Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Springsteen and the E.Street Band’

DYNAMIC LATE 1980S BROADCAST FROM THE TUNNEL OF LOVE TOUR For Bruce Springsteen, the 1980s were as turbulent as they were rewarding and accomplished. The release of 84 s Born In The U.S.A. and the quintuple live LP collection Live/1975-85 were met with the kind of success very few music artists ever achieve. Selling in excess of 50 million copies combined (and counting), their respective triumphs and the subsequent media frenzy pushed Springsteen onto rock s top table, and between 15th June and 10th August 1985, every one of his seven studio albums featured on the UK Albums Chart, the first time in history that an artist s entire catalogue had charted simultaneously. His 1980s output concluded on a surprisingly sombre note however, with the release of Tunnel Of Love in 1987, an album on which Springsteen recorded most of the instruments himself with only occasional appearances from members of the E Street Band. The tone was more subdued than his mid-decade output, reflecting on his failing marriage to Julianne Phillips through slower, reflective ballads. But, while nowhere near as successful as Born… or Live…, the record still garnered a respectable four million sales worldwide. In 1988, Springsteen and the E Street Band embarked on the Tunnel Of Love Express Tour, which further bemused his faithful audience. In comparison to the Born In The U.S.A. Tour, each show began more theatrically with the band entering to the sound of a five piece horn section. The band s usual positions on the stage were switched, and backing vocalist Patti Scialfa – whose relationship with Springsteen would be made public during the European leg of the tour – took centre stage. Spontaneous onstage antics were also kept to a minimum. Many of Springsteen’s most popular live numbers were dropped completely from his now shorter sets, replaced by a selection of B-sides, previously unreleased tunes and covers. In spite of this though, the shows were warmly received by critics and fans alike, with Springsteen s Rocking The Wall performance in East Germany on 19th July, before an audience of 300,000, becoming recognised as one of the most historically important concerts of the era. The gig included on this CD was recorded on 3rd July 88 at Stockholm s Olympic Stadium. Simultaneously broadcast across FM radio in exceptional audio quality, Springsteen mixes some older numbers – The River , Adam Raised A Cain , Born In The U.S.A. – with a selection from Tunnel Of Love, as well as playing covers from the likes of John Lee Hooker and Edwin Starr. The result, which thanks to this release can now be heard by all, is a truly dynamic, albeit unconventional, live performance by Bruce and the E Street-ers.

Bruce Springsteen, Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band (1975) | via

Of the dozens of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band shows in Philly over the years, many are legend. The Main Point shows from 1973-1975 that earned the rocker high marks in Philly, one of the first cities around the country that embraced his music. Then there are the four shows he played at the Tower Theatre – December 27, 28, 30, 31 – in 1975 that were epic.

Bruce Springsteen played two shows at the Tower in November 1974, but fans would have to wait 13 months to see him again in Philly. On December 27, 28, 30 and 31, 1975, Bruce and the band took over the Tower Theatre for four absolutely stunning shows. It had been a little more than two years since Bruce released The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, and nine months before the release of Born To Run, even though songs like the title track, “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” “She’s The One,” “Jungleland,” and “Backstreets” had become set list staples by the time he returned to Philly in 1975.


01. Night
02. 10th Avenue Freeze Out
03. Spirit In The Night
04. Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?
05. Its My Life
06. She’s The One
07. Born To Run
08. Its Gonna Work Out Fine
09. Growin’ Up
10. Saint In The City
11. Backstreets
12. Mountain Of Love
13. Jungleland
14. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
15. 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
16. Detroit Medley
17. Thunder Road
18. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
19. Quarter To Three
20. For You
21. Twist and Shout / Killer Joe

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It was one of the smallest arenas ever that Bruce Springsteen  and the E Street Band played , the show was awesome and the sound was great. The video editing took weeks but it was the soundtrack which “arrived” late and made the wait even longer. But everybody agreed in the end: It was worth the wait. I have released many full show videos prior to this one but this one turned out to be the greatest video of all times. Proud and happy Olli, contributors and fans.
This upload is my first full show upload in HD and looks much better than all previous uploads but it is still far from blu-ray quality. I, like many others, prefer watching this video to any official video from 2000 or later. The official ones either have bad sound (Barcelona), are screwed up and miss on a lot of potential (Live in New York City), or are simply lazy choices (Hyde Park) that do not do justice to the world’s greatest live performer.
This is the video I watch when I want to see a show from after 1999.
A killer setlist with so many highlights: Roulette, Thundercrack, Local hero, Gotta get that feeling, Bad moon rising, Secret Garden...Wow. What a night!

Bruce seemed to be in a certain mood from the first song he belted out, and I don’t think it was from the parking tickets his tour trucks had been issued with earlier in the day. It was dark, hot and steamy, lights were flashing, the crowd had been craving this moment for months. Bruce played ‘Roulette’ with energy, passion and emotion like I’ve never seen before. The crowd around me matched it. ‘My Love Will Not Let You Down’ and ‘No Surrender’ had us jumping up and down, limbs flying, sticky skinned and red faced already, we realised this much hyped date wasn’t going to disappoint.
A slower ‘Something In The Night’ led into a haunting ‘American Skin’, even more powerful than normal in this small dark venue, with insane acoustics. We clung on to every word Bruce sang.
Bruce kept the crowd bopping and singing with ‘Hungry Heart’, where he went for a wander and treated the other standing fans to some handshakes, funny faces and microphone grabbing before a moment of “will he won’t he” (of course he will) before he launched himself backwards, crowd surfing directly over us, back to the stage where Jake was loyally waiting for him. Next we were treated to three tour debuts in a row, the rarely played ‘Local Hero’, ‘Gotta Get That Feeling’ (for Steve Van Zandt, although I can personally vouch that we enjoyed it too) before an unrehearsed ‘Bad Moon Rising’ for some fans from Spain, who’d been trailing that sign behind them across Europe. After a little bit of practice they got into key and made these two hopeful Spanish fans and the rest of us dance happily hand in hand, with beaming smiles

Another unexpected treat came from the sign request for ‘Thundercrack’, where Bruce explained that once upon a time the song had been their show stopper, when they used to open for other bands. He admitted “we may not get through the middle of it” due to it’s trickiness, but we didn’t doubt they’d manage it.
Despite getting hotter and hotter in the pit, a beautiful and quite rare ‘This Depression’ turned my skin cold, with such simple lyrics sung to us so well. ‘Because The Night’ was better than ever, before a fun ‘Darlington County’, when Bruce headed to the back of the pit again, sending fans into a frenzy of excitement.

As we started to reach boiling point, throughout the set Bruce kept returning to the pit crowd, handing out pints of his own luminous blue drink to us fans without taking any for himself. It was a simple gesture but one that has stuck in my mind. Land Of Hope And Dreams then closed the main set and marked that time in the concert when my heart starts aching, realising how quickly the time has passed.
Potentially one of the rarest songs of Springsteen’s to hear live, ‘Secret Garden’ opened the encores, shocking the crowd and prompting tears from many around me. Dedicated to fans who had travelled across Europe to see the band, Bruce promised he knew what we go through to make sure we see as many shows as we can. Almost pitch black, one light focused on Bruce as many of us heard this song for the first, and possibly the last time, live. ‘Atlantic City’ continued to keep emotions high before the band switched to their livelier numbers to start closing the show.
Despite the red face and hair now slicked back with sweat, Bruce pointed at me with an exclamation of “Burger Girl” during the next song. Wide eyed, my mouth dropped open. Gawking, I then watched as he pretended to eat a cheeseburger mid ‘Badlands’,  Arm in arm the pit jumped to the song, a celebration of spending such special times together this year.
Born To Run’, into ‘Dancing In The Dark’, the party atmosphere continued as we pushed out thoughts that our time was limited, and for many this was the end of the road. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out’, before ‘Shout’, the band’s energy continued until the very last note they played. With the E Street Band leaving the stage, Bruce returned for a stunning acoustic ‘If I Should Fall Behind’, before an equally special ‘Thunder Road’. For one of the fans I spoke to later (and many others I’m sure) this had been the very first song she’d ever seen Bruce perform live, back in the 70s.


My Love Will Not Let You Down
No Surrender
Something in the Night
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Promised Land
Hungry Heart
Local Hero
Gotta Get That Feeling
Play Video
Bad Moon Rising
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
This Depression
Because the Night
Darlington County
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams
Secret Garden
Atlantic City
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Encore 2:
If I Should Fall Behind
Thunder Road

This is among the best shows I have ever seen, by Bruce and any artist Ive ever seen, I’ve been following Springsteen since 1978, went to fourteen shows on the original River Tour of 1981. Since then Ive seen Bruce and his bands 118 times.This is some great footage from the Bercy Arena Paris show (One of the best venues in the world) in 2012 the whole show’s video quality is awesome.

On July 5th I went to one of the most amazing concerts I’ve been to certainly in my Top ten of Springsteen shows: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live in Paris. It’s extremely rare to see someone rocking for almost four hours with not only an incredible energy, but also with such pleasure and excitement.

At Bercy, we saw The Boss give everything, even his body, when he let the audience carry him from the middle of the pit to the scene. It’s impossible not to be impressed by someone who enjoys performing so much, but when this someone is a rock legend, an extremely gifted musician, a 62 year-old men who has spent all his live making incredible music in various genres ; then you’re just blown away. Let’s not forget either that Bruce Springsteen’s band is no other than the E Street Band and this musicians are just top notch as well as great characters and performers.

Then there’s the amazing setlist, with all of Springsteen’s classics,  I won’t forget the night of the 5th of July 2012, when I saw one of the best live performances I’ve witnessed.


  1. Au clair de la lune
    (solo accordion performance by Charles Giordano)
  2. The Ties That Bind
  3. No Surrender
  4. Two Hearts
  5. Downbound Train
  6. Candy’s Room
  7. Something in the Night
  8. We Take Care Of Our Own
  9. Wrecking Ball
  10. Death to My Hometown
  11. My City of Ruins
  12. Spirit in the Night
  13. Incident on 57th Street
  14. Because the Night
  15. She’s the One
  16. Working on the Highway
  17. I’m Goin’ Down
  18. Easy Money
  19. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
  20. Apollo Medley
  21. For You
  22. Racing in the Street
  23. The Rising
  24. Out in the Street
  25. Land of Hope and Dreams
  26. We Are Alive
  27. Thunder Road
  28. Born to Run
  29. Glory Days
  30. Seven Nights to Rock
  31. Dancing in the Dark
  32. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Even Huck Finn didn’t spend all his time on the river. So it seems peevish to expect Bruce Springsteen to.It was opening night of the final leg of the River Tour and he was home in New Jersey and how was he ready!

He played a 35 song incredible setlist which took just under 4 hours (3:56min to be exact)… With NO breaks!!… it was his longest in USA History! … and this was after a more than 2 hour “sound check” that we
heard while waiting to get in. The second part of the Bruce Springsteen The River Tour 2016 began 7:30 Tuesday and the second show Thursday and then again on August 30th all at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford. Ticket prices range $68 to $150 (tickets start at $45 Aug. 30th)

A good time was had by all – including by all appearances, The Boss – on Tuesday night, the first of three dates at MetLife stadium on this second leg of Bruce’s The River Tour 2016.

But the choice to open with the 10-minute “Wild” opus “New York City Serenade” was the night’s one great wildcard. Roy Bittan’s piano intro, revamped from Dave Sancious‘ original composition, was wonderfully ominous, and a live string section allowed the number to exist largely in its original form. Springsteen was clear as day on the wailing “he’s singin'” refrain. Those same strings were magic later, when melded with Bruce’s harmonica on “Jack.”   The band took two requests via fan signs: a silly trip through “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” — “the perfect summer song,” Springsteen quipped — and the well-aged oldie “Growin’ Up.”

 “Jungleland” earned the most drama — the stadium hung on Bruce’s every word following Jake Clemons‘ soaring solo.

So we’ll simply say in passing that “The River,” the 1980 double album that was supposed to be the whole point of the occasion, was honored more in the breach than in the observance Tuesday. What started as a torrent of music from “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection” box set (the 20 songs from the original album, plus numerous outtakes) has, over the course of eight months of touring, dwindled to more of a trickle: seven “River” songs, out of a 35-song setlist that clocked in Tuesday at just under four hours.

But since those songs were among the strongest from “The River” – including “Sherry Darling,” “Out on the Street,” “Independence Day,” the hit single “Hungry Heart,” and “The River” itself – it’s hard to complain. Springsteen, in any case, seemed to have some other fish to fry Tuesday night. Not least of which was welcoming his core constituency back to the Meadowlands. “Good evening, New Jersey! It’s great to be home!” yelled the Boss, acoustic guitar slung over this shoulder, coming onstage as keyboardist Roy Bittan made like Paderewski with fancy riffs that segued into “New York City Serenade.”

Tuesday’s Springsteen was a slightly more subdued Boss than we’ve seen lately. Not that there wasn’t a lot of raucous fun to be had on Tuesday night – this is a Springsteen show, after all, and pumping up a crowd is a basic part of his skill set. All of the musical excitement that the E Street Band can conjure on a good night was there: from Nils Lofgren’s epic guitar solo in “Because The Night,” to Jake Clemons nailing his late uncle’s sax solo in “Born to Run,” to the harmonizing of Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell on several songs, to the lushness of a string section at a few key moments. With the musicianship came showmanship: the buddy-act of Springsteen and guitarist “Miami” Steve Van Zandt, the epic stage exit of Bruce, making like James Brown with a blanket draped over his shoulder (it said “The Boss” on the back).

Unlike the tour’s first U.S. leg earlier this year, all 20 “River” tracks were not played in sequence, or at all. Only seven tunes were incorporated this night, the best being the always-rousing “Ties That Bind” and “Independence Day,” which Springsteen introduced with a story surrounding his “non-communicative” father.

“I figured the way I could have a conversation with him was through my music,” he said. “… about 40 years went by, and my father was close to his death. I said ‘dad, what are your favorite songs that I’ve written, and he said ‘oh, the ones about me.’ You gotta take your satisfactions where you can get ’em.”

Nothing terribly deep in the catalog was unearthed Tuesday, perhaps “Mansion on the Hill,” (preceded by the ice cream story) or “Jack of all Trades” were least automatic in the hit-filled set.

But the Springsteen we saw a few years back on the “Wrecking Ball” tour, crowd-surfing and doing party medleys of 1960s soul hits, took a back seat Tuesday to the moody guy who still has a lot to say about growing up poor and desperate in an America that hasn’t gotten any easier, in recent years, for the folks from the wrong side of the tracks.

Songs like the early “Growing Up,” “Jack of all Trades” (from the “Wrecking Ball” album), “My Hometown,” “The River,” the epic “Jungleland,” are all about pain. Even more sobering – and one of the songs that Springsteen really laid into – was “American Skin (41 Shots),” his 15-year-old indictment of the 1999 police shooting of Amadou Diallo that seems more relevant than ever in these years of Black Lives Matter. Springsteen hammered the point home: “You can get killed just for living in your American skin,” he sang again and again.

Some of the more memorable moments Tuesday happened courtesy of the audience, who steered the Boss into some odd detours.

Early on, as has become customary, Springsteen cherry-picked signboards from the front row with audience requests. “Burning Love” was one. “My City of Ruins” was another. But leave it to Springsteen to pick the least likely. “The perfect summer song!” he said, plucking up the sign that read “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” “Where’s your Santa Claus suit and hat?” The guy who made the request (presumably it was that guy) was even brought up on stage to join in the chorus — “You better be good for goodness sake!” – and to take a selfie afterwards. “Why the selfie?” said a bemused Springsteen. “Why always the selfie?”

Many songs later, Springsteen zeroed in on another sign. “Who wants to dance with the old bald fan?” it read. And so in the famous “Hey, Baby!” moment in “Dancing in the Dark,” when Springsteen reaches out into the audience for a partner — it was Courteney Cox in the original video — that bald guy got to come up on stage and shake his moneymaker (Springsteen also strapped a guitar on him made him an honorary E Streeter for the occasion).

Fans who want more “River” may have better luck on another night of tour, which runs through September 14th. On Tuesday, the fun — not to mention the heartache — were mostly to be found elsewhere.

Bruce Springsteen Growin’ Up at the MetLife Stadium, NJ, Sign request from a 13 year old boy at Bruce’s longest show ever in the USA last night

Five decades or so into his career, and more than three decades since I started attending his shows regularly, Bruce Springsteen is still giving me stuff I’ve never heard before in concert.

Tuesday night, at the first of his three shows at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford this month — a three-hour, 53-minute marathon — he did it without a new album, or even any new songs.

For both “New York City Serenade” and “Jack of All Trades,” he brought out a small string section that added vital texture and flavor. According to a facebook page by one of the players, violinist Joe Deninzon (of the band Stratospheerius and other groups), they didn’t know they would also play “Jack of All Trades” until two hours before showtime.

“Jersey Girl,” the evening’s closing ballad, was accompanied by so many fireworks Springsteen and the E Street Band were temporarily obscured by smoke.

Of course, as with any Springsteen show, it’s not so much the songs he performed as the way he performed them, and this show proved that at 67, he’s still able to draw on superhuman resources of energy, running around the stage and belting out song after song for nearly four hours, and even racing into the crowd to sing at mid-stadium during “Hungry Heart” and “10th Avenue Freeze-out.”

This show is part of Springsteen The River Tour, which followed the release of Deluxe edition of the 1980 double album late last year. During the first U.S. leg of the tour, Springsteen and the band performed the double album in its entirety each night; they are no longer doing that, though seven River songs did make it into the show tonight, ranging from the party anthem, “Sherry Darling,” to the dark and intensely personal “Independence Day.”

An absolute highlight of the show tonight was a non-River song:  “Something in the Night.” Just a passionate, perfect rendition of a song you don’t hear Springsteen play very often, set up with a spoken intro about how back in his 20s, Jersey bars would stay open until 3 a.m., and he’d stay until closing time, then go to a diner afterwards, and when you were finally through at the diner at 4 or 4:30 the hot summer air would be so heavy you’d feel like nothing could move, and everything was quiet, and you’d feel “like the apocalypse is just around the corner.” (The weather on Tuesday was pretty much ideal, though, cool and not humid at all).

There were a lot of stories, throughout the night, about Springsteen’s family, and growing up in New Jersey. Also, it happened to be a big night for Jake Clemons: I can’t remember a Springsteen show with more sax solos, and fewer guitar solos. And Clemons nailed every one.

The guitarists did have a few good moments, too, though, with Nils Lofgren making the biggest impact with his howling leads on “41 Shots (American Skin)” and a wild solo on “Because the Night” during which he careened around the stage as if pulled by the power of his guitar, then continued to play as he spun around in circles.

Springsteen’s next two shows at MetLife Stadium take place Thursday Aug. 25th and then the 30th.

Setlist for August 23rd

“New York City Serenade”
“Wrecking Ball”
“Something in the Night”
“The Ties That Bind”
“Sherry Darling”
“Spirit in the Night”
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
“Independence Day”
“Hungry Heart”
“Out in the Street”
“Growin’ Up”
“You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)”
“Death to My Hometown”
“Mansion on the Hill”
“Jack of All Trades”
“My Hometown”
“The River”
“American Skin (41 Shots)”
“The Promised Land”
“Working on the Highway”
“Darlington County”
“Because the Night”
“She’s the One”
“Brilliant Disguise”
“The Rising”
“Land of Hope and Dreams”

“Born to Run”
“Dancing in the Dark”
“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”
“Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
“Bobby Jean”
“Jersey Girl”

A man who had just proposed to his girlfriend paid her the ultimate compliment after being invited onstage by Bruce Springsteen during his show-closing “Jersey Girl” at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, Aug. 25

“I love you more than (I love) Bruce,” he told her. They then hugged and danced together onstage in front of tens of thousands of people, as fireworks filled the sky.

After that, their wedding is bound to be anticlimactic. Unless they get married on the moon.

It was the perfect cap to another very satisfying Springsteen show at his home state’s largest concert venue. (He also performed there Tuesday Aug. 23rd(As you can read above), and will be there again August 30th.

As happened on August. 23rd, Springsteen and the E Street Band were joined by a string section on two songs, “New York City Serenade” and “Jack of All Trades.” Unlike Tuesday, there was also a special guest: auxiliary E Street Band member Tom Morello (best known as a member of Rage Against the Machine, and currently touring with Prophets of Rage). The masterful guitarist appeared on three songs and was most impressive on “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” sharing starkly emotional lead vocals with Springsteen and taking a dazzling guitar solo, contorting his body as he wrenched otherworldly sounds from his instrument.

The show featured 14 songs that were not played on the tuesday August. 23rd and, at 3 hours and 58 minutes, set a record for Springsteen’s longest U.S. show ever (the August. 23rd show, which was about five minutes shorter, had set a record as well). Springsteen also declared a landmark performance after a 3-year-old girl sang part of “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” with surprising poise.

“Three years old — that’s a new record!,” Springsteen said.

