Home > Springsteen is still Boss, The Freedom of Music, This Week on my I-Pod > The Freedom of Music: The Springsteen Time Machine

The Freedom of Music: The Springsteen Time Machine

September 21st, 2008

One likes to believe in the freedom of music.
Rush – Spirit of Radio.

If you gave a group of Bruce Springsteen fans a time machine and said, you have one use, and return it in six hours, that machine would undoubtedly be making a bee-line for 1978: the golden age of Bruce. 1978: The Darkness on the Edge of Town tour. 1978: The legendary period of Bruce Springsteen concerts that bootleg recording today confirm Springsteen’s band was as tight as any band in the business, and video shows the Springsteen showmanship at it’s absolute peak.
Whenever I hit the gym in the corner of our basement for a run on the treadmill, I throw a video in the DVD player that the treadmill faces. I often chose music videos for a couple of reasons: 1) if I only watch 40 minutes of the video I’m not walking away feeling like I missed something; 2) I can keep the video on through the whole work out – stretching & weights on top of running – as back ground music. This week, it’s been Springsteen circa 1978.

A couple of years ago I downloaded a video called “Pièce De Résistance: Capital Theater, 19th September 1978.” Here’s part of the blurb:

This release features what many consider a peak of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band [sic] incredible 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town tour; a three show stand in an intimate theater on home ground in New Jersey. This was the first of those shows and was broadcast live on the New York station W??W (it’s indecipherable), which is the excellent source recording for the main body of this release…

An amazing document of one of the highest moments on Springsteen career[sic], black and white professional multicamera footage…

Who “professional, multicamera black and white” films in 1978, I don’t know, but it’s a stunning watch. Springsteen is that good here, a 24 song set list with no weakness, an almost three hour show of raw emotional musical energy. That, however, is not enough. To have kind of show is one thing, to capture it is another trick altogether. This DVD manages to capture it, and it is spine tingling good.

Moment in history captures are often disappointing, making the watcher yawn with unfulfilled expectation. The great thing about this DVD is not just the sense of history, but the fulfilment of expectation. You watch it and think, oh man, if only I didn’t go to see Nirvana in 1991 when I had that time machine. But Nirvana it sadly was and I’m left with a black and white DVD, which thankfully is an entirely satisfactory replacement.

Springsteen is still Boss, The Freedom of Music, This Week on my I-Pod

Comments are closed.