Bruce Springsteen has just issued Los Angeles – October 23, 1999, the latest official bootleg of his ongoing monthly archive series. The show, which was culled his 1999/2000 reunion tour with the E Street Band, marks the third pick from the historic tour, with the previous shows being Chicago – September 30th, 1999 and New York City – July 1st, 2000.
The show is notable for such rarities as the then-recent Tracks favorite “Take 'Em As They Come” serving as the show's opener, a back-to-back double-shot of '73 classics “Incident On 57th Street” and “For You,” the first solo piano version of “The Promise” in a formal concert since 1978, and a rollicking surprise encore of “Blinded By The Light.”
The tracklisting to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's 10-23-1999 Los Angeles is:
“Take 'Em As They Come,” “The Ties That Bind,” “Two Hearts,” “Adam Raised A Cain,” “Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” “The Promised Land,” “Factory,” “Independence Day,” “Youngstown,” “Murder Incorporated,” “Badlands,” “Out In The Street,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Incident On 57th Street,” “For You,” “The Ghost Of Tom Joad,” “The Promise,” “Backstreets,” “Light Of Day, “Ramrod,” “Born To Run,” “Thunder Road,” “If I Should Fall Behind,” “Land Of Hope And Dreams,” and “Blinded By The Light.”
Bruce Springsteen looks back on the reunion tour after a decade apart from the band as being one of the most meaningful of his career: “The nicest thing about it was that we were able to reconstitute the band as an ongoing, sort of creative unit, y'know? And I think that it was a great time for all of us — that was a big, big, part of our own lives, y'know? And of our audience's lives — and we wanted to live up to that thing, and we wanted to continue to serve in the fashion that we served before.”
Nils Lofgren replaced Steve Van Zandt in the E Street Band back in 1984. During the band's 1984-1985 world tour, he and Springsteen were the only guitarists on stage. Since the band's 1999 reunion, the guitar line up has expanded to Lofgren, Springsteen, Van Zandt, and Patti Scialfa. Lofgren says that the wall of guitars makes a tremendous difference in the sound of the E Street Band: “There's more depth to it. We've got four guitarists, we can do different parts, we stretch out a lot — it's just been a beautiful thing A to Z. The whole thing has just been anything I could have imagined and it's surpassed that.”
Bruce Springsteen's wife and bandmate Patti Scialfa remembers that hitting the road again with the E Street Band in the spring of '99 was a pleasure for many reasons — but mainly because the band was able to focus squarely on the job at hand: “The reunion tour — I hate to call it a reunion tour — but when we went out and played, that was a blast. It was just nice playing with everyone again. It was very powerful, and I thought Bruce was very smart not to do any interviews, so we just got to play and there weren't any questions being asked of you. It was just your playing. So your head wasn't filled with 'Why are you playing? You haven't played in 10 years' — or whatever. You're just playing because you play, and you're musicians and you're out there playing.”