The E Street Band (from left) Danny Federici, Max Weinberg, Nils Lofgren, Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Steven Van Zandt, & Garry W. Tallent
After going their seperate ways following the Tunnel of Love tour, Bruce Springsteen first decided to reunite with the E Street Band in 1995 to record new tracks for his Greatest Hits record. Some of these tracks ended up on the Blood Brothers EP and documentary, which you can read about in another post on this blog here.
A tour was discussed and by some accounts all set to go forward, but Bruce decided to wait, taking time to record an acoustic album The Ghost of Tom Joad and to embark on a solo tour in support of it. The Tom Joad tour was excellent and it was an important step in Bruce's development as an artist. Additionally, time away from the band for the other members of E Street allowed them the chance to grow and develop their skills and bring a lot back to the table when it was finally time for the reunion tour in 1999, shortly after Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Springsteen referred to the tour as the "rebirth and rededication of our band and our commitment to serve you." They did so by performing the best music of their career together.
This was especially evident in the now three guitar attack of Springsteen, Nils Lofgren, and the returning Steven Van Zandt. Most notably, this was demonstrated in the one-two punch of "Youngstown" and "Murder Incorporated," shown here in the DVD Live in New York City.
Springsteen also used different arrangements of old songs to cast them in a new light. The best example of this was an acoustic and powerfully poignant rendition of "Born in the USA," also from the Live in New York City DVD.
My favorite video from the Reunion Tour didn't occur live on stage, but was produced on a soundstage and served as a nice ending to the DVD release of the Bruce Springsteen Video Anthology. Here is the entire band joining in on a brilliant, moving reworking of "If I Should Fall Behind."
The audio for this performance is the opening track on this compilation I put together of some of the best moments from the E Street Band's Reunion Tour.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Reunion Tour Rarities
01 - If I Should Fall Behind (from Video Anthology DVD)
02 - Racing in the Street (10/26/99 Oakland, CA)
03 - Light of Day (10/23/99 Los Angeles, CA)
04 - The Ghost of Tom Joad (10/23/99 Los Angeles, CA)
05 - Roulette (5/08/00 Hartford, CT)
06 - Honky Tonk Women/Darlington County (5/08/00 Hartford, CT)
07 - New York City Serenade (6/20/00 MSG - NY, NY)
08 - The Promise (7/01/00 MSG - NY, NY)
09 - Blood Brothers (7/01/00 MSG - NY, NY)
10 - American Skin (41 Shots) (Studio)
If you want to hear more, I'd encourage you to seek out the full shows that these tracks appear on at the Bruce Springsteen MP3 Bootleg Index here.
Thanks for checking this out. Look for a future post that focuses on live renditions of songs from the box set Tracks during this tour coming soon.