In Concert - MTV Plugged (1993)


1. Red Headed Woman 2. Better Days 3. Atlantic City 4. Darkness on the Edge of Town 5. Man's Job 6. Human Touch 7. Lucky Town 8. I Wish I Were Blind 9. Thunder Road 10.Light of Day 11.If I Should Fall Behind 12.Living Proof 13.My Beautiful Reward

 

One of my favorite, and what I feel is probably his most under appreciated album. MTV started their "Unplugged" series about a year or so before this release came out, with many rock artists getting to show their skills with mostly acoustic arrangements. Whatever the deal here was, Springsteen was scheduled to do a set, came on stage to roaring applause, played one killer unplugged track (the raunchy and funny Red Headed Woman) and then brought out his new band to play the rest of the show "plugged'.

He was probably using the show as "free advertising" for his new band - a band that was already looked at with disgust by many people because of who they weren't. Not having the E Street Band with The Boss was downright sacrilegious to many, and the only alum from his old band is keyboardist Roy Bittan. And what a performance. Sorry all you faithful, but this guy doesn't need the E Street Band. That's not to say these guys are as good. No, that would be a big stretch, but the performances here are exhilarating.

Most of this show (and the subsequent tour) would be comprised mostly of songs from his two new albums, which was another reason that people would cry "foul". He shows us that he's not embarrassed by these songs. As a matter of fact - he's downright proud. And proud he should be. People need to try to forget how great the past was, and embrace these as something new, even if a bit unfamiliar. The energy on this album during the show is unmatched by any other performer that I know, and, if you hadn't had the pleasure to see Bruce in concert, this album was one more testimony to his endurance and command of a stage. It's a small club that he's playing in front of, and the fact that it was "filmed" means he can't get too crazy. He doesn't pour buckets of water over his head in the heat of the performance, he doesn't hurl guitars on and off stage, and he pretty much stays within a 15 ft radius on the stage. So, o.k., maybe this is too much for the devotee to stomach, but if you want good, solid rock and roll by a great band and an enthusiastic audience, this is a great cd to own. Even if you're unfamiliar with most of the stuff here.

(NOTE: The DVD is actually a much better buy since it contains several more songs. The only dog on the DVD is 57 Channels (thank God it was left off on the CD). The show was recorded before DVD technology, so it's a VHS "transfer", but don't worry so much about the video. It also has a lot of the show "as is" with in between song chatter, etc. so it replicates the feeling a bit better).

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