Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
May 23, 1988
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
KT Master via JEMS
Torrented on Jungleland 2018-02-21
Lineage: KT analog master cassettes (microphones and recorder unknown) > DAT > Fostex D-5 > Audacity 2.0 capture at 16/48 > iZotope RX (MBIT+ resample to 16/44.1) > .wav > Nuendo 4 (processing) > Adobe Audition 3 (patches) > Tracks Split > Trader's Little Helper (flac)
1. Tunnel of Love
2. Boom Boom
3. Be True
4. Adam Raised a Cain
5. Two Faces
6. All That Heaven Will Allow
8. Vigilante Man
9. Cover Me
10. Brilliant Disguise
11. Spare Parts
13. Born in the USA
14. Tougher Than the Rest
15. Ain't Got You --> She's the One
16. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
17. I'm a Coward
18. I'm on Fire
19. One Step Up
20. Part Man Part Monkey
22. Light of Day (with Born to be Wild)
23. Born to Run
24. Hungry Heart
25. Glory Days
26. Have Love Will Travel
27. 10th Avenue Freezeout
28. Sweet Soul Music
29. Raise Your Hand
30. Lonely Teardrops
Patches from secondary source:
Vigilante Man: 1:05 to 2:03
Tougher Than the Rest: Last 5 seconds
Ain't Got You: First 6 seconds (drum beat only)
10th Avenue Freezeout: :08 to :27
Lonely Teardrops: 3:33 to 3:48
Suggested disc splits:
Disc 1: Tracks 1-10
Disc 2: Tracks 11-20
Disc 3: Tracks 21-30
(While Disc 1 could go through War, I prefer not split up the trio of Spare Parts/War/USA)
These DAT tapes are among the thousands of DATs that were relocated to JEMS South following the death of the late, great J in JEMS, Jared Houser, in October 2016. In addition to the hundreds of shows he recorded on the format himself starting in the summer of 1989, Jared began getting transfers of analog masters on DAT from tapers themselves. He called these Analog Master Clones, as they were digital captures of the analog masters in a non-degraded format as DAT had no generational loss. At the time, this was the best possible copy of an analog master we could make.
Jared made a lot of these kinds of taper trades on DAT, and this one came from Springsteen taper KT, who didn’t do a lot of trading and hence his recordings of shows aren’t in wide circulation. He recorded the final two nights of the five-show run at Madison Square Garden that wrapped the US leg of the Tunnel of Love tour.
The tour was generally well recorded, but tapes of this and other MSG shows have always been medicore. We believe this new KT source is the best recording of the show to emerge so far. It is a little on the thin side, a little on the distant side compared to the very best ToL Tour tapes, but still quite nice. Samples provided. While I leave it to Flynn to talk about the merits of the set overall, I find the shows of this period to be compelling and you can’t help but love the cover of Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops” that debuted during this run and closes the show.
BK for JEMS
The U.S. leg of the 1988 Tunnel of Love Express Tour concluded with five shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and if earlier shows on the tour were lukewarm, these shows were scorching, especially the last one from May 23, 1988, now presented in a recording that is a substantial upgrade.
When Bruce sings the first line of the opening “Tunnel of Love,” there is an extra edge in his voice, an edge not present at most shows on the tour, a sign of what was to come. “Boom Boom,” added to the set two weeks earlier between “Tunnel of Love” and “Be True,” injected the early part of the show with a much-needed dose of raw sexuality, with Bruce howling and growling in his best John Lee Hooker voice. The blues influence didn’t stop there, as Bruce added -- for the first time -- a few lines from Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man” into the end of “Adam Raised a Cain,” which would become a regular occurrence throughout the rest of the tour. Along those lines, but not unique to this show, Bruce also dropped a few lines from the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” into the end of “Cover Me.”
It was Nils Lofgren’s turn to drop some blues licks in “Vigilante Man,” performed in the “Roulette” slot between “Seeds” and “Cover Me.” “Vigilante Man” made its live debut two shows earlier and was one of a handful of unique covers played during the Garden stand, another of which, “Lonely Teardrops,” closes this show.
Bruce showed off his own guitar prowess at the end of “Born in the USA,” taking an extended solo with the enthusiastic crowd singing the song’s refrain to end the first set.
The highlights of the second set were the last two songs: a beautiful “Backstreets” that Bruce dedicated to “all our old fans out there,” and a roaring “Light of Day” that included alternate lyrics (“coming down the highway like rollin’ thunder”) and a good chunk of the Steppenwolf classic “Born to be Wild” in the bridge just before the band introductions that had the crowd going insane. To my ears, this is one of the best “Light of Day” performances ever.
Sure, “Dancing in the Dark” and “Rosalita” were surprisingly dropped from the last few shows of the US leg, but the encores still packed a horn-led punch with “Have Love Will Travel” leading off the second encore (the band didn’t even leave the stage after “Glory Days”), followed by “10th Avenue Freezeout,” “Sweet Soul Music,” and tour regular “Raise Your Hand.” But the closing cover of Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops” ranks as one of the best covers of all time (yes, even after the “Stump the Band” segments from the late ‘00s), as Bruce delivers one of his most passionate vocals and the E Street Band, especially the Horns of Love, nailed it. A perfect ending to a great show (one that I hope will eventually see a Nugs release).
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band