http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/4cf12f980717ee09aabc4275b7f2a5339e8d43c1.jpg Live in New York City

Bruce Springsteen

Live in New York City

Sony Music Distribution
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
April 26, 2001

With a repeated refrain of "forty-one shots," the voices of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band transformed two words from a police report into a mantra of mourning last summer. Their reunion tour was ending in New York, the city where an unarmed African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, had been gunned down by police officers the year before, and passions were high after the shooters were absolved. "American Skin," the song Springsteen wrote in response, doesn't try to separate villains from victims so much as bear witness to the aftershocks: the way a society's slow-burn disbelief turns to outrage, then grief.

The inclusion of "American Skin," one of Springsteen's finest songs, alone justifies the release of Live in New York City, a nineteen-song double CD of the singer's first tour with the E Streeters in more than a decade. A few concert standards merely rehash Springsteen's glory days ("Prove It All Night," "Jungleland"), while some of the new arrangements struggle to better the originals (the moody intro and coda that cause "The River" to meander, the lengthy band introductions that bloat "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out").

But revelations abound: Max Weinberg's demon drumming turns "My Love Will Not Let You Down," an early-Eighties leftover, into a rampaging opener; "Two Hearts" allows duet partners Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt to pay homage to the Marvin Gaye-Kim Weston Motown classic "It Takes Two"; Nils Lofgren's six-string rave-up drops a bomb on the relatively sedate studio version of "Youngstown"; and the slide-guitar voicings on a stark, howling "Born in the U.S.A." evoke both the Far East and Mississippi. These performances make Live in New York City more than just a souvenir of a nostalgia tour; it's a document of a great combo still burning to outdo itself.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Whoomp! (There It Is)”

    Tag Team | 1993

    Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

    More Song Stories entries »