other albums with a 25 score because I’d rank it as third or fourth in the list of Springsteen live albums that are available.
And that’s without an authorised version from the 1978 Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour which could be a 29 or 30 rated album.
What Others Say About Live In New York City
In the list of greatest live albums, it appears several times:
ChordStrike.com – 38th
DigitalDreamDoor.com – 97th
Generally Live 1975-1985 is more highly rated but a Springsteen live album is missing from many lists considering what a great performer he is on stage.
Buying Live In New York City
To help you to find the album quickly and easily, I’ve given you the following links::
What Do You Think About Live In New York City?
I’d like to know what you think about this album.
I rate it very highly but believe that the best Springsteen albums will be between 1975 and 1980 depending on what gets released from his archives.
Do you think it is one of the best Bruce Springsteen live albums?
The Other Bruce Springsteen Live Albums
- Bruce Springsteen Live At The Main Point – a recording from February 1975 before Born To Run was released and with a different sound because a violin features as Springsteen searches for his sound.
- Bruce Springsteen Live At Hammersmith Odeon ’75 – Born To Run is released and Springsteen is taking the world by storm.
- Bruce Springsteen Live 1975 – 85 – a compilation of live recordings which frustrates as much as it delivers. It’s clear that there are a lot of great recordings in the vaults.
What Are The Best Live Albums Ever?
Please help me to find the best live albums by voting in the readers polls
What are the best classic rock live albums
Because there are so many excellent classic rock live albums I have split the poll into two and you may find some of your favourites in the second division. Albums will be promoted when they get enough votes.
You may be interested in the polls for other classic rock artists like The Beatles (group & solo) – Dave Matthews Band – Bob Dylan – Sting & The Police – The Rolling Stones – Thin Lizzy – U2 – Neil Young –
You may also be interested in the poll to find the best best singer songwriter live albums albums
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls