Past and present unite as E Street Band members and special guests drop in on Bruce and the 1992-93 band at the penultimate show of the Human Touch/Lucky Town tour. A stirring 35-song set opens with a mini acoustic set and rolls on through key tracks from both albums plus a few rarities (“Satan’s Jeweled Crown”) before wrapping with an epic, 11-song encore extravaganza featuring Southside Johnny, Joe Ely, Little Steven, Max Weinberg, Soozie Tyrell, the Miami Horns and the Big Man himself.



  • Bruce Springsteen - Lead vocal, guitar, harmonica; Zack Alford - Drums; Roy Bittan - Piano; keyboards; Shane Fontayne - Guitar; Tommy Sims - Bass; Crystal Taliefero - Backing vocal, guitar, percussion; Gia Ciambotti - Backing vocal; Carol Dennis - Backing vocal; Cleopatra Kennedy - Backing vocal; Bobby King - Backing vocal; Angel Rogers - Backing vocal
  • Additional musicians: Clarence Clemons - Saxophone, backing vocal; Joe Ely - Guitar, vocal; Patti Scialfa - Guitar, backing vocal; Southside Johnny - Vocal, harmonica; Soozie Tyrell - Violin; Stevie Van Zandt - Guitar, backing vocal; Max Weinberg - Drums; The Miami HornsEd Manion - Baritone saxophone; Mark Pender - Trumpet; Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg - Trombone; Mike Spengler - Trumpet; Joey Stann - Tenor saxophone
  • Joe Ely plays on I Ain't Got No Home, Settle For Love and Blowin' Down This Road
  • Patti Scialfa plays on Brilliant Disguise, Human Touch, Blowin' Down This Road and Having A Party
  • Stevie Van Zandt plays on Glory Days, It's Been a Long Time, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Born To Run, Having A Party and It's All Right
  • Southside Johnny plays on It's Been A Long Time, Blowin' Down This Road, Having A Party and It's All Right
  • The Miami Horns play on It's Been A Long Time, Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Having A Party and It's All Right
  • Clarance Clemons plays on Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out and Born To Run
  • Max Weinberg plays on Jersey Girl
  • Soozie Tyrell plays on Blowin' Down This Road
  • Recorded by Toby Scott
  • Mixed by Jon Altschiller, additional engineering by Danielle Warman
  • Post Production by Brad Serling and Micah Gordon
  • Mastered by Adam Ayan Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME, December 2017
  • Artwork Design by Michelle Holme
  • Photography by Paul Natkin
  • Tour Director: George Travis
  • Jon Landau Management: Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, Jan Stabile, Alison Oscar, Laura Kraus


01. I AIN'T GOT NO HOME 04:43
02. SEEDS 03:58
04. THIS HARD LAND 04:48
05. BETTER DAYS 05:08
06. LUCKY TOWN 05:49
08. 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) 06:01
09. BADLANDS 07:12
11. MY HOMETOWN 05:40
12. LEAP OF FAITH 06:37
13. MAN'S JOB 06:35
18. HUMAN TOUCH 08:24
19. THE RIVER 06:42
22. LIVING PROOF 06:46
23. BORN IN THE U.S.A. 05:46
24. LIGHT OF DAY 17:22
26. GLORY DAYS 08:50
27. THUNDER ROAD 06:59
30. BORN TO RUN 06:28
33. HAVING A PARTY 08:32
34. JERSEY GIRL 06:03
35. IT'S ALL RIGHT 05:41


where did it all go wrong?


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Original Post

Actually not a bad show for that tour.  He was doing the acoustic intro set (which featured This Hard Land rescued from obscurity) and practically the whole E Street Band was there.  Clarence walking into 10th Ave was insanity at the time.  If it had to be one, this is the one.

I'm glad it'll be out there, for sheer historical reasons.  And it'll finally settle the quotation of just how dull those two years were, despite how much we wanted to like the show.   





Down Along The River’s Silent Edge I Soar


Bruce Springsteen
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ, June 24, 1993

By Erik Flannigan

In contrast to the periods that preceded it, the Human Touch/Lucky Town era has never established the same kind of collective characterization within Bruce Springsteen’s career narrative. We, the fans, have a consensus of opinion on, say, the Darkness tour or Europe ‘81, but 1992-93 remains more unsettled.

By definition it was an aberration, in that it broke from the norm of always touring with the E Street Band. But in hindsight, the greater aberration would have been if Bruce had never toured with other musicians.

