Nicola

Steve's guitar and Nils guitar in live songs: differences

Recommended Posts

I'm not an expert, But it seems to me that in the old songs (Spirit, Tent Avenue, Es Street Shuffle, Rosie, ecc) Steve's guitar is more functional. Nils is better in hard songs (Murder, Cover me, Light of day, ecc), What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly the songs they originally played on are the ones that they feature on in concert. Give or take.

There's no doubt that Nils wipes the floor with Bruce and Steve (and Patti and Soozie :lol: ) when it comes to ESB  guitar talent.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

Possibly the songs they originally played on are the ones that they feature on in concert. Give or take.

There's no doubt that Nils wipes the floor with Bruce and Steve (and Patti and Soozie :lol: ) when it comes to ESB  guitar talent.

True, but i'd much rather hear a solo by Bruce / Steve (particularly younger day SVZ).  Less technical perhaps, but a lot more heart. 

  • Like 3
  • Bruuuuce! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Growin' Up said:

but a lot more heart. 

I'd respectfully disagree - I think Nils' playing is filled with heart and soul, you can see it in his face when he plays

I can see where you're coming from, though, as he is tasked with playing the same solos over and over again at shows (looking at you Because the Night)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Growin' Up said:

True, but i'd much rather hear a solo by Bruce / Steve (particularly younger day SVZ).  Less technical perhaps, but a lot more heart. 

When Steve played Spirit, Tenth Avenue and Jungleland in the 70's... was perfect... great sound and funky... very ricognizable

but Nils solo in Cover me, Youngstown or his guitar moments in Murder, Promised Land, Radio nowhere, etc was awesome

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BobbyJames said:

I'd respectfully disagree - I think Nils' playing is filled with heart and soul, you can see it in his face when he plays

I can see where you're coming from, though, as he is tasked with playing the same solos over and over again at shows (looking at you Because the Night)

Agreed. Nils is technically superb but it’s all coming from the right place too.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the Born in the Usa Tour, especially in the Usa stadium  in 1985, Nils was superb... Thunder Road and Atlantic City became the versions that I prefer today

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoy Bruce's solos, but Nils' are fantastic. Always wished he had more prominence in the Live shows. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no expert on total sound. But I can tell by just listening to the guitars on E-Street who's playing. 

Bruce - Muddy ( i Think Bruce should have stayed with the Les Paul myself) 

Steve- Muddier 

Nils- Crisp

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Jimmy James said:

Bruce - Muddy

Steve- Muddier 

Nils- Crisp

....Patti....guitar turned off.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nils is such a rare individual in that his talent is so prodigious, yet he is more than happy to play a supporting role and let others take the spotlight despite his superior ability.    To me the Born in the USA Tour will always rank near the top if for no other reason that Nils was given more to do with both his guitar and vocals which are just plain levels above what Steve is capable of.  Although I must say that Steve's playing and singing were markedly better when he returned to the band.  Part of it the improvement from fronting his own group and perhaps because Nils made him up his game.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nils is without question the best guitar player in the ESB, and he's a brilliant combination of both technic ability and heart. Listened to Live the other day, and I realised that Bruce's and Nils' playing were somewhat more similar back then.

Nils compared Bruce with Neil Young, calling them both "feel players", I see what he's talking about. I also like what Nils said about his playing in the ESB: that one of his favourite parts was when he could play rhythm and "lock into Max's hi-hat" during I'm On Fire. That's cool, he seems to get more from playing rhythm that solo guitar; much like Jimi Hendrix.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the main difference is that Nils writes his solos whereas Bruce and Stevie tend more to improvising, that doesn't mean to say that Nils can't improvise.  I think Stevie's onstage role has changed as well since Clarence passed, he has become an onstage foil for Bruce as well as a guitarist.

In terms of sound I don't think any of the guitars sound particularly muddy, one thing that does stand out to me is that they all tend towards Fender guitars, if they were all playing Gibson guitars for instance then the sound would get muddy.  Nothing against Gibson by the way just my observation and I must admit to having a preference for Fenders myself and Gibson for acoustics.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Nils said in an interview that at the start of the 1999-2000 tour, he improvised the Youngstown solo, but that he went on to compose a more specific solo.

I don't think of any of the guitars sound "muddy", but Nils' tone is much cleaner than Bruce and Steve, which both sound more ragged and unpolished.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gazza said:

I think the main difference is that Nils writes his solos whereas Bruce and Stevie tend more to improvising, that doesn't mean to say that Nils can't improvise.  I think Stevie's onstage role has changed as well since Clarence passed, he has become an onstage foil for Bruce as well as a guitarist.

