Lights Up Music Hall (Featuring The Miami Horns) (JEMS - Steve Hopkins’ Master Tapes)

Friday, 25 May 2012

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Lights Up Music Hall (Featuring The Miami Horns)

JEMS ; STEVE HOPKINS’ MASTER TAPES

 

22.03.1977 - Music Hall, Boston, MA

 
Disc 1

01. Night
02. Don't Look Back
03. Spirit in the Night
04. It's My Life
05. Thunder Road
06. Mona > She's the One
1
07. Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
08. Action in the Streets
09. Backstreets

Disc 2

01. Jungleland
02. Rosalita
03. Born to Run
04. The Promise
05. Quarter to Three
06. You Can't Sit Down

 
Notes:

1 last few seconds missing

 

+ Notes (BK for JEMS): It's the kind of debate diehards love: What's Bruce's greatest concert stand? Not a single show, but a continuous residency at a single venue? Bottom Line '75 springs to mind. Passaic '78. LA Sports Arena '81. The ten-pack at Meadowlands '84. The list goes on. But it would be hard to quibble with the run of four shows Bruce and the band kicked off this night in Boston, the last proper shows before the settlement of the Appel lawsuit and the commencement of recording for Darkness on the Edge of Town. I've been accused of hyperbolic writing (a charge I do not deny, by the way, as one has to be a superfan to do what we do), but I don't think there's any way to over hype this show and this run of shows. While I was well familiar with the last two concerts in Boston, March 24-25, I was less familiar with opening night and my response has remained the same throughout repeated listening: Holy fucking shit. From the blistering version of "Night" that opens, if there's a more passionate, joyful, emotional, giving-it-his-absolute-all show than this, I'm struggling to find it, though I know the three nights that follow just might be them. Song after song is performed in quintessential versions, with particularly epic readings here of "Spirit in the Night," "It's My Life," "Mona" into "She's the One," "Backstreets," "Jungleland" and "The Promise." Then there's the two new songs. "Don't Look Back" is evolving every show with lyrics the first night that won't be there the last. Bruce sings it with incredible conviction knowing most in the audience have never heard it. Fantastic. Later, "Action in the Streets" is Bruce's best horn number ever, period. Now here's a song that deserves to be revived on the Wrecking Ball tour. It just kills here. The man who documented Bruce at this venue so brilliantly, Steve Hopkins, had upgraded his recorder in time for the '77 shows, now using Sony's latest TC-158SD. That was the deck for this run and his seats for the last three gigs were pretty much identical, 5-10 rows back of the right side PA stack, though this night he was left center orchestra, row G. All four nights do sound remarkably consistent. While Hopkins' recording is nothing short of fantastic, he's really just capturing lightning in a bottle. The musicians on stage are doing everything to make this performance and those that follow, ones for the ages. Samples provided, as well as a .jpg of the review of this show in the Boston Globe. Given that there's a few days before the European tour kicks off, I wanted to get this out there before those new recordings again command attention. Thanks once more to Steve for allowing JEMS to present his incredible work in a fresh light. || 16/44.1 CD Version ; Steve Hopkins master via JEMS ; Taping Gear: Sony ECM-99A > Sony TC-158SD (recorded on two Maxell UD 90-minute tapes, Dolby B encode) ; JEMS 2012 transfer: SH master cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (Dolby B decode) > Sound Devices USBPre2 (24/96) > Peak 6.0 with iZotope Ozone > .wav (24/96) > resample via iZotope MBIT+ to .wav (16/44) > FLAC || 24/96 version to follow shortly. It's ready, too. || As it used to say in the end credits of Bond movies, the Boston '77 run will return.

 

+  Brucebase (22.03.1977): Audience tape. First show of the famous Boston stand. Features "You Can't Sit Down" as the final encore and the last "It's My Life" of 1977. Available on CDR "The Promise In Boston", CD "Promise Into The Darkness" (Mainstream Records) and in superior quality from Steve Hopkins' master via JEMS.

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