A legendary performance and a highly coveted Black & White proshot video by collectors, this Capitol Theatre tape gets renewed life with this superbly wrapped edition by Apocalypse Sound.
Prior to having this version come through the underground in very stylish fashion, the best versions were fan-produced. The best of which - and most recent I believe - was a couple of years ago where a hard-core Springsteen collector spent weeks tweaking the contrast and synching up the WNEW broadcast to this closed-circuit feed. It was a fantastic job and at first that is the version from the net that I thought was leveraged for this title from Apocalypse Sound. Upon comparison that is not the case as we don't have the tape/progress bar at the bottom of the screen and the clarity through the core of the show is greatly improved - further. That particular fan-produced and torrented to the masses version also included the soundcheck footage (incl: "Wedding Bells", "The Ties That Bind", "Good Rockin' Tonight", "Point Blank" and "Kitty's Back"). This new title does not include this footage. The show has also been released on numerous DVD-R iterations and one of those, a very good one pre-"remastering", is the Hot Stuff version which I reviewed here on HotWacks back in 2004:
I recommend picking up this new "Piece The Resistance" from AS but those that aren't familiar with the tape need to understand the quality of the Capitol Theatre tapes that are in circulation. They are all Black and White, shadowy, and have lots of glare from the camera equipment and lighting. Our self-proclaimed remasterers had their work cut out for them and it's very clear that the first 15-20 minutes of footage couldn't be improved all that much due to tape wear, etc. I suppose. So, you need to give this one time to show it's stuff and by "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" you will start experiencing the fruits of the labor. This is great stuff and there is no question anybody snapping it up will thoroughly enjoy it. The FM broadcast audio track has never sounded better but the synching gets out of step for about 30 seconds during the intro to "Racing In The Street". You will also notice some slight tracking problems with the source tape around some of the fade-in and out segues but nothing prolonged or even disruptive for that matter.
The packaging is appropriately stellar for this classic piece, utilizing wonderful black and white live shots of the band onstage circa the Darkness Tour. I think this is a perfectly timed release as we get ready to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Album this July 2nd and the expected anniversary release from the Columbia Archives. We can only hope that it lives up to the standard they set with the 30th Anniversary Born To Run edition and that awesome Hammersmith Odeon DVD. I think we are safe to think that this September '78 Captiol Theatre footage won't be of the standard they are looking to include and most feel the Largo footage is the leading candidate since those tapes are known to be in the archive. We'll see. Until then, enjoy "Piece The Resistance" and play it LOUD!