BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and the E STREET BAND – ” If I Was The Priest ” Houston Texas 14th February 2023

Posted: February 17, 2023 in MUSIC

“Remember, thou art mortal.” That ancient Roman warning wouldn’t seem to apply to Bruce Springsteen, whose Herculean shows with the E Street Band belie his age. And even though the man has moved past the need to talk about his childhood and his complicated relationship with his father, as was often the case earlier in his career , he clearly hasn’t lost his ability to hold an audience in the palm of his hand.

Bruce Springsteen estimates he wrote the song “If I Was The Priest” in 1970 or 1971, and he sometimes played it with the E Street Band at shows up until 1972. After that, the Boss sidelined the song for almost five decades until re-recording it for 2020’s “Letter To You” album. And now, finally, it has returned to their setlist after 51 years.

As reports, Tuesday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, the E Street Band played “If I Was The Priest” for the first time since May 5th, 1972 at the 300-capacity Gaslight au Go Go nightclub in New York. (From Cinco de Mayo to Valentine’s Day!) Before the performance, Springsteen told the crowd he wrote the song when he was 22 and “I still don’t have a clue what the fuck it’s about.” 

Some fans noted that the song was also not on the printed setlist.

“Yet perhaps the most interesting celebration of Springsteen’s life and legacy comes not through his modern musings on death and dying, but in his inclusion of a trio of songs from his past.”

It went on: ”Hearing a man in his 70s singing songs he wrote when he was in his 20s is an interesting experience, not least for Springsteen himself, who recently told the New York Times: ‘It’s fun to go back and see how wild my lyric writing was, and how uninhibited it was at a certain moment, and to be able to take that and bring it into the present with the band, and sing it in my voice right now. [It] was a bit of a joy ride‘.”

‘If I Was The Priest’ existed for decades a bootleg demo before it was officially re-recorded with the E Street Band and released in 2020 on 20th album ‘Letter To You’.

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