Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bruce Springsteen live in Asbury Park 2001 - 3CD - December 7

Bruce Springsteen
The Max Weinberg 7
And Friends

Jingle Bell Night

Crystal Cat 612-614

Friday December 7th 2001
Convention Hall
Asbury Park, New Jersey

artwork included

 Disc 1:
1. Deck The Halls
2. Incident On 57th Street (Bruce-Soozie Tyrell)
3. Jingle Bell Rock
4. Jam Up (Max Weinberg 7)
5. Feel So Good, Feel Okay, On This Christmas Day
6. Thundercrack
7. Seaside Bar Song
8. Love (Stand Up) (Patti)
9. Spanish Dancer (Patti)
10. Oh Come On Ye Faithful / Spider Fingers / Christmas Medley
11. The End Of The Innocence (Bruce & Bruce Hornsby)
12. You Sexy Thing
 Disc 2:
1. This Time It's For Real (South Side Johnny)
2. This Time Baby's Gone For Good
3. It's Been A Long Time
4. Star Spangled Banner
5. If I Should Fall Behind (Nils Lofgrin & Bruce)
6. Merry Christmas Baby
7. So Young And In Love
8. Kitty's Back
9. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
10. My City Of Ruins
11. Here Comes The Sun (Bobby Bandiera solo acoustic)

 Disc 3:
1. I Don't Wanna Go Home
2. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
4. Something *
5. My Sweet Lord *
6. Santa Claus Send My Baby Back To Me *
7. Love On The Wrong Side Of Town *
8. Wild Billy's Circus Story **
9. Talk To Me **
10. Black Books **
11. Shine Silently **
12. Allison +
13. The E Street Shuffle +
14. 'Bruce Thanks Backstreets and others' +
15. Outro +
*  Dec. 3, 2001
**  Dec. 4, 2001
+  Dec. 8, 2001


Almost three months after the Holiday shows by Bruce Springsteen, the Max Weinberg Seven and Friends in Asbury Park, Crystal Cat Records (CCR) has released Jingle Bells Night. Although many Springsteen fans with an internet connection will have gotten their hands on one or more of the December 2001 shows through a trade or a tree, the CCR label fortunately deemed it necessary to release the December 7 show. Fortunately, because CCR has become a guarantee for fine releases in very good sound quality over the years, and this release sounds better than the recordings that have been circulating over the internet. Packaging of the set is fairly decent, something CCR usually puts quite some work into. There are a few errors in the songtitles in the tracklisting and the live photos (not from the December 7 show but from the next night) are not superb, but due to the very strict security photographers had a very hard time doing their job. All in all it's a small miracle in itself that any photos have come out of the Convention Hall.

CCR has chosen to release the 4th Holiday show (December 7). It's especially the last show, that was the longest and featured the most special guests, that has spread through the internet. Of course we don't know whether this is the reason CCR released the December 7 show, but it's a fact that with this one they picked the best show. The opening is already phenomenal, when after the horns intro 'Deck The Halls' Bruce kicks off the concert with the piano version of 'Incident On 57th Street'. It's a shame the way two American ladies keep talking near the microphone of the taper, chosing this precious moment to discuss every day life.

The concert takes a hilarious turn when Bruce Hornsby is called on stage. After a Chistmas medley on piano and a beautiful duet with Springsteen on 'The End Of The Innocence', Hornsby gets to bring in his accordion for 'You Sexy Thing', a Hot Chocolate cover. A unique choice of repertoire for Springsteen.

At the start of Southside Johnny's song 'This Time It's For Real' something happens with the taper's microphone, causing the sound quality to become a little less for a while. Fortunately this is only for a short period of time, and sound quality for the remainder of the show is fine again. That the show is (one of) the best of the week in Asbury Park is also clear from Bruce's words before the encores, when he thanks the audience with the words: "Great show, great audience."

The bonustracks are from the other four Holiday shows and are of lesser sound quality. Unfortunately, CCR couldn't cram all the other songs played on the third disc. A bit odd is the choice to include a part of Bruce's spoken intro to 'My City Of Ruins' from the last show as the final track of the set. The track is called "Bruce Thanks Backstreets and others" (CCR probably finds it so unique that Bruce mentioned Backstreets magazine that this influenced the decision). As a result of this, the songs by Garland Jeffreys and the South Community Choir get completely ignored. Judging from the response by the audience, these were the least appreciated songs during the shows and therefore they'll probably won't be missed that much. Especially Garland Jeffreys got a cool reception by the audience, leading to an angry reaction by Bruce on December 6th. To be able to hear all the songs played during the Holiday shows, Springsteen fans can try to get a recording of the last night as well. With some use of the internet this can't be too hard.

Download this bootleg here

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