In my Born to Run post I mention how, when it came to the rebirth of the E-Street Band, Bruce Springsteen was hesitant almost until curtains up.
He needn’t have been. Obviously. That tour was a scorcher and set the stage (excuse the pun) for a resoundingly successful second-era for him and his band. It was captured and released on the Live In NYC album but I always felt that CD was a little on the short side.
I also mentioned that in preparing for the tour, Springsteen was building set lists that pulled heavily from previously unreleased material on the then-new Tracks and how I’d have loved to hear some of those deeper cuts. Well… while reading some early reviews of that show today I found increasing mentions of songs that were played during that tour but not captured. Given how much the reinforced E-Street Band (four guitars strong at that point and Max Weinberg hitting harder than before) added to songs like ‘Youngstown’ and ‘Lost In The Flood‘ I was delighted to find that that tour’s recasting of ‘The River’ was often followed by a re-reading of one of my favourites from that album; ‘Point Blank’.
Having found audio of it, I’ll share it here:
The real gem of my search is this… the full concert from the Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA from October 1999 with a set list that varies pretty wildly from the tour’s official release and includes some fantastic cuts including my own favourite Tracks highlights ‘Take Em As They Come’ and ‘The Promise’ and also features the first play ‘Incident on 57th Street’ in close to 20 years!
While it’s not as polished or refined as it would become as the tour progressed and the arrangements tightened, it’s all the better for it’s rough and ready nature and WELL worth a listen: