1973-07-23 Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY (Early)

Scheduled: ??:?? Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

First of two shows, double bill, with Springsteen and band headlining and The Wailers (line-up including Bob Marley and Peter Tosh) opening. The above-mentioned setlist details for the early show are culled from an 50-minute audience recording of very good sound quality that has been in circulation (with widely varying levels of completeness) for over 25 years. This recording has historically been attributed to July 18, 1973, but it's actually from this night. The taper (George) takes up the story and writes down this piece of Bruce history: "I decided to borrow my mom's portable Sony stereo cassette recorder to tape the show. I also (unfortunately) brought only one cassette - A TDK C-90SD (which I still have to this day). I made sure that the batteries were fresh and I was ready to document the event. The mic was a stereo mic so my goal was to sit in the middle of the room. I didn't think that this would be a problem since, as I said, there was literally no one in the club the night before. I figured that I would pay for my own ticket for the Monday night show and didn't even bother to call my friend at Columbia and get my name on the list again. The club was upstairs from the main Max's room and when we get to the club and climbed the stairs I was shocked to see that the club was full of people. I thought to myself "where the hell did all of these people come from" started worrying that it may be sold out and we may not get in. The guy at the door told us that he could seat the three of us but that we were going to have to sit in the front row! He led us to the front and sat is in the center seats (my seat was about three feet in front of the center stage mic). My mind was racing like crazy. Because of the placement of the PA speakers (they were hung right above the stage angled slightly down) the "vocal" sound was not going to be the best sitting that close to the stage (the "prime" spot for a good vocal sound would have been 5 rows back). I also was freaking because I didn't know what I was going to do with the mic. It wouldn't be very discreet of me if I held the mic up in front of me since (as I said) the mic stand was right in front of me and Bruce would plainly see that I was taping him! I should have brought a second cassette to tape Marley but, alas, I didn't. I didn't want to risk running out of tape by recording the Marley/Wailers set on my lone cassette so I (regretfully) didn't and saved the tape for Springsteen. Sitting that close to Marley was an experience like none other I have experienced before or since. I received a one-on-one lesson in reggae from the master himself! I'm sure it was helped by the constant thick smoke coming off the stage directly into my face! I will also never forget that at one point in Bob's set he shook his hair and his perspiration flew all over me. Some might say that was my reggae baptism. I was pretty blitzed by the end of his set and totally ready for Bruce. I tried to "hide" the mic by holding it near my crotch rather than shoving it right in front of Bruce's face. Another regret that I have is that I didn't let the recording go on uninterrupted. I would have normally not stopped the tape after each song. Since the recorder and mic had been originally designed for office dictation, the mic had an on/off switch which stopped the recorder but left it in the record mode. This created a "wowing" effect at the turn off and turn on points of the recording (note: this is why the circulating recordings are cut at the start and finish so severely). I didn't know how long BS would play and I, as I said, I was in an altered state, so I worried that that one C90 tape was not going to be enough to get the entire show. Given the eventual length of the set it was an unwarranted fear but at that moment I was not thinking clearly. The show was, again, amazing. Bruce worked the full room to the fullest and was funny, animated, charismatic and even better that the night before. The set (as captured on my tape) was New York City Serenade / Sandy / Spirit In The Night / Does This Bus Stop At 82nd St / Something You Got / Zero And Blind Terry / Thundercrack. My friends were knocked out and became life-long fans. I was convinced that I had seen the greatest performer that had ever existed and, like any true convert, began spreading the word to anyone who would listen to me."



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