In a pretty rough transition, Springsteen next played two of his most harrowing songs, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and “Lost in the Flood.” Things also got dark a few songs later, with what amounted to a quartet of protest songs: “Death to My Hometown,” “Youngstown,” “Jack of All Trades” and “American Skin (41 Shots).” Before “Youngstown,” Springsteen described the current election cycle as “the ugliest I’ve ever seen.”

But it certainly wasn’t a dark, depressing show, overall. The hard-charging three-song segment of “Prove It All Night,” “Night” and “No Surrender,” which followed opener “New York City Serenade,” kicked the show into high gear, early on. The buoyant The River songs “Cadillac Ranch” and “I’m a Rocker” worked well together, later on. The encore performance of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” was as loose and joyful as any I’ve ever seen of this fan favorite. And Nils Lofgren almost out-Morello’d Morello with his howling, virtuosic guitar solos on “Youngstown” and “Because the Night.”

“Lost in the Flood” wasn’t in the original set list for the second show, but a fan in front had a sign saying he’d been to 150 shows and never heard it. “Tonight is your lucky night!” Springsteen said before kicking into a smoking rendition of the 1973 deep cut that culminated with a killer guitar solo. It’s hard to match the version captured on the Live in New York City album taped at Madison Square Garden in 2000 (which marked the first time he’d done the song since 1978), but this one came very close.

Bruce Springsteen broke his own record for the longest E Street band show ever played on American soil, at the MetLife Stadium in Jersey. It was endless. Four hours, to be exact. But by the time Nils Lofgren rounded the corner of his multiminute guitar solo in “Because The Night,” it felt a lot longer.

Some things that happened over the course of this show:

Early on in the evening, Bruce found an adorable blond child wearing bedazzled ear-protecting headphones in the audience and put her on his shoulder like a tiny queen. She sang the entire chorus to “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day.” It was so ferociously cute that I couldn’t believe she wasn’t paid for her efforts.

There was a stadium wide dance party to Bruce’s cover of “Shout”

It seemed like the show was over. But then Bruce yelled to the crowd: “You don’t SOUND satisfied.” It was almost midnight and I started to panic. Bruce went on: “You better show me if you’re satisfied.” and then he continued  to play “Thunder Road.” then came “Jersey Girl”  as he had just about hit the four-hour mark.

Here is the Thursday night August. 25th


“New York City Serenade” (with strings)
“Prove It All Night”
“No Surrender”
“Wrecking Ball”
“Sherry Darling”
“Spirit in the Night”
“My City of Ruins”
“Waitin’ on a Sunny Day”
“Darkness on the Edge of Town”
“Lost in the Flood”
“Hungry Heart”
“Out in the Street”
“Death to My Hometown” (with Tom Morello)
“Jack of All Trades” (with strings)
“American Skin (41 Shots)” (with Tom Morello)
“The Promised Land”
“Cadillac Ranch”
“I’m a Rocker”
“Tougher Than the Rest”
“Because the Night”
“The Rising”
“The Ghost of Tom Joad” (with Tom Morello)

“Born to Run”
“Dancing in the Dark”
“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”
“Tenth Avenue Freeze-out”
“Thunder Road”
“Jersey Girl”

So after two shows it seemed as he really gave his all to New Jersey, but after all, he did say we challenged the E Street Band, and boy did they meet that challenge,”

The third show was different. “I have never heard a Springsteen show like this. For nearly two hours he played selections primarily from the first two albums. You never knew which direction he was going to take, and that is what made the whole night so exciting.” Was it the best of the three shows? It’s hard to say. They all had their special moments. August. 23rd had “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and the debut of the string section, for instance. August. 25th had Tom Morello’s thrilling guitar solo on “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and the onstage participation of a just-engaged couple during “Jersey Girl.” This one had all kinds of good stuff.


According to Amabile, the first 12 songs were all from the ’70s, including a guest appearance by Rickie Lee Jones for “Sprirt in the Night.” He then broke out five songs in a row from the 1984 album “Born in the USA.” He then hit some songs from the tour’s namesake album.

“It’s nearly impossible to think that every song for the first hour and a half of the show was written prior to 1974. An hour and a half is an ENTIRE show for some acts, these folks were just getting warmed up,” Cunningham said. “The first 11 songs contained all of side two of “The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle” (including the always sought after “Incident On 57th Street/Rosalita (Come Out Tonight”) pairing. It also featured four in a row from “Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ.”

The ‘Greetings From Asbury Park’ four-pack
The final night at MetLife had one of the most idiosyncratic set lists in Springsteen’s entire career. After opening with “New York City Serenade” for the third consecutive night, he proceeded to play four straight songs from his debut LP, Greetings From Asbury Park, “Blinded by the Light,” “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street,” It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City” and “Spirit in the Night.” It was the beginning of a roughly 90-minute set of music that pre-dated Born to Run, followed by a run of songs from Nebraska and Born in the U.S.A. He’s never presented his catalog in chronological order before, but it worked magnificently.

‘The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle’ four-pack 

The Greetings material was followed by Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” and then four songs from The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” had the entire stadium singing along and “Kitty’s Back” gave a spotlight to nearly every member of the band, but nothing can top “Incident on 57th Street” flowing right into “Rosalita (Come out Tonight)” just like it does on the original LP. The latter tune is an encore staple, but moving it into the main set was an inspired move. Only “The E Street Shuffle” and “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” were unplayed from the album.

The ‘Nebraska’/’Born in the U.S.A.’ six-pack

After eight songs from 1973, Springsteen jumped ahead nearly a decade by kicking into “Atlantic City” from Nebraska and five consecutive Born in the U.S.A. tunes. This is material designed for football stadiums. “Working on the Highway” and “Darlington County” are longtime staples, but relative rarities “Downbound Train” and “I’m Going Down” worked even better. He wrapped it all up with a hushed “I’m on Fire,” a beloved tune that makes oddly few live appearances.

Cunningham said the concert also included a “terrific version of the rare “Secret Garden” and off the hinges covers like “Summertime Blues” and “Pretty Flamingo.”

He gave a lot of credit to the E Street Band for having the stamina to keep up with the Boss. Max Weinberg in particular was off the charts. The entire band was in the zone right along with Bruce,” Cunningham said.

But in this instance, length achievements might as well tossed aside, for many Bruce diehards it was a bonafide dream set.

Following the tour’s now-cemented opener “New York City Serenade” again bolstered by an accompanying string octet  Springsteen revealed to the packed crowd of 55,000 that his group would be shuffling its deck, and “playing a bunch of songs we didn’t play the other two nights.”

The cheering audience couldn’t have known that for the next 80 minutes — nearly the full length of most pop shows — Springsteen would revisit his earliest works with rare breadth and irrefutable conviction.

Bruce’s debut “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” and follow up “The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle,” were focal points here, and nine tracks combined were delivered with the ebullience of a 24-year-old Springsteen doling out his new tunes along the Jersey coast back in ’73.

The crop of oldies included the Shore-painting favorite “4th of July in Asbury Park (Sandy)” and kitschy “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street”; both were reimagined, and performed for the first time on U.S. soil in four years.

