If You Make Your Home In Milan (Godfather Records G.R. 240/241)
Datchforum, Milan, Italy Nov. 28th, 2007
(Bonus Tracks) Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA Nov. 14th, 2007
CD 1: Intro, Radio Nowhere, The Ties That Bind, Lonesome Day, Gypsy Biker, Magic, Reason To Believe, Adam Raised A Cain, She’s The One, Livin’ In The Future, The Promised Land, I’ll Work For Your Love, Incident on 57th Street, The E Street Shuffle, Devil’s Arcade
CD 2: The Rising, Last To Die, Long Walk Home, Badlands, Girls In Their Summer Clothes, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Thunder Road, Born to Run, Dancing In The Dark, American Land, (Bonus Tracks – Night, Code of Silence (w/ Joe Grushecky), Backstreets, Youngstown)
Is there anybody alive out there? From the roar of the crowd Bruce definitely gets his answer and the answer is “Yes”. Radio Nowhere is a great opener and really sets the stage for a powerful show full of surprises. Although suffering from a bad cold Bruce is in good voice and doesn’t let it stop him from giving everything to the ecstatic Italian crowd. The first surprise of the night is Bruce addressing the crowd in Italian after finishing up Gypsy Biker. For this the crowd goes berserk. Adam Raised a Cain makes an appearance in the set list for the first time since the 25th of October in Oakland, CA. The band is tight and you would never know that the song hadn’t been played in over a month. Bruce addresses the crowd in Italian again for the intro to Livin’ In The Future. The band brings it down a bit for this and Max gives 3 Snare drum hits signaling the start of the song. Once the band comes in for the 2nd verse the good vibes are definitely flowing.
After I’ll Work For Your Love Bruce mentions that they’re going to play a song that some people in the audience had been requesting all night which leads into a 10+ minute version of Incident on 57th Street. This is yet another surprise of the evening as the song was not in the original setlist. Bruce then mentions that they are going to go deep into their catalog to play a song that might not have ever been played in Italy before. He then launches the band into The E Street Shuffle followed by an energetic Devil’s Arcade which closes out Disc 1.
Disc 2 begins with The Rising which goes right into Last To Die which comes close to tearing the roof off the arena. No doubt the band is definitely cookin’ at this point. Long Walk Home features the audience singing in the chorus. It’s pretty amazing how people in other countries know the words to american songs and sing them in near perfect english. Music is definitely the true international language.
Just hearing the crowd singing along to Badlands caused the goose bumps to rise on my arms. There are 2 spots during this song where there are very slight problems with the recorder. If you’re not listening closely chances are you will not even notice. After Badlands the recording fades out and then fades back in for Bruce’s introduction of Girls in Their Summer Clothes. There are a few more tiny spots of recorder problems during this track as well. The bonus tracks from Pittsburgh are not as clear as the Milan show but are still very good. Bruce mentions that Pattie is not present at this show but he welcomes his friend Joe Grushecky on stage for a duet on Code of Silence. The two voices blend well together and the intensity between the two is ever present on this recording.
Godfather Records have truly released an extraordinary audience recording of this show. All of the instruments are equally balanced and there’s never really a spot in the recording where you can hear any clapping or talking near the taper. Bruce’s vocals are crystal clear and you can understand every word he says. The artwork for this show is printed on a tri-fold gatefold sleeve and the quality of the artwork is fabulous. There are numerous color pictures of Bruce and the band onstage along with a short synapses of the concert itself. The center picture actually takes up two folds of the inside cover and consists of a shot of the band facing out towards the massive sea of people in the audience with their arms waving high in the air. This picture is definitely worth a thousand words. I’m not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan but I am very pleased with this release. I’ve always enjoyed hearing the songs on the the radio but I have never been interested in actually diving into Bruce’s back catalog of music but this show is threatening to convert me into a true fan. I’ve been listening to this release for 5 days straight and I’m not getting tired of it.
Listening to Bruce tell stories thru his music is so much more pleasurable when the recording is as good as this release. Thank you Godfather Records for creating another Bruce Springsteen fan in myself. Harley Dog (Jan ’08)