London Calling – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band | DVD review

(Columbia DVD) 4.5 stars

A Bruce Springsteen concert is an unforgettable experience … and a rare event here, where his only tour was in the mid-‘80s. Despite cattle-yard conditions at the Melbourne Showgrounds, I have vivid memories of that three-hour, knockout show.

Almost 25 years on the Boss is still delivering high-energy live performances, judging from this double-DVD set featuring the new-look, post-Danny Federici E Street Band at London’s Hard Rock Calling Festival in June last year.

Deft editing dovetails 29 songs and two bonus tracks into 163 minutes. These include extended versions of old favourites such as `Badlands, `Racing In The Street’, `Rosalita’, `Jungleland’ (starring Clarence Clemons on sax) and `Dancing In the Dark’, as well as the western epic `Outlaw Pete’ and title track `Working On a Dream’ from his recent album.

The latter is a highlight as Springsteen urges the crowd to join in.

The fact that most of them weren’t alive when `Born To Run’ was first released is emphasised when he struggles to climb the steps back onstage and yells to longtime guitarist pal (and `Sopranos’ star) Steve Van Zandt, “Get me a **** ing elevator … I’m 60!’’

Sure, the Boss is a senior citizen, but on this evidence there are glory days aplenty ahead.

- Mike Daly

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