For he was hardly alone in choosing to work without his most familiar and beloved bandmates. Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello, each to varying degrees, changed up who they recorded and toured with more than Springsteen. And like Dylan had done many times before, the 1992-93 line-up was assembled specifically as a touring band that would have to learn both old and new songs. In fact, it was Dylan’s friend and unofficial musical adviser, the late Debbie Gold who Springsteen turned to for help finding new musicians to fill some very big shoes.

The result was a diverse, multi-generational, big-band line-up that, with its five gospel-trained back-up singers, wouldn’t have looked out of place on stage with Dylan circa 1978-81. In fact, Carol Dennis had toured (and more) with Dylan and Bobby King has recorded with him. Elsewhere, Lone Justice veteran Shane Fontayne stepped in on guitar, while session musicians Tommy Sims (bass) and Zack Alford (drums) formed the rhythm section. They were augmented by multi-instrumentalist Crystal Taliefero and familiar face Roy Bittan on piano and keyboards. Gia Ciambotti, Cleopatra Kennedy and Angel Rogers rounded out the back-up singers. This was the 11-piece new band.

We can only imagine the pressure these musicians felt at the start, with the shadow of E Street looming over them, and, to be fair, when the tour kicked off in June 1992, the cohesion of a band wasn’t there yet. An 11-night run in New Jersey later that summer (not coincidentally one more than the famed 10-night stand in 1984) was a bold statement of commitment to the new, but at times the striving was palpable.

One year later, back at Brendan Byrne Arena for a benefit concert to fight hunger and kick off a two-show wrap-up to the tour, things felt decidedly different. After touring Europe a second time and having not played a stateside show in six months, Springsteen and the his band returned with newfound ease, cohesion and quiet confidence.

The June 24, 1993 show, captured on multi-tracks by Toby Scott and newly mixed by Jon Altschiller, is a fascinating listen and offers a chance to reassess the 1992-93 band at their best. It also documents the blending of past and present, as guests from E Street and adjacent neighborhoods also share the stage on this genuinely special night.

As he had begun doing so effectively in Europe, the show starts with a strong mini-acoustic set. Bruce and Joe Ely had shared each other’s stages in Dublin a month earlier, and Ely makes his first guest appearance of the night dueting on Woody Guthrie’s “I Ain’t Got No Home.” Springsteen then plays sharp solo acoustic versions of “Seeds,” “Adam Raised a Cain” and “This Hard Land” that point the way forward to The Ghost of Tom Joad two years on.

The rest of the first set (this was the last band tour with an intermission) serves as a fine showcase of new and old material and the strengths of the musicians. Soul and gospel flavors run rich in these versions of “Better Days,” “Leap of Faith,” “Roll of the Dice” (with its “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” Solomon Burke coda) and especially the vocal exchange with Bobby King on the in hindsight quite charming “Man’s Job.” The traditional “Satan’s Jewel Crown” is a particular high point and something clearly born from the singers’ gospel heritage. The rock edge is there, too. “Atlantic City” and “Lucky Town” pack the right punch, and though “Badlands” without a saxophone solo still takes some getting used to, it is well played.

The outstanding second set is sharper still, opening with an acoustic guitar and piano version of “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?” that is worth the price of the download alone. Bruce and Roy intertwine magnificently and it is but one of many moments of Bittan’s masterful playing this night. You’ll hear keyboard and piano parts throughout the show that you’ve likely never noticed before as on many songs Roy leads the way.

Elsewhere in the second set, the strength of the gospel chorus is brought to bear powerfully in compelling arrangements of “Because the Night,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain” and “Light of Day.” Patti Scialfa joins her husband for “Brilliant Disguise” and a terrific, long version of “Human Touch.” But the heart of the set lies in the three-song sequence of “Souls of the Departed,” “Living Proof” and “Born in the U.S.A.”

“Souls of the Departed” is a sober elegy, accented with audio from newscasts about the Iraq war that make its sentiments crystal clear (similar audio augmentation of “57 Channels [And Nothing On] in the first set isn’t quite as effective). It flows straight into “Living Proof,” a song of rebirth and arguably some of Bruce’s finest writing of the period. From that point of hope and renewal, the light darkens again with a Hendrix-flavored “Star-Spangled Banner” preface and “Born in the U.S.A.,” in which Bruce emotionally pleads, in manner not heard on other tours, “I got nowhere to go. I got nowhere to go. I got nowhere to run.”

The legendary encore that would see old friends like Stevie Van Zandt, Southside Johnny, Max Weinberg, the Miami Horns and Clarence Clemons take the stage largely speaks for itself. It sounds just as fun now as it surely was then. To their credit, the new band plays songs like “Glory Days” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” capably, and the performance of Joe Ely’s “Settle for Love” is a surprise highlight. A Springsteen cover of the song wouldn’t have been out of place on High Hopes.

