An American Santa In Paris (Godfather GR-251/252)
December 17th, 2007 Palais Omnisports De Bercy, Paris, France – December 17th, 2007
DISC ONE: Intro, Radio Nowhere, No Surrender, Night, Lonesome Day, Gypsy Biker, Magic, Reason to Believe, Because the Night, She’s the One, Livin’ in the Future, The Promised Land / People Get Ready, Waitin’ on a Sunny Day, The River, Devil’s Arcade
DISC TWO: The Rising, Last to Die, Long Walk Home, Badlands, Girls in Their Summer Clothes, Jungleland, Born to Run, Dancing in the Dark (w/ Elliott Murphy), American Land, Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town. Bonus Tracks (from Antwerp , Belgium , Sport Palies, December 12, 2007): Working on the Highway, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
35 years later, and there’s still nobody that can match the energy and showmanship of Bruce Springsteen. Recorded very clearly from the audience, and housed in a nice foldout digipak, the Boss and his E Street Bandmates bring the rock for one memorable night in Paris, covering all the expected bases, plus an ample serving of his recent ‘Magic’ album, and even offering a couple of tracks from the previous E-Streeter, ‘The Rising.’
The audience participation is quite high on this recording – the Parisians know their Springsteen, and are happy to share that familiarity with the listener on pretty much most of the concert. The ‘Magic’ songs are treated with more of a hushed reverence – perhaps they haven’t had time to memorize the words – which is due for the more melancholy nature of the material. As Bruce himself says from the stage, the songs are less about ‘Magic than tricks.’
Disc Two begins with ‘The Rising’ title track and two new ‘Magic’ songs, ‘Last to Die’ and ‘Long Walk Home,’ before kicking the audience into gear with fan fave ‘ Badlands .’ The encore break (faded out on the disc) follows before the band comes back out with ‘Jungleland,’ which begins slightly off-key, before coming together in epic fashion – 33 years since its release, this song never fails to inspire. As the liner notes point out, the Boss in Paris isn’t complete without old friend Elliott Murphy, and sure enough, he comes on stage for ‘Dancing in the Dark.’
Perhaps the best reason to purchase this set is for the seasonal performance of ‘Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,’ which closes the concert on a high note. Godfather tags two bonus tracks to close out disc two from a concert in Belgium five days earlier – unnecessary, but, certainly not unwelcome.