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What songs only revealed their qualities after being performed live?


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There are a number of songs that I have revalued upwards after seeing them at a concert; songs I have thought as B or C-list but after seeing Bruce performed them live I have come to love them as A* songs. Here are three of mine:

• Stolen Car – admittedly this was at my first ever show but I came away thinking this was one of the night’s highlights and I didn’t expect it to be. 

• Blood Brothers – THE song of 1st July 2000

• I’m Alive - live this was a tour de force and my view of this track grew enormously after seeing it live.  

Have you any favourite songs that have only properly revealed their qualities to you after seeing them in concert?

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With apologies to one of my favorite lakers ....Drive All Night ....Sorry Lampi .... And i hated it for years too ...because i apparently had forgotten it was played at my first show ....and that show is such a blur to me now...but i remember being hypnotized at one point ...and then forgetting and going back to hating it and listening to Crush On You ......But after the 2009 show i thought back to this part of the show where you just sway with your baby in the dark with Clarence absolutely vibrating the walls....and it happened all over again at MSG    .... I still never listen to the studio version :D

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37 minutes ago, Early North Jersey said:

With apologies to one of my favorite lakers ....Drive All Night ....Sorry Lampi .... And i hated it for years too ...because i apparently had forgotten it was played at my first show ....and that show is such a blur to me now...but i remember being hypnotized at one point ...and then forgetting and going back to hating it and listening to Crush On You ......But after the 2009 show i thought back to this part of the show where you just sway with your baby in the dark with Clarence absolutely vibrating the walls....and it happened all over again at MSG    .... I still never listen to the studio version :D

Drive All Night is my favorite Springsteen song, studio or live, but I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. The sax solo makes the song, and having 2 of them during most live performances only improves the song. It's the rare Springsteen song that's not about the lyrics but about the music and the feeling.

As for other songs that jump out as improving on stage, 10th Avenue and Real World are the two the jump out. The Christic performance of Real World is IMO the greatest Springsteen live performance of all time; and 10th Avenue falls flat to me on record, but when performed live, comes alive.

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8 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

Kitty

 

I only warmed to Kitty after seeing the WIESS show at MSG in 2009. Prior to that, I dreaded the thought of 15 minutes being wasted.

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The Night version played during the 1976 reveals much more than the studio and all the subsequent versions played there after. And all the versions played in 1976 are almost different, it was a living piece in progress, night after night then. Even the statistics are staggering: the live 1976 version is played more than the 1977 and 1978 tour versions combined

 

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Ramrod in 2002.

After that, over the years more appreciation for The River Rockers, partly also because of the Largo 1980 video.

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Cadillac Ranch.

when I listened to it on the album, I thought it was cringey at best.

when I saw it live in 85, I was enlightened to the fact that some songs are written for a fun time.

To me this song came alive that night when they looked as if they were having a ball on stage that night.

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4 hours ago, badlands78 said:

Huh?

An alternate reality where Ghosts has already made its way to being a show stopping setlist staple with the crowd singing and chanting "I'm aliiiiiive!" in unison, leading into a dozen false stops and a riveting Badlands with a dozen more

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2 hours ago, sleepyjoe said:

An alternate reality where Ghosts has already made its way to being a show stopping setlist staple with the crowd singing and chanting "I'm aliiiiiive!" in unison, leading into a dozen false stops and a riveting Badlands with a dozen more

Bring it on ! 

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3 hours ago, Lampi said:

Ramrod in 2002.

After that, over the years more appreciation for The River Rockers, partly also because of the Largo 1980 video.

 

2 hours ago, Stranger in town said:

Cadillac Ranch.

when I listened to it on the album, I thought it was cringey at best.

when I saw it live in 85, I was enlightened to the fact that some songs are written for a fun time.

To me this song came alive that night when they looked as if they were having a ball on stage that night.

Apart from OTTS and Ramrod (c/o LINYC) i never really loved the river rockers but then after the 2016 river tour c/o Mr Nugs i started to get what @Early North Jersey was on about :)

But if i listen  to the album nowdays i always wonder for the first few seconds where has MMITCT gone ? :wub:

That river tour = best thing since sliced bread 

All the fluff and filler became truth and deep resounding  relevance 

Its aint just rock and roll

Its life and death ! 