Beyond the undeniable fun of “It’s Been a Long Time,” “Having a Party” and “It’s All Right,” two other encore songs merit attention. Like “Does This Bus Stop,” “Thunder Road” is another Bruce and Roy showcase, this time with Bittan adding sweet organ fills to Springsteen’s acoustic strumming. Finally, if a single song captures the spirit of this era, it the spiritual dream of “My Beautiful Reward,” played here with sparse beauty.

The 1992-93 tour was a shock to the system for fans at the time. But viewed through the lens of nearly two decades of a reunited E Street Band, the expanded Wrecking Ball line-up and the Seeger Sessions Band, this particular period of musical exploration now feels kindred. Meadowlands ‘93 provides a fine snapshot of a hot, soulful summer night when Springsteen’s past and present united.


where did it all go wrong?

My friends who were there that night said it was a really good show.

I had the misfortune of going the following night at MSG.  Hands down the worst out of the 100+ shows I've attended since 1980.  Terrible.  One of the few times he just totally mailed it in.  

This tour confirms for me that outside of holding an acoustic guitar in his hand,  I'm not so much a Bruce Springsteen fan as I am a fan of the E Street Band. There.  I said it. 



While I like many of the songs from the 2 albums (enough of them that it would have made for one really good album), I think it's a mix of his image from the time (the stupid vest and bedazzled guitar strap) and the band (who I am sure are excellent musicians in their own right) that I couldn't get over.

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It's been years, a lot of years (probably 24) since I've listened to anything from this tour. Now I know I haven't missed a thing. As Julius said, this band was soulless.  I'll condense this down to a single disc for any future listening.

Okay, we've got the Seeger tour and this tour out of the way. And a Joad show and Devils and Dust show. So hopefully, for the next year it will be  from everything else.


"I've done my best to live the right way"

We know is not the best period of Bruce....but it's fair we have one of this concerts in perfect quality sound...and this show was a very special show of this well done...

Now let's wait for 2018....a show of summer '81...a show of september '85...a show of december '78....a show of march '77....and another Born to Run this order...

Then will be a great 2018 year for the bootlegs download series...

Thanks to all this people involved in this fantastic historics and necessary downloads of the Bruce 's career...

Have a nice year 

I am not a fan of this band, this era, this tour.  BUT...I think the soul we find missing is primarily a lack of sax.  Musically I think the engine of the band is piano/guitar/sax--taking nothing away from Max and Gary, who are a fantastic bedrock.  Roy is there, the guitar is there, but there's a Big Man sized hole.  It was the one element that couldn't be replaced, at least for me.  Watching a (very competent) back-up singer take the BTR solo was painful.  Listening to Badlands with an additional guitar solo was close to heresy.  It mattered to the fans and it mattered musically.  It's no coincidence that after a full year on the road the defining moment of this tour came when Clarence took his 10th Ave solo in this show--it was like the air was breathed back into the stadium.  Elemental indeed.

There's no need to feel any guilt about calling this era a terrible mistake.  Given how infrequently Bruce returns to any of it, with only a couple of songs being played from the combined 24 songs with any kind of regularity, you can be assured that you aren't alone in your displeasure.  Bruce doesn't like this stuff either.  I remember one night in Jersey...the 2nd show I think...Bruce played All Or Nothin' At All and some people around me went crazy.  I stood there scratching my head, wondering what it was about this song that would make these people go insane.  And then I realized...from Bruce's quote later in an interview (years later)...he is Santa Claus in New Jersey.  He can do no wrong.  A song like All Or Nothin'...utter dreck...

There was an interview on MTV after the opening night of a bunch of fans outside the arena....and you could see the look in the eyes of the fans who had been around for a while that they really wanted to be more excited about coming from a show...but they couldn't muster it.  They offered praise...but there was so much missing. 

Bruce had to do this.  He had to go out on his own.  I get it.  I'm certain his depression had already reared its ugly head at this point in his life.  Getting out on his own, away from the comfort of the E Street Band was a must.  But let's not ever be so blind to believe that any of this music is any good.  It's not.  It's as simple as that. 

