Code Of Silence (Bonus Track: w/Joe Grushecky - Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, PA - November 14, 2007)
Jackson Cage (Bonus Track: Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI - November 5, 2007)
The fourth title in Crystal Cat's batch of March European Magic Tour releases for 2008, and from a recording standpoint the weakest of the five.
The quality is that very fine line that we would probably make between "excellent" and "superb". There is just a lack of atmosphere in this one after giving the others a run-through and the tape doesn't really reflect some of the excitement and emotion being experienced onstage, rather keeping it sounding 'routine' and workman-like. The setlist here sees a few change-ups from the last stop in Belfast with "Night" and "No Surrender" inserted after "Radio Nowhere". There are highlights for sure and "Because The Night" is it for me upon this listen. Brilliant. The "Promised Land/People Get Ready" reading is nice. From an event standpoint, the appearance of Eliott Murphy onstage to lend a voice and guitar to "Dancing In The Dark" was no doubt expected here in Paris but always fun when a special guest emerges from the wings. Of course, the nearing Christmas Holiday and the mood is evident and peaking at this juncture, making "Santa Claus..." as rousing as you could expect.
The bonus tracks mesh nicely with the core tape, presenting another haunting rendition of "Code Of Silence" from the November 14th Pittsburgh show with guest Joe Grushecky (Joe Grushecky And The Houserockers are a native-Pittsburgh band and Joe is very good friends with Bruce). The rarity "Jackson Cage", extracted from the excellent Auburn Hills, Michigan tape is a cool bonus too.
The packaging and presentation is right up there with the best of anything Crystal Cat has ever presented, providing an 8-page deluxe glossy booklet with some stellar performance shots of the band - all seemingly taken at the Paris gig, very nice and are outstanding in every way. There is also a glossy insert with a copy of the actual hand-scrawled setlist on one side and the 2007 tour dates on the other. This standard is replicated throughout these five new titles in the batch. A superb Paris souvenir but not an essential Magic Tour title to pick up.