Bruce Springsteen: One Step Up

unknown, 2000-07-08, by: C. Bottomley
When the last chord of "Blood Brothers" finally faded away in Madison Square Garden on Saturday, July 1, only questions were left. Such as, now that Bruce Springsteen's reunion tour with the E Street Band is over, where do they go from here? While some fan clubs are reporting that the band is already recording an album, Little Steven himself has denied there's been any studio activity. To Bruce, the final night of the tour registered as a job well done and a faith renewed. He told the audience, "The first night we played I said that I was
hoping this tour would be a rededication of our band and our commitment to serve you. I hope we've done that well this year, and we'll continue to try to do so".

He also expressed his dedication in the final lyric of "Blood Brothers" altered from its original version on 1995's Greatest Hits to "Now I'm out here on this road/ Alone on this road tonight/ Close my eyes and feel so many friends around me/ In the early evening light/ I ask God for the strength/ And faith in one another/ 'Cause it's a good night for a ride/ 'Cross this river to the other side/ My blood brothers".

The tour has seen a number of new and unrecorded songs make their live debuts. As well as the ballyhooed "American Skin" Springsteen has debuted "Code of Silence", "Another Thin Line" and "Further On Up the Road". The outtakes "Land of Hope and Dreams" and "My Love Will Not Let You Down" have also become concert fixtures.

But as far as an album, Little Steven doesn't think so. Responding to a rumor on Backstreets.com that the band had already been in the studio, he told Launch.com. "Sorry, Backstreets. You know, we've been recording as we go - show here, a show there - and doing quite a few new songs now. At the moment, they exist only as live recordings. Whether they'll turn into a studio recording down the road, who knows?"

According to Billboard.com, the band members now return to their day jobs. Drummer Max Weinberg has been the musical director on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Guitarist Little Steven portrays Silvio Dante on HBO's The Sopranos. Billboard also reports that bass player Garry Tallent is to produce an album by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.

It is known that several dates of the tour in New York and Philadelphia were filmed, although no project has been announced yet. Director Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia) also shot a rehearsal of "American Skin." And on July 1, Bruce asked the audience to be quiet during the slow songs, as the set was being
recorded.

The closing show saw even more surprises than the fact that Bruce can look saxophonist Clarence Clemons in the eye again. As well as the emotional closing number, Bruce broke out Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.'s "Lost in the Flood" the 1973 opus "The E Street Shuffle" and a fully amped "Atlantic City" from 1982's Nebraska over the three-and-a-half-hour set. However, there was much that was familiar to the devoted. "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" incorporated the familiar fable of a lost and confused Bruce who can be redeemed only by his compa?eros in the band, with wife/singer/redheaded woman Patti Scialfa described as a "vacation from masturbation". "Light of Day" was also stretched out as Bruce tried to channel Al Green.

After the thank you's to his managers, the crew, the band, and all the audiences they had played to since the tour began in Spain in April 1999 and the "Blood Brothers" performance, Bruce would drop only this hint as to what the future held. "We'll be seeing you".

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2000-07-01 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY