This concert features sixteen performances that were originally broadcast on MTV Unplugged on November 11, 1992, plus three bonus tracks: "Living Proof", "If I Should Fall Behind" and "Roll Of The Dice." It contains the first appearance in any format of "
Another superb live performance in a career filled with them, MTV Unplugged: Bruce Springsteen in Concert (Plugged) finds the Boss at an interesting point in his life, musically and otherwise. Working without the E Street Band (except keyboardist Roy Bittan) for the time being, having divorced one wife and married another (singer and bandmate Patty Scialfa), Springsteen had released Human Touch and Lucky Town, two "solo" records, about eight months before this November 1992 MTV appearance. Selections from those two underrated albums account for over half of this 114-minute set's 19 songs (including three that weren't part of the original broadcast), and while Bruce is still Bruce ("Human Touch," for instance, is a classic Springsteen song), some changes are definitely apparent. He has always been an impassioned performer, but he seems genuinely energized by the presence of Scialfa (can "Red-Headed Woman" be about anyone but her?) and his young new band, including guitarist Shane Fontayne, drummer Zachary Alford, and no less than five backup singers. These folks rock their butts off, basically, especially on a wild, extended version of "Light of Day"; there's even some experimentation happening, like the various sound effects added to "57 Channels (and Nothin' On)." OK, so there's no "Born in the U.S.A." or "Born to Run"; as far as standards go, you'll have to be satisfied with "Atlantic City," "Glory Days," and an acoustic "Thunder Road" (Live in New York City, another superb DVD, is heavier on the hits). Anyway you slice it, Plugged is another welcome addition to the Springsteen catalog. --Sam Graham