Bruce Springsteen dropped Volume 17 of his From My Home toYours radio series and a newest chapter of ongoing live album series was taped May 18th, 1997 at Nice, France’s Palais des Congrès Acropolis
The newest release from Bruce Springsteen’s official live album series is a show he played in Nice, France on May 18th, 1997. This was the tail end of the Ghost of Tom Joad tour and features a mixture of new songs like “Straight Time” and “Highway 29” with classics like “The Promised Land and “Atlantic City” and deep cuts like “Red Headed Woman’ and “Highway Patrolman.” To mark the release, the Springsteen archives shared a preview from the concert, “Murder Incorporated.”
“In the States we got a part of our population whose lives and dreams are considered expandable,” he told the crowd before playing the Born In The U.S.A. outtake. “We got murder incorporated.”
The show came 18 months into the Ghost of Tom Joad tour, which largely hit theaters and saw Springsteen play in a solo acoustic format for the first time in his professional career. It was a chance to reconnect with his core audience after his twin 1992 albums, Human Touch and Lucky Town, were met with a mixed reaction from fans and critics, and a chance to play songs that wouldn’t work in an arena setting.
Elvis Costello was in the audience at Nice’s Palais des Congrès Acropolis that night, and Springsteen dedicated the tour premiere of “You Can Look, But You Better Not Touch” to him. “Elvis is in the building, baby!” he told the crowd.
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You can feel the heartache in his voice; Springsteen sounds less like a political proselytizer and more like a loving parent, speaking to a child who has fallen for the wrong person. And you can sense that Springsteen, like that parent, would do anything he can to help those who have been hurt see the light beyond the lies and move towards a better future.
Bruce credited the inspiration for his spoken-word prayer in part to a January 14 Opinion column by David Brooks in the New York Times, “Trump Ignites War Within Church,” and he followed it with a musical prayer of his own, one that he would also offer later that night from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial: “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
“I said, ‘Well, I love the radio and I want to be on the radio, let me see what I can come up with,’” Springsteen recalled. “So I went to Loch Arbour Beach, just outside of Asbury Park, beach with my notebook and, I think, my surfboard,” he laughed.
Springsteen revisited the sardonic wisdom of grade-A songwriters Leonard Cohen and Warren Zevon. He spun Cohen’s “The Future,” a dark, fatalistic look at the state of the world in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the L.A. riots; and Zevon’s wry, tongue-in-cheek reflection on having seen it all and survived, “I Was in the House When the House Burned Down.”
Warren Zevon – “Lawyers, Guns and Money”
Leonard Cohen – “First We Take Manhattan”
Bruce Springsteen – “Land of Hope and Dreams” (Wrecking Ball album version)
Jay-Z – “Heart of the City”
Run the Jewels – “Thursday in the Danger Room” (feat. Kamasi Washington)
Green on Red – “You Couldn’t Get Arrested”
Link Wray – “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”
Neil Young – “All Along the Watchtower”
Leonard Cohen – “The Future”
Warren Zevon – “I Was in the House When the House Burned Down”
Bruce Springsteen – “Reason to Believe”
Bruce Springsteen – “House of a Thousand Guitars”