Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Live At The Main Point, 1975

Must-have memento of the early days

This benefit show for a modest
300-capacity Philadelphia
venue, originally broadcast by
local radio, finds Springsteen on
the cusp of greatness. The
release of Born To Run was still
six months away, but the epic
surge of the E Street Band on
the live stage is clearly making
itself known.

There remains a bit of
tweaking to be done on a few
songs (Thunder Road is billed
as Wings For Wheels, its female
protagonist called Angelina as
opposed to the more familiar
Mary), though the sheer energy
of She’s The One and
Jungleland astonishes in its
power and momentum.
Springsteen’s charismatic hold
over stadium crowds is a given
these days, so it’s particularly
revealing to hear him work a
more intimate gathering: part
preacher, part poet.

As always with The Boss,
there’s room for a well-chosen
cover or two, and an initially
reserved reading of Bob
Dylan’s I Want You benefits
from Roy Bittan’s delicate
piano lines and Suki Lahav’s
soothing violin, building to a crescendo of cinematic
proportions. Springsteen rarely
disappoints in concert but, 36
years on, this gig stands as
one of his most thrilling
performances.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Leftfield | LFM2CD 503 (2-CD)

Reviewed by Terry Staunton
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