Certain Songs #146: Bruce Springsteen – “Two Hearts (Live in NYC 2000)”


Album: Live in New York City.

Year: 2000.

Two hearts? More like two chords, amiright? And it may have been the simplicity of this song – located on The River between “Sherry Darling” and “Independence Day” – that caused me to overlook it until it just totally exploded out of the reunion tour live album.

After over a decade wandering in the wilderness, releasing a few bland, boring records (though Lucky Town is pretty good), Bruce reconvened the E Street Band, including – most importantly for this song – newly minted TV star Steven Van Zant, always a more dynamic personality than Nils Lofgren.

The difference: Nils was a middle manager, but Little Steven was at least the CTO. And he was exactly what Bruce needed to rejuvenate, well, everything.

For example, on the DVD of Live in NYC 2000, you can tell just how fun they’re having singing this song together. Not only is it fun to watch, it’s thematically appropriate for the song:

Once I spent my time playing tough guy scenes
But I was living in a world of childish dreams
Someday these childish dreams must end
To become a man and grow up to dream again
Now I believe in the end
Two hearts girl get the job done
Two hearts are better than one
Two hearts are better than one

And in fact, this is yet another one that is put over for me by Van Zant’s backing vocals (so much Keef there!), and clearly Bruce recognizes that. So much so that they stops the song at the end so they can sing a Marvin Gaye song nearly acapella:

It takes two, baby
It takes two
Me and you, baby
It just takes two

before slamming back into the song again.

It’s not epic or nothing, but the love and respect in this performance makes this one of my very favorite Springsteen performances.

“Two Hearts” performed live in NYC in 2000 on Spotify

“Two Hearts” performed live (NOT IN NYC) in 2000

My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist:

Every “Certain Song” Ever

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