Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band Live in Dublin

Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band Live in Dublin

God damn does Bruce Springsteen have a lot of fun playing with the Sessions Band. If it wasn’t already clear from the brilliant 2006 studio album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, Live in Dublin hammers the point home: the E Street Band are rock’s teen spirit, the Sessions band are frisky old folk. There’s just so much power in the performances here — stirring adaptations of both historical folk songs and Springsteen’s work. Drawing from all manner of American musical forms, including country, jazz and gospel, Springsteen and friends feed off the crowd to propel songs like "Mrs. McGrath” and "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live” forward despite their weighty subject matter. Classics like "Atlantic City” and "Blinded by the Light” are given interesting new legs, while younger songs like "Further On (Up the Road)” and "Long Time Comin’” shine in different forms. An infectious affair, it’s impossible to lose "Old Dan Tucker” and "Open All Night” once they enter the brain; it’s as if the record swallows you up into the show. Live in Dublin is truly mesmerising from beginning to end, highlighting one of the most distinctly enjoyable periods of Bruce Springsteen’s career. (Columbia)