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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND
Austin 2012 [no label, 2CD]
Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, Austin, TX; March 15, 2012. A wee bit distant but still a very good audience recording.
No matter what, Bruce Springsteen, like Patti Smith, does carry a certain amount of weight with what he says. As someone who doesn’t mince his words, expectations are especially higher with the man they call The Boss.
In his review of the SXSW Austin concert, Joshua Ostroff of spinner.com wrote:
Springsteen arrived at South by Southwest as the keynote speaker, but also as a rock star with a new album, ‘Wrecking Ball,’ to promote. Inspired by the financial crisis that gave rise to the Occupy movement, Springsteen’s angry new anthems like ‘We Take Care of Our Own’ and the title track gave the electrifying concert the feel of a rally. Or rather, the feeling that it should have been a rally.
Springsteen has always represented the hard-luck working man, as evidenced by his performance of song like ‘Badlands,’ off 1978’s ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town.’ But times are tougher now, and it’s more about the no-working man.
Though a song like ‘My City in Ruins’ was released in the wake of 9/11 (though about Springsteen’s hometown Asbury Park), when he performs it in 2012 it feels like an apt descriptor of the world, whether it’s the blood-soaked streets of Syria or the foreclosure-ridden avenues of Florida. “Rise up,” he sang repeatedly last night, but it seemed like maybe Springsteen just meant get to your feet, not take to the streets.
The only time Occupy was mentioned was when Tom Morello - who joined Bruce for the concert (and festival) highlight, a searing run-through of ‘Ghost of Tom Joad’ - blurted out on the mic that his own Occupy South by Southwest event would be happening Friday night…
Springsteen sang of people sleeping under bridges in ‘Tom Joad,’ railroad workers taking a stand in the epochal new song ‘We Are Alive,’ and “sending the robber baron’s straight to hell” on ‘Death to my Hometown,’ but it’s a 99 per cent message he plans to take on a stadium tour where he will sing to people who can actually afford Springsteen tickets.
It’s wonderful that Bruce has thrown in with this still-growing movement and, during songs like ‘Shackled and Drawn,’ encouraged people to “stand up and be counted.” But he’s hardly emulating, say, Rage Against the Machine’s actions during another pivotal election year 12 years ago when they staged actual protest concerts. Or the protest concerts of the 1960s, as we were reminded of when Animals’ singer Eric Burdon came out to duet with Bruce on his Vietnam-era anthem ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place.’ Or even the case-specific activism practiced by Arcade Fire who have done much to support Haiti.
Maybe it’s not enough to chronicle the downtrodden, maybe they need an arising, too.
While writing this piece, I went outside to clear my head and was approached by a well-spoken, out-of-work car salesman who had been turned away from the Salvation Army shelter until the next day and was looking to raise enough money to get a cheap hotel room for the night. It reminded me of a conversation I’d had with a cab driver when I arrived, who said Texas doesn’t have a proper welfare system to take care of its poor once their unemployment runs out, a fact made clear by the sheer number of homeless people downtown mixed among the drunken partiers and corporate branding.
As Jimmy Cliff, another special guest and the legendary protest singer behind ‘The Harder They Come,’ sang during his brief three-song mini-set, “there are many rivers to cross,” and as this economic crisis continues, more and more people need help finding their way over. Springsteen himself sang in ‘We Are Alive’ of the need “To carry the fire and light the spark/To fight shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart.”
It’s a powerful message, made even stronger by Springsteen’s outsize charisma and his multicultural and multi-generational E Street Band’s outsize skills. But during this Occupy-influenced election year maybe he needs to follow Woody [Guthrie]’s lead and take his protest from stadium seats to the city streets.
Click here for the full article.
Thanks to prof_peabody for taping and sharing the tracks at The Traders’ Den. Thanks also to thull1 for the artwork.
Location: near center, 25 ft from stage
Source: DPA4023 > Aerco MP2 > R-09HR
Transfer: USB > Wavelab 5 edits (dither with UV22HR) > CDWAVE > FLAC
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
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Track 101. Intro (2.5MB)
Track 102. I Ain’t Got No Home (7.0MB)
Track 103. We Take Care Of Our Own (7.1MB)
Track 104. Wrecking Ball (9.6MB)
Track 105. Badlands (11.2MB)
Track 106. Death To My Hometown * (7.0MB)
Track 107. My City Of Ruins (17.2MB)
Track 108. Seeds (9.6MB)
Track 109. E Street Shuffle (11.9MB)
Track 110. Jack Of All Trades * (10.6MB)
Track 111. Shackled And Drawn (9.0MB)
Track 112. Waitin’ On A Sunny Day (9.1MB)
Track 113. The Promised Land (11.0MB)
Track 201. The Ghost Of Tom Joad * (13.0MB)
Track 202. The Rising (8.0MB)
Track 203. We Are Alive (10.4MB)
Track 204. Thunder Road (13.6MB)
Track 205. Rocky Ground ^ (9.3MB)
Track 206. Land Of Hope And Dreams (15.2MB)
Track 207. The Harder They Come @ (6.2MB)
Track 208. Time With Tell @ (7.3MB)
Track 209. Many Rivers To Cross @ (8.4MB)
Track 210. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place # (8.8MB)
Track 211. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (13.5MB)
Track 212. This Land Is Your Land % (10.8MB)
Track 213. Outro (2.5MB)
* with Tom Morello
^ with Michelle Moore
@ with Jimmy Cliff
# with Eric Burdon
% with Alejandro Escovedo, Joe Ely, Tom Morello, Arcade Fire, Low Anthem
The E Street Band
Bruce Springsteen - vocals, guitar
Roy Bittan - piano
Nils Lofgren - guitar, electric banjo, vocals
Patti Scialfa - guitar, vocals
Garry W Tallent - bass
Steve Van Zandt - guitar, vocals
Max Weinberg - drums
Soozie Tyrell - violin, vocals
Charlie Giordano - keyboards
Cindy MIzelle - vocals
Curtis King - vocals
Clark Gayton - trombone, tuba
Curt Ramm - trumpet
Barry Danielian - trumpet
Ed Manion - saxophone
Jake Clemons - saxophone
Click here to order Springsteen’s new album, Wrecking Ball.
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