In terms of sound I don't think any of the guitars sound particularly muddy, one thing that does stand out to me is that they all tend towards Fender guitars, if they were all playing Gibson guitars for instance then the sound would get muddy.  Nothing against Gibson by the way just my observation and I must admit to having a preference for Fenders myself and Gibson for acoustics.

 

I believe you can get a muddy sound from any brand guitar. It just more so with a Gibson. And even more so with a Les Paul than a SG or Flying V. 

It's funny I was watching docu on AXS TV last night on the start of heavy metal. And of course it starts with Led Zeppelin. The funny part is Jimmy Page stated out with a Telecaster and moved on to a Les Paul, while Bruce started with a Les Paul and moved on to a Telecaster. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Steve, I really do. But the difference between him and Nils is the same there was between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor. With the problem that Steve (or anybody, for the matter) can’t be Keith Richards...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13/11/2019 at 19:46, Frank said:

Mi piace Steve, davvero. Ma la differenza tra lui e Nils è la stessa che c'era tra Keith Richards e Mick Taylor. Con il problema che Steve (o chiunque altro) non può essere Keith Richards ...

no one in the world can be Keith Richards !:D

  • Love Love Love! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve shines on short sharp solos such as in Promised Land and Jungleland whereas Nils is great on more sustained solos like the ending of Youngstown in 1999-2000 and probably Adam Raised a Cain. Nils solos in the old songs in 1984-85 were a bit muddy and indistinct compared to earlier tours with Steve. I've seen Nils 3 times doing his own shows including a solo one in Birmingham and he was superb. I will have to check out all the videos I have to see who's playing which solos.

Nils tickets001.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently  saw an interview with renowned Bob Clearmountain who has been a studio mix engineer for Bruce. He says he prefers to clearly hear all the instruments sit in the mix as opposed to Bruce who wants his guitar to sound like a "primal scream" and for the other guitars/instruments to blend rather than stand out.

Seeing Bruce live over the past ten years, the sound (to my ears), is usually terrible. You don't hear the band's solos or their playing pushed at the right time and many of the instruments are not discernible (especially the guitars). I get the feeling everything is mixed in the same way it was the previous night (or the previous tour!). It's highly compressed, safe and dull with so much pre-programmed information killing the spontaneity of the performances.

Hearing Bob's sound in the cinema for Western Stars was exceptional as you could identify and hear all the instruments and through the incredible arrangements be drawn in and carried along. I do not think this method of mixing detracts from Bruce but beautifully supports and lifts his songs and performance - Please consider asking Bob to do your next tour.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, QuinnG said:

I recently  saw an interview with renowned Bob Clearmountain who has been a studio mix engineer for Bruce. He says he prefers to clearly hear all the instruments sit in the mix as opposed to Bruce who wants his guitar to sound like a "primal scream" and for the other guitars/instruments to blend rather than stand out.

Seeing Bruce live over the past ten years, the sound (to my ears), is usually terrible. You don't hear the band's solos or their playing pushed at the right time and many of the instruments are not discernible (especially the guitars). I get the feeling everything is mixed in the same way it was the previous night (or the previous tour!). It's highly compressed, safe and dull with so much pre-programmed information killing the spontaneity of the performances.

Hearing Bob's sound in the cinema for Western Stars was exceptional as you could identify and hear all the instruments and through the incredible arrangements be drawn in and carried along. I do not think this method of mixing detracts from Bruce but beautifully supports and lifts his songs and performance - Please consider asking Bob to do your next tour.  

Bob's The Man. Just ask Nile Rodgers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, QuinnG said:

I recently  saw an interview with renowned Bob Clearmountain who has been a studio mix engineer for Bruce. He says he prefers to clearly hear all the instruments sit in the mix as opposed to Bruce who wants his guitar to sound like a "primal scream" and for the other guitars/instruments to blend rather than stand out.

 

Geez, what an ego.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2019 at 1:35 AM, Nicola said:

...Steve's guitar in Tenth Avenue in Hammersmith 75... is absolutely fabulous... and also in The E Street Shuffle...

Yes! I love that Shuffle solo.

I also love the guitar work in The Ballad of Jesse James:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s silly to say one is better than the other. Because we’re talking about art, technical proficiency means very little. It’s all a matter of taste and I’m not a fan of Nils’ playing. Bruce is by far my favourite guitar player in the band, followed by Stevie. Nils’ playing just leaves me flat.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.