Bruce Springsteen - A Gentleman In Verona Live (2 DVDs)
1-I'm On Fire
2-Because The Night
3-Prove It All Night
6-Who'll Stop The Rain?
7-Souls Of The Departed
8-Born In The USA
9-Light Of Day
4-Born To Run
5-My Beautiful Reward
6-Rockin’ All Over The World
7-Workin’ On The Highway
8-Born To Be Wild (01-06-93 - Oslo - Norway)
This transitional period in Bruce’s career is much maligned by some fans but this
performance showcases the “Other Band” after a year on the road and the DVD reveals a very competent musical outfit. The band could never hope to engender the same emotional connection with the fans as its E-Street equivalents but no-one in Verona that night would have thought anything other than they had seen a great show; the encore in particular is excellent with “My Beautiful Reward” and “ Workin’ On the Highway” being notable highlights. Special mention too for a very nice acoustic version of “Thunder Road”.
As is the norm with HOJO, the production is of high quality and the Shakespearian theme is a nice touch. The video is excellent, particularly considering its age, and contains enough audience shots to ensure it doesn’t feel sterile. Unfortunately, the audio doesn’t quite reach the same standard. HOJO cleaned up the original audio to remove the hiss which marred the overall sound. It was then remixed with audience recordings to add a little atmosphere and try to overcome the distortion on the original source, presumably as a result of the audio level being set too high when it was recorded. The extent to which the distortion is still noticeable and will irritate may depend on viewers’ equipment or audio set-up; this reviewer found it difficult to listen to at certain moments on his PC but experienced no such problems when viewing the show through the magic of television.
Whatever the case, the finished mix is a significant improvement on the original source recording and audio collectors should note it has also been made available on CD. For the purists, the original soundtrack is available as optional audio on the DVD.
The bonus video features a performance from Oslo on the final night of the 1993 European tour. Featuring Warren Kaye, aka roadie “Chainsaw, on guitar and lead vocals, it is, frankly, scary and shouldn’t be viewed by anyone with a weak heart- ever wanted to see Roy Bittan or Shayne Fontayne “headbanging”?! You may even be thankful next time Wolfgang Niedecken or Terrence Trent D’Arby shares the stage with Bruce!