But while Springsteen was a grinning, rollicking and wailing commander for the gospel-tinged “Spirit in the Night” — during which he chugged two fans’ beverages and gave himself a brain freeze and usual encore banger “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” an extended, full-band jam on “Kitty’s Back,” was perhaps the best singular production of these three New Jersey shows. The seven-minute track’s freeform leanings were wholly embraced, as the band grooved through a trio on terrific solos, from organist Charles Giordano’s tricks, to a clanging improv from Roy Bittan that earned the entire band’s attention, to a boiling shred from Springsteen himself.

Much of the set was kept light and fast, and lively Bruce, who bounded all night as if he’d been given terrific news just before taking the stage, stopped only once for a long tale, to preface the Manfred Mann cover “Pretty Flamingo.” He’s told it before: how he used to live above a luncheonette, order a ham sandwich everyday with no mustard — “don’t give me no f—ing Grey Poupon,” he barked — and watch the same beautiful woman walk down the street. It turned out to be wife Patti Scialfa, or so he said.

Otherwise, summer fun reigned over 67-year-old Springsteen, who jogged and hammered through a series of “Born in the U.S.A.” tunes, punctuating the crop with a moody “I’m On Fire” behind deafening croons from the audience.

Only then did “The River” earn some favor, for two songs, before the gotta-play-’em hits kicked in. The outlier here was “Living Proof,” a forgotten album track off “Lucky Town” that Springsteen dedicated to his son Evan.

On the 1992-93 “Other Band” tour, fans groaned that way too much of the show was occupied with songs from Human Touch and Lucky Town. Those songs almost never surface these days. “Living Proof” from Lucky Town was played via request on the third night, with Springsteen dedicating the song to his son Evan. Many fans sat down or headed for the bathroom, but it was still nice to acknowledge that those albums are things that exist. Sadly, “Better Days,” a much better Lucky Town song, was soundchecked but didn’t make it into the show.

But between his surprise “Greetings” and “Wild” sessions; an equally unexpected “U.S.A.” block; an arresting return to “Jungleland”; an encore that managed the  live rarity “Secret Garden” and both party staples “Twist and Shout” and “Shout”; and a pace that was more organic and joyful than his past two MetLife gigs, Tuesday’s crowd can rest easy, and catch up on some sleep. They caught Bruce at his best; he was all of his local worship, and the icon who’s bred such devout fan loyalty all these years.

Just five days after The Boss played his longest-ever gig on American soil with an astonishing 3-hour, 59-minute performance at MetLife Stadium, Springsteen came back on Tuesday night to go one better (or two, for those who were counting).

“Jersey Girl” is a Tom Waits song, but from the first time Springsteen played it in 1981, he took out the final verse and tacked on a new section that transformed the title character into an exhausted single mother. The revision completely changed the emotional core of the song, and it’s become one of Springsteen’s most believed Jersey tunes. All three MetLife shows concluded with “Jersey Girl” and fireworks during the “sha la la la” finale. The clock passed the four-hour mark on the last night, but it seemed like the band and the audience still had enough energy to keep going a while longer. Springsteen has played a lot of shows at the Meadowlands during the past 35 years, but these three might go down as the most memorable, and not simply because he finally crossed the mythical four-hour barrier. There wasn’t a moment during all 12 hours when he wasn’t completely in the zon

The final night of a three-night stand in East Rutherford ended at 12:12 a.m., after 4 hours and 1 minute. The only recorded Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show that went for longer was one in Helsinki, Finland, in 2012 (4 hours and 6 minutes).

It was a special night for fans from the very start, as the E Street Band indulged their longest-serving followers with 80 minutes worth of music taken almost exclusively from their often-overlooked first two albums, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” and “The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle” (both released in 1973, two years before “Born to Run” shot them to fame).

Set List Show 3,

1. New York City Serenade
2. Blinded By The Light
3. Does This Bus Stop On 82nd Street?
4. It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City
5. Spirit in the Night
6. Summertime Blues
7. 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
8. Kitty’s Back
9. Incident on 57th Street
10. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
12. Atlantic City
13. I’m Goin’ Down
14. Darlington County
15. Working On The Highway
16. Downbound Train
17. I’m On Fire
18. Hungry Heart
19. Out In The Street
20. LIVING PROOF (dedicated to Evan)
21. Candy’s Room
22. She’s The One
23. Because The Night
24. The Rising
25. Badlands
27. Jungleland
28. Born To Run
29. Dancing In The Dark
30. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
31. Twist And Shout
32. Glory Days
33. Shout
34. Jersey Girl

bruce roxy

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performing live July 7th, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California. The remarkable setlist includes no less than six premieres: “Rave On,” “Point Blank,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Independence Day,” “Raise Your Hand,” and “Twist And Shout.” This show and others on the Darkness tour in 1978 are considered some of the best shows Bruce will ever do. The new song “Independence Day” is performed for the first time and on the piano by Bruce. This is the only known time Bruce did this on the tour. “Point Blank” features different lyrics to later versions and the arrangement is slightly different. Also includes the first known tour performances of both “Raise Your Hand” and “Twist And Shout.” All this and he skipped “Jungleland?” Very few tickets to this concert ever made it into public, and right before the show Bruce learned that over half of the 500 seats in the Theatre were filled with people from the press and CBS, he asked half of them to leave as politely as he could, and give their tickets to fans waiting outside. This show was also one of the main sources for the official Live 1975-85 box set, which includes eight songs from this show – “Spirit In The Night,” “Paradise By The ”C,”” “Adam Raised A Cain,” “Growin’ Up” (with a few cuts during the story), “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City,” a heavily edited “Backstreets” with the “Sad Eyes” sequence removed and part of the third verse switched with a different performance, “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” and “Raise Your Hand.” They sure picked the right show to do it, but they edited “Backstreets!” Originally broadcast on KMET FM Radio, this show unfortunately circulates as recordings from the radio broadcast unlike the other radio broadcasts from the 1978 which have pre-FM sources available. Recordings of this show have circulated on many unofficial LPs and on CDs since about 1980. In the U.K., a legal loophole provides companies to release unofficial bootlegs (surprising that Bruce has not sued them yet?). Recently, a first generation 7-1/2 IPS (inches per second) reel was found and transferred. The result is a substantial upgrade from all previous releases, with a more clearer sound and no pitch issues. But a new recording was given to a U.K. company from someone who recorded the broadcast on a perfectly new stereo equipment set. The result is here, clear with the quality it should have had in the first place. But still, since the theatre was small, you can still hear the audience yelling and shouting even though it is right from the board.

The Classic live FM broadcast of the legendary Roxy Theatre show, often regarded as one of the best shows ever. 3 cd set. available via

07-Jul-1978 Los Angeles,CA The Roxy,USA
Rave On
Spirit In The Night
Darkness On The Edge Of Town
Candy’s Room
For You
Point Blank
The Promised Land
Prove It All Night
Racing In The Street
Thunder Road
Paradise By The C
Adam Raised A Cain
She’s The One
Growin’ Up
It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City
Backstreets (w/ Sad Eyes)
Heartbreak Hotel
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
Independence Day (solo piano)
Born To Run
Because The Night
Raise Your Hand
Twist And Shout
FM broadcast – Premiere of Point Blank, Rave On and Independence Day is performed solo on piano for only time on the tour. Point Blank features different lyrics to later versions and is played slightly differently. Originally broadcast on FM Radio.

PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band in concert at Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ullevi stadium, in this industrial port city on Sweden’s west coast, was built as a soccer stadium with a capacity to hold up to 43,000 fans. Last night, as Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band took the stage here, the large LED screen behind the band blared the number of paid attendees at 63,367.

“Thanks for having us back,” Springsteen said before striking the first chords of “Meet Me in The City,” a track from his 1980 album “The River Collection.” The song, like much of his music of that era, perfectly blends his trademark bar-band rock sound with heartfelt lyrics of loss and redemption. “We’re very happy to be back here in Sweden,” he said.

The show was the band’s third sold-out performance in Gothenburg in a month and caps a European tour that saw Springsteen and his band pack arenas across the Continent.

Nearly 70,000 fans jammed Wembley Stadium in London last month to see Springsteen perform a 33-song set that stretched well past three hours. In Berlin, more than 65,000 fans dodged rain and humid weather in June to see the 66-year Springsteen perform at Olympiastadion, the cavernous sports arena Hitler built for the 1936 Olympics that saw “The Boss” belt out a rousing, sing-along rendition of “Born in the U.S.A.”

In all, Springsteen has sold out more than two dozen arena shows in more than a dozen European countries on this tour, with thousands of die hard fans crisscrossing the continent to see him perform. From Milan to Dublin, Oslo to Rome, many of his shows sold out in minutes of tickets going on sale. Even ardent longtime fans, including many ex-pat Americans living abroad, can’t recall a European tour that attracted more capacity crowds.

Yet despite an enormous and sustained popularity in Europe, Bruce Springsteen — that quintessentially American rocker — appears to draw his tightest connection to the continent here in Sweden.


The Scandinavian country was the first European concert Springsteen played on his first world tour back in 1975. Though that performance — in support of “Born to Run” — drew just over a thousand fans to a concert hall in Stockholm, it has taken on mythic proportion among Swedes.

“It’s one of those events like Woodstock where more people than could possibly have attended claim to have been there,” says Daniel Eriksson, a Swedish music journalist and longtime fan of Springsteen. “After the show Bruce ate at McDonald’s which only existed in Sweden for a couple of years, so it was probably the only thing that reminded him of home at the time.”

Springsteen later admitted to a local Swedish newspaper that he was petrified ahead of that Stockholm show.

“It was one of the first European countries I visited, 1975, and I was actually terrified,” he told the Aftonbladet. “I had never left the States before, barely left New Jersey and had no idea what would happen,” he said. “I’ve always been received well in Sweden ever since.”

Then there’s Clarence Clemons, “The Big Man” to Springsteen fans, who played saxophone for the band until his death in 2011. He was married to a Swede for nearly a decade and spent months at a time touring the country in support of his solo work. Those performances, along with his soulful, out-sized personality, elevated Clemons to cult status in many corners of the country and raised Springsteen’s profile among younger Swedish fans.

In 2012, on his last tour of Europe, Springsteen chose Gothenburg to perform “Jungleland” for the first time since Clemons‘ death. The song, which includes a roaring saxophone solo, was performed with Jake Clemons, a nephew of Clarence who now plays saxophone with the band. “Moments this beautiful can only happen when the artist and audience are as one,” Springsteen’s longtime manager, Jon Landau, said at the time.

That performance was part of a pair of sold-out shows the band played in Gothenburg in 2012 and still rank as a career highlight for Springsteen, Landau says. The shows drew more than 140,000 raucous fans.

“The two shows in Gothenburg were among the very highest moments in Bruce and the Band’s history of performing,” he told the Expressen, Sweden’s largest daily newspaper. “The crowds were among the greatest I have ever seen–for any artist and the audience comes with a great knowledge of Bruce’s work, a depth of feeling for all of it, and a special empathy for his artistry.”

Though he’s always maintained enormous popularity abroad, Springsteen’s current streak of sold-out shows is especially striking given the disdain many Europeans continue to have for U.S. foreign policy in places like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. During the invasion of Iraq under George W. Bush – the height of anti-American sentiment in Europe – Bruce continued to sell-out arenas across Europe.

Springsteen definitely touches a nerve in Europe,” says Erik Kirschbaum, a Berlin-based journalist and author of “Rocking the Wall: The Berlin Concert That Changed the World.” The book details Bruce Springsteen’s concert before some 300,000 fans in East Berlin on July 19th, 1988 and argues that performance – and the speech, in German, Springsteen gave at the show – helped bring down the Berlin Wall.

“I think his eagerness to tackle issues and themes that are important to ordinary people goes down exceptionally well in Europe,” Kirschbaum says. “But also his courage to stand up and be critical of the United States and its government at times is also something that a wide swath of Europeans recognizes and appreciates.”

“It may sound a little bit crazy to an American, but Swedish people can really identify with the lyrics and the simple themes of the songs,” Martin Wallenberg tells me outside Ullevi Stadium. He and his wife drove just over four hours from a Stockholm suburb to see the Gothenburg show. This is his fifth Springsteen concert, the 49-year old says. “I saw him back in the late 1980’s for the first time and it really became clear to me that seeing Bruce in Sweden was something special.”

Like the U.S. leg of his tour, last night’s show in Gothenburg included performing the whole album of “The River.” Released when he was 31-years old, Springsteen acknowledged the subtext of the album during a nearly four hour performance in a port city where the sun stays out well past evening hours in summer.

“Time sometimes feels like it’s slipping away,” he told a crowd of fans that have now had 36-years to absorb his albums. “When you enter the adult world, the clock starts ticking and you’ve got a limited amount of time to do your work, to raise your family, to try and do something good.”

Onstage, Springsteen used personal stories of love, life and lust to connect with the audience between some songs. He also showed-off a playful coziness he still shares with the band: clowning with the guitarist Steve Van Zandt and occasionally sharing the microphone with band members.

He surprised fans standing close to the front rows of the arena by stepping onto a platform where people could reach his legs, take selfies and give high-fives.

Like at many of the shows on this tour, Springsteen used “Hungry Heart,” arguably the most popular song from “The River,” to best connect with the audience. While leading a raucous rendition of the song, he circled the stage and offered up his microphone to fans on the ground level to sing along.

“We ain’t too old to party, people,” he said, upright and back on stage while sharing the microphone with Nils Lofgren and embracing his his wife and backup singer, Patti Scialfa. “We aint too old to party.”

When Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band began their tour in support of “Born to Run” on July 20th, 1975, at the Palace Concert Theatre in Providence, R.I., the album that would break his career had not yet been released. In fact, it had only been completed that morning.

Needing to deliver the record before hitting the road, the band entered New York’s Record Plant for a final mixing session the previous afternoon. They emerged at 10AM — 19 hours later — with the van waiting to take them to Providence, 180 miles northeast. At some point during the night, they set up in the studio’s rehearsal room and ran through the songs they’d perform. The first show of the Born To Run tour, the band worked on the Born To Run record right up to this first day of the tour, they practiced all day starting at 6 am, packed up the van with the equipment, Clarence finished his ‘Jungleland’ solo, jumped in the van and off they went and played this show.

