The Boss comes into Spain like a matador meeting his match in the Plaza de toros. After each member of his cuadrilla enters the stage, BRUUUUCE emerges. All at once, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band fall right into "The Rising" and the crowd inside the Palau Saint Jordi are on their feet. For next three hours, they are treated to barnstormers like "Prove It All Night," "Badlands," Born To Run," "Born in the U.S.A." and a huge chunk of 2002’s The Rising album. The entire concert, taken from October 16, 2002, is now available as a two DVD set. The aptly entitled Live In Barcelona draws you into the world of Springsteen as he and his band jump through hoops, stand on their heads, and astound the Spanish audience with their every move. While it sometimes appears a bit congested on stage, the spirit and energy of the performances takes over and spreads like wildfire. The audience becomes putty in Springsteen's hands as they chant his name and sing along with all the giant choruses.
Some of the most impressive moments take place when the newer songs are played. "Lonesome Day," "Waitin' For A Sunny Day" "Mary's Place," and "My City Of Ruins" are like old chestnuts, delivered with the sort of intensity Springsteen is famous for. The pace relents and each musician attunes his or her sense of contribution, becoming more refined for the solemn "Empty Sky," "You're Missing," "Worlds Apart" and "Into The Fire." As usual, the E Street Band is untouchable. Roy Bittan's passionate piano work opens up and swallows "The Promised Land" and "She's The One." Guitarist Nil Lofgren is the consummate utility man, while drummer Max Weinberg holds down the beat in a commanding style that demands attention. Clarence Clemons and "Little" Steven Van Zant are cool guys to have around, even when they aren't doing anything useful. Live In Barcelona includes a bonus featurette, Drop The Needle & Pray: The Rising On Tour, brimming with live footage, interviews with band members, and a few really nifty photographs. At under $20, this disc is a bargain no self-respecting BRUUUUCE fan should pass up.
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