I've seen his Paris and Cologne concerts in 1999 and was thrilled when I heared of plans to release a live album. The concerts showed once again that Springsteen is the best live performer there is and The E Street Band the motor to bring him to great heights. The "Live 1975-85" box is probably the best live document there is. His "MTV plugged" album was a disappointment, but after the reunion with The E Street Band for "Greatest Hits" and the "Blood Brothers" video it became clear that the magic was back.
This live album contains 2 cd's recorded at Madison Square Garden, NYC, june 29th 2000 and july 1st 2000. For some reason the songs are numbered 1 to 13 and 6 songs are unnumbered. The song Born To Run isn't even mentioned. In fact, cd 1 contains songs 1 to 10 plus Born To Run. Cd 2 contains songs 11 to 13, then 1 minut silence, and then the 6 other songs.
Cd 1 start with My Love Will Not Let You Down, the song he used to start his concerts. You can hear that very well, because the audience and the band have to get warmed up. It's a pro for this album that you hear the concert as it was. High point during the concert and on cd1 is Youngstown of "The Ghost Of Tom Joad". This version is far more powerful than the original and during the concerts I already hoped this song would be recorded in this rock version. Furthermore there are great performances of Murder Incorporated, Badlands and Born To Run.
Cd 2 starts with a 16 minutes version of Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out with portions of Red Headed Woman, Al Green's Take Me To The River, Curtis Mayfield's It's All Right and Patti Scialfa's Rumble Doll and an introduction of the band and some kind of Rock And Roll-preach. I guess most people will skip this song after a while. The two new songs Land Of Hope And Dreams and American Skin (41 Shots) sound good and are a good addition to his songbook.Highlights of cd2 are Lost In The Flood, a song from his debut album "Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ" and Jungleland. Because of the 1 minute break, the spoken words in Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out and the accoustic version of Born In The U.S.A., that becomes boring after a while, cd 2 is less consistent and a bit weaker than cd 1, but the rest of the songs on cd 2 are worth listening over and over again.
My conclusion is that "Live In New York City" is a great live album and a good example of his concerts during the 1999-2000 world tour. Apart from some flaws (the numbering on the artwork, 1 minute silence, etc) there are enough highlights to consider it to be a good addition to the "Live 1975-85" box and the money worth. Springsteen is on his best when he's playing with The E Street Band and I hope this is a new beginning. The constant power of the drums of Max Weinberg, the soul of the saxophone of Clarence Clemons and the musicality of the others add something to Springsteen's songs that make them live and steal your heart.
Martijn, april 7th, 2001.
1. MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN (tracks)
2. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT (darkness on the edge of town)
3. TWO HEARTS (the river)
4. ATLANTIC CITY (nebraska)
5. MANSION ON THE HILL (nebraska)
6. THE RIVER (the river)
7. YOUNGSTOWN (the ghost of tom joad)
8. MURDER INCORPORATED (greatest hits)
9. BADLANDS (darkness on the edge of town)
10. OUT IN THE STREET (the river)
(11). BORN TO RUN (born to run)
1. / 11. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT (born to run)
2. / 12. LAND OF HOPE AND DREAMS
3. / 13. AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS)
4. LOST IN THE FLOOD (greetings from asbury park, nj)
5. BORN IN THE U.S.A. (born in the u.s.a.)
6. DON'T LOOK BACK (tracks)
7. JUNGLELAND (born to run)
8. RAMROD (the river)
9. IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND (lucky town)