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On 5/22/2021 at 10:48 PM, muscum said:

Have you any favourite songs that have only properly revealed their qualities to you after seeing them in concert?

I would phrase the question the other way around. Pretty much all of 'em gain a lot when played live. There are few studio records (particularly the classics) that grab me. BTR, Darkness, The River, even Born in the USA, all sound like the band is on a leash and Bruce sings a lot of times like's he's constipated - esp. on Darkness and River.

I got hooked on Bruce listening to Live 75/85 in my best friend's room about a good 20 years ago. When we dug up his dad's studio records, we were pretty much disappointed.

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55 minutes ago, NoneButTheBrave said:

I would phrase the question the other way around. Pretty much all of 'em gain a lot when played live. There are few studio records (particularly the classics) that grab me. BTR, Darkness, The River, even Born in the USA, all sound like the band is on a leash and Bruce sings a lot of times like's he's constipated - esp. on Darkness and River.

I got hooked on Bruce listening to Live 75/85 in my best friend's room about a good 20 years ago. When we dug up his dad's studio records, we were pretty much disappointed.

Wow. Could not disagree more

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On 5/23/2021 at 6:48 AM, muscum said:

There are a number of songs that I have revalued upwards after seeing them at a concert; songs I have thought as B or C-list but after seeing Bruce performed them live I have come to love them as A* songs. Here are three of mine:

• Stolen Car – admittedly this was at my first ever show but I came away thinking this was one of the night’s highlights and I didn’t expect it to be. 

• Blood Brothers – THE song of 1st July 2000

• I’m Alive - live this was a tour de force and my view of this track grew enormously after seeing it live.  

Have you any favourite songs that have only properly revealed their qualities to you after seeing them in concert?

Disagree on Stolen Car. The album version is the definitive one for me.

My pick is the later versions of No Surrender.   Studio version was synth-heavy and muddy, which I think is why he came up with that slow acoustic version on the tour.  The guitar driven version that started around 09 I think, is the full realisation of a great, great song.

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2 hours ago, Gretsch Country Gentleman said:

Wow. Could not disagree more

Don't get me wrong - the songs are great (well, mostly), but sound flat and dull for the most part. Conversely, the studio records of the modern era grab me a lot more, though the live versions are still almost always better to my ears.

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Radio nowhere

Possibly not the fault of the actual record (cd)

I had a dreadful headache ahead of a a bad flu/cold and i got live in Dublin the same day 

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There's a stack of songs that in their rawest early live incantation reveal themselves and then get watered down for the album or made to sound better for the listener but from the perspective of today you get the same effect - case in point being Point Blank

Most of us will have first heard it on The River but the live versions from the Darkness tour fully flesh out a raw song about an individual in the 3rd person (or perhaps it is meant as a confessional?) and the collateral damage caused by late 70's post-industrial capitalism in the rust belt North America or perhaps in northern England during the rise of Thatcher/decline of traditional heavy industry and the destruction of the social democratic consensus on both sides of the Atlantic. The lyrics and delivery of the performance at The Roxy show July 1978 is pure desperation, resentment, desire for something above and beyond the hum drum of being an economic cog in the machine. Murder Incorporated does the same thing with the official recorded version/ and then it's fleshing out during the searing performances of the song (one of the true highlights of the E Street Band post reunion) on the Reunion Tour.

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5 hours ago, jukeblue said:

There's a stack of songs that in their rawest early live incantation reveal themselves and then get watered down for the album or made to sound better for the listener but from the perspective of today you get the same effect - case in point being Point Blank

Most of us will have first heard it on The River but the live versions from the Darkness tour fully flesh out a raw song about an individual in the 3rd person (or perhaps it is meant as a confessional?) and the collateral damage caused by late 70's post-industrial capitalism in the rust belt North America or perhaps in northern England during the rise of Thatcher/decline of traditional heavy industry and the destruction of the social democratic consensus on both sides of the Atlantic. The lyrics and delivery of the performance at The Roxy show July 1978 is pure desperation, resentment, desire for something above and beyond the hum drum of being an economic cog in the machine. Murder Incorporated does the same thing with the official recorded version/ and then it's fleshing out during the searing performances of the song (one of the true highlights of the E Street Band post reunion) on the Reunion Tour.

I agree completely aboit point blank

But it redeems itself durring the 2016 river tour (again a live performance(s) )

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