The E Street Band had a much different look from the last time they had hit the city in April 1974. Pianist David Sancious and drummer Ernest “Boom” Carter had left in August to form a jazz fusion group called Tone and were replaced by Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg, respectively.

A second guitarist was also making his debut as a member of the group Steve Van Zandt, who had played with Springsteen in earlier bands, had provided invaluable assistance during the recording of “Born to Run”, notably the horn charts in “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and the title track’s guitar lick. This line-up would remain intact until Van Zandt’s departure during the sessions for 1984’s “Born In The USA.

The 15-song show, which kicked off the tour, ran nearly two hours. It included only three songs from the new record: “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road.” All but one song from the previous album, The Wild the Innocent and the E.Street Shuffle,  was performed, with the rest of the concert was split between Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. material, “A Love So Fine” (which wouldn’t be released until 1998’s Tracks under the name “So Young and In Love”) and covers of Manfred Mann’s “Sha La La” and Gary “U.S.” Bonds’ “Quarter to Three.” . This tour was markedly different from the one he did with Suki only weeks earlier. He was much more animated and seemed to be having more fun. Steven added so much musically, while Clarence Clemons became an increasing visual focus. Furthermore the very real strain of recording “Born To Run” had been put to rest for Bruce and the rest of the band.

Springsteen and the E Street Band remained on the road for five months, with several of the dates turning out to be among the most important of his career, including the early show from New York’s Bottom Line on Aug. 15th, 1975, which was broadcast live on a local radio station, helped build steam for the album leading up to its release.

July 20th, 1975
Palace Theater, Providence, RI.

Incident On 57th street
Spirit in The Night
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Growin’ Up
It’s Hard To be a saint in the city
E Street Shuffle
Born to Run
Thunder Road
New York City Serenade
Kitty’s back
Rosalita (Come out Tonight)
4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)
A love so fine
Sha la la
Quarter to three

The Bruce Springsteen concert at the Arena Accor Hotels Paris was interrupted for a few minutes Monday night because of a failure of sound and lights.

He put so much energy that he blew a fuse. The Bruce Springsteen concert in Paris Accor Hotels Arena Monday night was interrupted for about twenty minutes when the sound and the stage lights stopped working. According to spectators in the room, the fire alarm was also triggered. Far from being disconcerted, the singer apologized to his fans with the means at hand, before approaching the crowd to sign autographs. The management of the concert hall explained that these technical problems happen, without elaborating further.
The concert finally resumed after about twenty minutes, but without the giant screens, projectors or the lights directed on the stage, the remaining room fully illuminated. With humor, Bruce Springsteen chose to continue the evening by interpreting … “Dancing in the dark”.

It was a wild night in Paris. Bruce arrived to a city that was stuck in between the heartbreak of a national soccer team loss and the celebration of a historical revolution. Before the three hour and forty-seven minute* show concluded, the crowd would witness three tour premieres, Bruce making his own sign requests, and the long-awaited fulfillment of a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band unplugged show.… in some fashion, at least.

On the first night Bruce took the stage alone and greeted the crowd. “Bonjuor Paris! Comment allez-vous? Tres bien,” he said, before taking a seat at the piano. In soft purple and turquoise lighting he fumbled around for a few chords before settling into a nearly ten-minute “Incident on 57th Street.” A hush fell over the crowd, and I saw at least one person reaching for their eyes as Bruce lent his powerful voice to an incredibly personal rendition.

Bruce’s solo “Incident on 57th Street” was the first of several in the set that leaned towards the intimate and the emotional. Springsteen reached for some unusual selections that could be heard to address the troubling news back home in the U.S. — “American Skin” isn’t the only song in his back pocket for mean times like these. For the first song with the band, he brought back the distorted bullet microphone effect from the Devils & Dust and Magic tours for a 2016 premiere of “Reason to Believe.” The full-band arrangement featured a blues rhythm and Little Steven at the front on the white Vox teardrop guitar. The instrumental bridge had the floor jumping and Bruce dancing in the center cutout, silhouetted against a dark stage.

A workhorse “Badlands” kept the crowd’s blood pumping, with Bruce shuffling to the back of the stage to point at some familiar faces dancing wildly on the first row. And the songs about faith and hope in dark times continued: “Fella outside the hotel today lost his wife recently,” Bruce said. “This was one of her favorite songs.” In dim lightning Soozie opened with a few long and mournful notes on the violin before Bruce and the band joined in the tour premiere of “Into the Fire.” Springsteen would later take the stage alone with a 12-string styled Telecaster  for another tour premiere from his 1982 solo album. With the shrill sound of his harmonica, standing in a single spotlight on an otherwise dark stage, Bruce played “Nebraska” — performed at only one other E Street Band show since 1985, in Belfast ‘2013.

Despite the rare dips into Nebraska, this was most certainly a River show: the set featured 15 songs in total from the tour’s eponymous album, and for a stretch it seemed like they might play the whole thing. The band had a little trouble finding all the right instruments for “Jackson Cage.” “We’ll be right there,” Bruce said. He stopped during “Hungry Heart” to shake the hand of a young girl on her father’s shoulders, and he pulled another fan up onto the walkway for a lengthy hug during “I’m a Rocker” while the band continued to play.

The intimacy would continue with the River album standouts “Point Blank” — with Roy bathed in hard purple and red light and the silhouette of Bruce whispering tenderly to the audience — and “Drive All Night,”featuring a booming Jake Clemons saxophone solo. Bruce turned his affection towards Patti Scialfa for a duet on “Tougher Than the Rest,” serenading his wife on the harmonica to close the song. The Queen of E Street’s vocals also featured heavily on “Darlington County” and “Because the Night.”

After the main set, which brought us out of the valley with “The Rising” and “Land of Hope and Dreams,” Bruce came to the mic and hushed the crowd. He turned his back and held his guitar over his head while Roy and Soozie started “Jungleland.” Elliott Murphy and his son Gaspard joined Bruce on stage for “Born to Run,” with Bruce falling to his knees to plead to the crowd, “Lemme see your hands!”

“Steve, look over yonder, see the Eiffel Tower lights,” Bruce said, beginning Ramrod. Little did he know, his words would prove inauspicious. For the second time in just over four years, the E Street Band was too much for the Parisian power grid, and the lights and sound failed mid-song. The crowd went wild as the band kept right on playing, with lighting equipment crackling and sputtering overhead. Bruce, with a bewildered look on his face, led everyone to the front of stage to dance and play. The only sound that could be heard from the band were the drums and the occasional faint hint of saxophone.

The crowd filled the void with chanting and wild cheering as Bruce and the band marched their way onto the floor. Charlie and Nils picked up accordions to join the procession and try to be heard by the nearby crowd at least. Overhead speaker loops were calling for evacuation, but the fans refused to leave. By the time the band had made its slow circuit of the pit, the stage was crawling with techs trying to figure out what was going on.