You know, I would think that since he followed Sting's lead, he would do what Sting did and actually hire some outstanding musicians with whom to tour.  Don't forget what an impact Sting had on Bruce on the Amnesty tour.  But he couldn't.  Think about who Sting hired to tour Dream of the Blue Turtles, and ...Nothing Like the Sun.  Branford M., Kenny Kirkland, Davey S et al....among the very best musicians available on the planet.  Virtuoso musicians.  And to great effect.  Bruce hired the Lone Justice guitarist (really?  Lone Justice? wtf?), the B-52's drummer, and a bass player with little-to-no resume at the time, outside his work as a bassist in a Christian rock band.  Woah.   Overwhelming.  Basically a bunch of guys he could "boss" around and do exactly what he wanted them to do.  In other words, "fellas, play these notes, exactly as I tell you".   You don't (and can't) tell Sancious, Kirkland, and Marsalis et al what to play, like you can tell Simms, Alford, and the kid with the long hair.  And why would you want to?  The idea of surrounding yourself with great musicians is to let them ADD to your music.  Why have Tommy Simms play one note for an entire song?  Why even have him on stage?  Roy could play it on a pedal.  My point is that Bruce took a chance in trying to maintain that kind of control...he had to get 2nd tier musicians...and the price was stale white bread.   I give Crystal T. credit for having the balls to play sax on Born to Run.   She was the only one on stage with any balls.   

And if I ever hear that ridiculous introduction to 57 Channels again...




Well said. The problem wasn't he wanted to play with other musicians. The problem was he chose THOSE musicians. All you have to do is listen to this show. It sounds like Bruce Springsteen backed by a Bruce Springsteen cover band. 

That whole era just sucked. It was ill-conceived and half baked. It's funny reading Erik flannigans essay trying very hard to convince us it didn't suck. 

I understand the general animosity from some towards these shows but they hold a special place for me as, due to various reasons, one of the Wembley shows was my first experience of seeing the man live.  Pre mobiles and mainstream internet I had tried in vain to get a ticket. Driving out to the shops with my wife they announced on the radio that more tickets had become available. So we parked up near a phone box and 10 minutes later had my tickets. 

The show itself was awesome to me at the time and just made me regret what I had already missed. I have attended many better shows since then but I still recall that show with great affection. 

E Street Band - the new American resistance

pk56 posted:

one of the Wembley shows was my first experience of seeing the man live.   

The show itself was awesome to me at the time

I have attended many better shows since then but I still recall that show with great affection. 

The first of the two Frankfurt shows in 1992 was my first experience of seeing the man live.

And though there were some good moments in it (the little pause before the end of the harmonica solo in "The River" stayed in mind), I have to say I was disappointed a bit and lost interest in Bruce so much that I only stumbled into him again by "accident" in 2009. I was lucky enough to score tickets then for the two MSG shows ("WIESS" and "The River"... flew in from Germany for those), and have seen some great E Street Band shows since.

I collected this show just to be able to listen to "It's been a long time" and "Having a Party". Other than that, I will avoid listening to any version of "Badlands" or whichever E Street Band Songs with this band. They might be nice musicians, not their fault that the man chose them, but their sound just points to what is missing in that era.

No. Unfortunately I cannot say that the show itself was awesome to me at the time. "57 Channels" already sucked back then. And I am sad to say that I cannot recall my first Bruce show with such great affection.

He had so many interesting ways he could have gone in the late 80's/early 90's, with so many different potential musicians. But in '88 he recruited a jaded and by most accounts, unhappy ESB into doing a tour that never really gelled.  It ended up a weird hybrid of the TOL carnival thing, and a relapse to the fist pumping BITUSA nonsense.  TOL was a good original concept, but the execution of the album and the following tour were not all that great IMHO.  I know I'm in the minority here.

Then in '92, he chose basically an inferior (and presumably, cheaper) version of the ESB to try replicate classic ESB songs.  

Bruce and the ESB clearly needed a break from each other.  But their time apart was one massively blown Bruce.  There is very little during this period that I find interesting.  By contrast, look at what Tom Petty did, and who he played with, when he periodically veered away from the Heartbreakers.

I also find it noteworthy that this period was when Steve Van Zandt had virtually nothing to do with Bruce or his music.

Thus, to me, this is considered  "the sucky period"

Whenever I see video from this era and Roy has his baseball hat on backwards,  I think of George Costanza trying to be cool with the mimbo (male bimbo) Tony on Seinfeld.  I almost expect Roy to ask Shane, "Should I make sandwiches?  Tuna?"  "Whatever,  Roy."  

I am down with the Other Band.



Julius posted:

Whenever I see video from this era and Roy has his baseball hat on backwards,  I think of George Costanza trying to be cool with the mimbo (male bimbo) Tony on Seinfeld.  I almost expect Roy to ask Shane, "Should I make sandwiches?  Tuna?"  "Whatever,  Roy."  

