This was the overwhelming Bruce Springsteen from ‘No nukes’, on his 30th birthday

A few weeks ago, Bruce Springsteen announced his plan to tour in 2022 and invited his followers to attend concerts with their “children, little brothers and sisters and grandmothers & rdquor ;, because they were going to see the E Street Band“ ‘at its peak ‘& rdquor; (“At its peak & rdquor;). Sure? Although the Boss and the E Street Band are a formidable machinery, defying the passage of time and death if necessary, it is difficult to think that their good form will exceed what was seen and heard in that movie entitled ‘The legendary 1979 No Nukes concerts’, which captures the ‘shows’ offered at New York’s Madison Square Garden under the umbrella of the anti-nuclear cause.

It is the testimony of two concerts that Springsteen and his people offered in response to the call of the collective MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy), in September 1979, as an awareness response to the accident at the Harrisburg nuclear power plant. His involvement in that campaign represented a novel gesture for a singer who until then had avoided expressing himself on political issues. The footage recovers an overwhelming Bruce about to cross the threshold of 30 (he fulfilled them on the 23rd, that is, at midnight of the second of the concerts), condensing into hour and a half of ‘show’ the intensity, depth and sense of the spectacle of which the tour of the album ‘Darkness on the edge of town’ already gave account, a year before,. To see the light you have to wait until November 16 (digital format and Blu-Ray) and 19 (double CD with DVD, double CD with Blu-Ray and double LP).

Audiovisual feast

Until now, only three of those audiovisual records circulated: those of ‘The river’ (song premiered those nights), ‘Thunder road’ and a fiery fragment of the classic doo-wop ‘Quarter to three’. But now these songs run with unpublished shots, since the editor, Thom Zimny, has assembled the songs using the signals from each of the cameras and selecting them at his discretion. In audio, only the version of ‘Stay’ (Maurice Williams) and the ‘Detroit medley’ were available, both pieces included in the triple LP ‘No nukes’, although a couple of years ago Springsteen made the recording available on his website full of the performances, which he has recently withdrawn, giving prominence to the new release.

The film combines captures from the first and second nights, offering the entire repertoire: 13 songs, including the encores of both ‘shows’. The version of ‘Stay’ is from the second, where next to Jackson Browne y Rosemary Butler, also enters the scene Tom Petty, in a high-flying image.

Cake in the air

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It is the document of an artist in a full state: pure radioactive material, if grace be permitted, with a leading Bruce, ‘showman’ and mountebank, delighting with the also unreleased then ‘Sherry darling’, getting into the undergrowth of ‘Jungleland’ at will and giving field to theirs, with starring role for a Clarence Clemons that spins like a top on the ‘Rosalita’ roller coaster. The production also points to the track and the stands, because they are part (contagious) of the show, and includes the moment when the Boss picks up a birthday cake which he proceeds to throw back to the public, seemingly annoyed that he is no longer in his twenties. On the other hand, it does not offer the scene in which he ostentatiously expels his ex-girlfriend, the photographer Lynn Goldsmith, to whom he had banned access, from the enclosure.

In ‘Quarter to three’, delicious and exhausting with its festival of false endings and good theater, Bruce makes it appear that he faints and howls dramatically “I can’t go on, I’m 30 years old! & Rdquor;, before proclaiming: “I’m a prisoner of rock’n’roll!” He’s not going to have it easy next year to get over that and show us that, past the 70’s, both he and his band are really at their ‘peak’ & rdquor ;.

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