The band circled around for an impromptu meeting on stage, Bruce and Patti laughing and gesturing at one another. Bruce asked to borrow a fan’s sign and wrote his own request on the back — for five more minutes — and held it up for the crowd. Bruce, Patti, and Jake sat down on the front of stage and started signing autographs while Garry tossed water bottles to fans in the crowd. Photographer Annie Leibovitz even took to the stage and started snapping candid photos of the mayhem.

When the lights finally returned, the band performed a quick, 30-second sound check. Bruce took the microphone after what had been about a 20-minute intermission. “Stevie,” he said, “Is it quitting time? Is it fuse-blowing time?” The crowd went crazy, the show returned to something like normalcy, and the band jumped right back in to the end of “Ramrod” like this was any other hijinks. Bruce wasn’t finished having fun with the band’s misadventure. “Can you hear me?” he asked to start “Shout.” “Are you sure?!” Bruce drenched himself in water, once for the front of stage and again for the back, and Steve cloaked Bruce in a shining coronation mantle embroidered with a “Boss” insignia. “You’ve just seen the heart-stopping, pants-dropping… rock out till the lights are out, legendary E Street Band,” Bruce hollered before one last verse of “Shout.” 

Bruce took a moment to reflect on the evening before a solo acoustic “Thunder Road.” “What a surprising night. What a great night,” he said, “Electricity is on. It’s off again. It’s on. It’s off. Nothing stops the mighty E Street Band. Thanks for sticking in with us.” Rolling with the punches, Bruce and the band took full advantage of the smaller venue and stage to provide a uniquely intimate performance, with three solo arrangements, three tour premiers, and enough E Street Band power to shut out the lights all over Paris.

First Night in Paris 11th July 2016

Incident on 57th Street (solo piano)
Reason to Believe
Into the Fire
The Ties That Bind
Sherry Darling
Jackson Cage
Two Hearts
Independence Day
Hungry Heart
Out in the Street
Crush on You
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
Death to My Hometown
Nebraska (solo acoustic)
The River
Point Blank
Cadillac Ranch
I’m a Rocker
Darlington County
Tougher Than the Rest
Drive All Night
Because the Night
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams
* * *
Born to Run (with Elliott and Gaspard Murphy)
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Bobby Jean
Thunder Road (solo acoustic)

Bruce Springsteen arrived in Paris for two shows over three nights, European prayers have finally been answered. If Monday’s fuse-blowing Paris concert demonstrated for the first time on this tour the magnetic energy generated from combining the intimacy of a typical American arena with the the signature passion of a European crowd, the second Accor Hotels Arena show tested what would happen when these fans were finally treated to the first-ever full album performance of “The River” in Europe. After much begging, cajoling, pleading, screaming, and yes, even praying on the part of the European fan contingent, it was well worth the wait.

The second concert opened with an equally rare occurrence: the first performance in Europe (the third ever in the world, and only the second with the E Street Band) of “Iceman.” The Darkness outtake was given a tight, focused, and intense full band treatment (sans Patti) with Bruce’s voice fittingly gruff to match the song’s subject. They kept the rarities coming with “Lucky Town,” which was once again capped with a fiery Boss guitar solo.

And then, it was time for the main event. When Springsteen revealed in a little speech — in French, no less —that “The River” would be played in its entirety specially for Paris, the crowd erupted with a deafening ovation of sheer joy. As many fans have made clear since this European leg began, they’ve been waiting years for the opportunity to see one of Bruce’s greatest albums performed in full. It felt like all of the anticipation and hoping and dreaming was released in a rush of excitement to the opening chords of “The Ties That Bind,” and this ceaseless enthusiasm was sustained through the final notes of “Wreck on the Highway.” 

Their starved desire for these tracks makes even more sense considering how rarely a lot of them have been played in Europe since the original River Tour 35 years ago: “Stolen Car,” never since 1981; “Wreck on the Highway,” one time (solo); “Fade Away,” three times. Ignoring performances on this tour, “I Wanna Marry You” (never performed since 1981), “The Price You Pay,” (performed once) and “Independence Day” (performed four times) are almost as rare. The entire crowd responded in a way that made it feel like they understood the special significance of this evening.

Everyone from the pit to the upper deck looked and sounded engaged from beginning to end, rarely allowing the energy to wane enough even to sit down — the first two sides of the record were basically a non-stop sing-along, jump-along, and chant-along party — while always remaining deadly silent for the ballads. Many fans clearly bought tickets for this River Tour 2016 to hear The River, and not only its greatest hits: the whole place bellowed the lyrics to “Jackson Cage”; applause greeted the opening chords of “Stolen Car”; “The Price You Pay” elicited a decibel-busting level of crowd participation that rivaled “Badlands”; and the entire arena respectfully applauded through the final coda of “Wreck on the Highway.”

Bruce brought back a lot of the same stage blocking from the American leg, including a “Hungry Heart” crowd surf that was way slower than normal — it seemed the handlers in the pit wanted to pass Bruce back and forth to give everyone a chance to touch the Boss. As he did in Baltimore, Bruce once again oversaw a wedding proposal during “I Wanna Marry You,” pronouncing them “Mr. and Mrs. Rock ‘n’ Roll… in the name of rock ‘n’ roll!” Two songs later, the crowd continued Bruce’s soul-stirring humming at the end of “The River” all the way through the silence while Bruce and the Band cued up “Point Blank.” Bruce waited until this humming had organically reached the melody’s end before having Roy seamlessly begin the song — a hauntingly beautiful transition between the two records.

All together the evening felt like one long ecstatic catharsis. Tears, hugs, kissing, jumping, clapping, singing, chanting, smiles, all plentiful throughout. More than any other show on this tour, the concert actually felt the most like the first time The River was played in its entirety way back in 2009 at Madison Square Garden. Since the crowd knew this wasn’t a nightly occurrence, a special vibe of overwhelming elation was in the air. Judging from the rousing standing ovation that greeted the album’s conclusion, their lofty expectations were exceeded, and then some more.

With the exception of a story-less performance of “Growin’ Up” — the only sign request of the night — the rest of the night felt predictable and a little rushed; the set-ending “The Rising” literally went directly into the encore-opening “Born in the U.S.A.,” with not even a second of a pause between them. But after The River, any other song was just gravy for this crowd. These fans had finally gotten what they had been waiting so long to hear. Paris will only enhance the legendary status of the “grass-mowing, fuse-blowing, legendary E Street Band’s” full album River performances (“Ramrod” also included a bevy of references to fuse-blowing by Bruce and Stevie), and I’m sure all of the European fans not in Paris will be chasing it for the remainder of the tour. Gothenburg 3? Zurich for the final European stop? They can only pray…that it might happen again.

Second Night in Paris 13th July 2016

Lucky Town
The Ties That Bind
Sherry Darling
Jackson Cage
Two Hearts
Independence Day
Hungry Heart
Out in the Street
Crush On You
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
I Wanna Marry You
The River
Point Blank
Cadillac Ranch
I’m a Rocker
Fade Away
Stolen Car
The Price You Pay
Drive All Night
Wreck on the Highway
The Promised Land
Growin’ Up
Because the Night
The Rising
* * *
Born in the U.S.A.
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Thunder Road (solo acoustic)

thanks to for the words