I am down with the Other Band.

Steve should have told Bruce to "step off" 

Listen, over 90% of Bruce's career is a freakin highlight reel.  But since he's inviting us to take a walk down the '92 - '93 section of memory lane....

-Shayne Fontayne's stage movements made me imagine what Jimmy Page would look like if he washed down a handful of muscle relaxers with a quart of gin. 

-Roy Bittan is a great, great keyboardist.  But he should have been delayed entry to the R&R hall of fame for 15 minutes as punishment for his synth playing during this period.  Pure treacle.  Makes your molars hurt.  Sounds like a bad suburban wedding keyboardist  in a powder blue tux and a mullet.  

-The black female backup singers.  Dylan did it in 1980, and we all know how that tour ranks in most people's minds. All white rock & roll boys eventually go through their phase of wanting to have a large contingent of black female singers behind them.  

-Bass & drums.  Pure cliche.  The cool black bass player with the flip-up shades who doesn't move.  The young hiply dressed dreadlocked drummer (who bashed away to a click track, ensuring that any dollop of groove that any of these songs might have had would be quickly choked out). Was there a snowstorm the day of the auditions?

-Bobby King.  Actually, a pretty good soul singer.   Kind of like a low-budget version of Sam Moore or Wilson Pickett. It gave Bruce an opportunity to shout "cmon Bobby!" a lot.

-The Crystal Chick.  Wasn't she Billy Joel's utility instrumentalist/stage cheerleader in the 80's?  I thought so..

I mean, honestly, in hindsight.....this was the really best band he could come up with? 

Julius posted:

But let's not ever be so blind to believe that any of this music is any good.  It's not.  It's as simple as that. 

Not the best period of his career, obviously. This is the only tour that I'm not sorry I missed. But however bad the tour and band may have been, to say that there was no good music from this period is a bit silly. Living Proof is superb. 

I think the idea behind Living Proof is wonderful.  The lyrics - gold.  The performance is, in my cranky old humble opinion, miserable.  The music is dull.  His voice is horrible.  He's singing a love song, for goodness sake, to his wife/son like a punk rocker would.   I almost expect him to scream at Patti like Lee Ving.  I will concede that "no good music" was hyperbole.  Let's face it, Living Proof is one of those songs we've all played to our friends who don't know Bruce's music with the caveat, "just listen to the lyrics."  If I Should Fall Behind...good stuff.  My Beautiful Reward...good stuff.   I'm struggling to find another song that I'd put in his top 150.   

Here's the thing....for every one of these good songs, there are 3 or 4 songs that aren't fit for the Eddie and the Cruisers Part 3 soundtrack.  Thus my hyperbole.  All apologies to Living Proof etc fans.  



Bobby_G posted:

Lucky Town is a solid little record.  It's the tour that followed it (along with the touring band) that most people balked at. He should have just stayed home and taken care of the cat.

I don't think it's solid top to bottom.  I think there is a lot of trash with the good here.  You were the Rea Sea, I was Moses?  What the f*ck, Bruce?  What exactly are you trying to say here.  As George Carlin would say, "You don't have to be Fellini to see what he's trying to say here."   Stupid lyric, and I always skip the song when the cd gets to that point.  Souls of the Departed...well, I'm a Gulf War vet...I don't know anybody whose story is anything remotely like young LT. Jimmy Blye (or whatever his name was) - and I served another 18 years after the Gulf War, so I know a lot of vets - I don't know anyone who relates to it..  It's song you write after watching CNN, during the commercials, trying to imagine what it might be like.  We simply didn't have young lieutenants going through the bodies of dead Iraqis on the road to Basrah.  And the music, terribly boring, and an awful lot like Living Proof and other one or two chord songs. 

After listening to the entire 6/24 show (somebody owes me a beer...seriously), I have concluded that what I dislike most about the show, and the entire tour, is his stupid, 1-2, 1-2-3-4 count-off for what seems like every stinking song.        





Julius posted:I have concluded that what I dislike most about the show, and the entire tour, is his stupid, 1-2, 1-2-3-4 count-off for what seems like every stinking song.        



And he hasn't done that again?




E Street Band - the new American resistance

ralfsturm posted:
Bobby_G posted:

"I'm a thief in the house of love and I can't be trusted"

oh boy...

I despised that one too when it was released.

But on the recording from Zurich 2016-07-31, I have to admit I really enjoy it.

Far, far removed from "The screen door slams.."

When Bruce writes songs in the first person, it's sometimes not...good.

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