Diehard Bruce Springsteen fans probably already know that The Boss put the E Street Band through their paces at two open rehearsals at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ earlier this week, in advance of the massive world tour that starts in Hartford on October 2. (We're still waiting and praying for an Atlanta date in '08.) Tapes of those shows are now circulating, and while it's clear that the E Streeters have some rust to shake off (especially Clarence Clemons), there's also no denying the sheer thrill of hearing the band play together again, and you just know they're going to get nice and tight after a few dates. I'm not going to post an entire show, because only mediocre audience recordings are available (and TTT is all about the soundboard, baby), but here are the first two songs from the show just two nights ago, as Bruce & Co. open with their brand new single, then charge straight into a stone-cold classic from going on 30 years ago. Rust and all, it still brings a smile, and some goosebumps.
MP3: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - "Radio Nowhere" (live in Asbury Park, Sept. 25, 2007)
MP3: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - "Prove It All Night" (live in Asbury Park, Sept. 25, 2007)
Magic is out on October 2, and you can already stream the whole record here.
UPDATE: A. O. Scott profiles Bruce Springsteen and the Magic album in the New York Times.