Posts Tagged ‘The River Tour’


December 29th, 1980 Night two of the legendary three-show stand at Nassau Coliseum 1980 is a barnstormer. It features the tour premiere of “Night” as the opener and, in its lone River tour performance, an extraordinary “Incident On 57th Street” into “Rosalita” to close the set. Spanning 35 songs, Nassau  29th beautifully blends deep River cuts (“Stolen Car,” “Wreck on the Highway,” “Point Blank”), seasonal nuggets (“Merry Christmas Baby” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and fan favorites (“Fire,” “Because the Night”).

One of the most thrilling times to be a sports fan is when your team is in the midst of a winning streak. They occur in all sports, but in baseball and especially basketball, winning streaks are irresistible because of the unique way they place team chemistry, a “never give up” mentality, and moments of individual brilliance against a backdrop of ever-rising stakes. Who doesn’t want to tune in to see if your team can push their streak to 17, 21, or 33 in a row?

It could be argued that the entire live performance history of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is one long winning streak. That acknowledged, and with the benefit of hindsight and live recordings, fan consensus has coalesced around notable E Street streaks: the last two weeks of the 1977 tour with the Miami Horns; the late-’84 stretch of the Born in the U.S.A. tour.; and the final U.S. leg of Magic 2008 to name but a few.

The River tour boasts a few of its own streaks, and without question, Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve 1980 is among the best of them. A staggering run of shows throughout the Northeast culminated in a three-night stand at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. With his first chart-topping album and a Top Five single (“Hungry Heart”) in hand, Bruce and the band closed out 1980 more popular than ever.

Shows that wrapped that leg of the tour offered an intoxicating mix of musician-athletes performing at their peak, newfound confidence drawn from a long-awaited commercial breakthrough, and a continued hunger to prove it all night.

Supporting a double album of new material, that hunger was manifest in the increasing duration of the concerts and the stunning number of songs performed. In fact, until records were broken in 2012, the late-’80 River shows were the longest of Bruce’s career. Other shows and tours have their own distinct qualities, but if you are talking about a run of epic Springsteen concerts, the Thanksgiving-New Year’s ’80 streak is the reference point.

Nassau Coliseum 29/ 12/80 and its sister show 31/12/80 (reissued in a newly remixed and remastered edition) each stretch to 35 or more songs and live up to the legend of Bruce’s four-hour concerts by running close to that (counting the between-sets intermission). There may be other eras where the band played this well, but there is no period where they played better.

Both stunning performances are packed with delicious rarities along with some of the strongest versions of core material ever caught on multi-tracks. With a bounty of more than 70 songs between the two shows, there’s too much good stuff to cover, but here are ten things to listen for as you relive these magical nights.

1.Springsteen debuted his brilliant take on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain” three shows earlier at Madison Square Garden. It has endured as one of the band’s finest covers, popping up a few times on tours ever since. The versions performed on 29/12 and 31/12 are musically rich and heartfelt, pointing to the musical direction Bruce would explore six months hence on the band’s first proper tour of Europe.

2. Having just read Joe Klein’s biography of Woody Guthrie, Bruce covers “This Land Is Your Land” for the first time during the three-show Nassau stand, calling it an “angry song…an answer to Irving Berlin’s ‘God Bless America’.” With the possible exception of a one-off performance of Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom” in 1978, it is the first protest song Springsteen performed in concert with the E Street Band and signals the start of his public turn toward social and political commentary.

3. The paternal pairing of “Factory” and “Independence Day” on 29/12 is not only an evocative stretch of storytelling, but could pass for a dramatic monologue at a Broadway theater.

4. One of the signature sequences of early River tour shows is Roy Bittan’s mini-suite of “The River” into “Badlands.” 1980 performances of “The River” start with an original piano prelude (echoed by Danny Federici) before Bruce’s plaintive harmonica wail starts the song formally. Shortly after “The River” ends, Bittan starts into his interpretation of Ennio Morricone’s theme from the Sergio Leone filmOnce Upon A Time In The West. As Bittan plays the moving piano refrain, electric guitar chords start to chime in, building energy that crescendos when the intro gives way to an explosive “Badlands.” Magnificent.

5. The River tour is the height of Stevie Van Zandt’s role as backing vocalist, at times reaching the point of co-lead vocals. He’s a marvel at these shows on expected songs like “Two Hearts” and “Prove It All Night,” but listen for him in more unexpected places like the chorus of “Thunder Road” for signs of just how into it he is at Nassau.

6. Bruce’s spirited vocal on “For You” is full of fresh intonations distinct from other renditions.

7. The earnest story that leads into “Stolen Car” on 12/29 might melt your heart; the moving performance itself will have you reaching for a tissue or three.

8. The gorgeous, stripped-down arrangement of “The Price You Pay” on 31/12 starts solo. The band joins softly in the second verse, and we’re treated to the alternate third verse found in the single-disc version of The River included in The Ties That Bind box set. As good as it gets.

9. While we’ve heard the incredible version of “Incident on 57th Street” from 29/12 before (it was released as the b-side to “War” from Live 1975/85), hearing it in context of the show is so much sweeter. “This is a song we haven’t done in a real long time,” says Bruce, as he tests out the chords on his guitar. “No, it ain’t ‘Kitty’s Back.’ I hope I remember all the words….” Roy tinkles out the first few notes, the crowd swoons in recognition of the song, Max comes with his drum intro, and the lead guitar sends us soaring. If that wasn’t enough, after nearly ten majestic minutes, it rolls straight into “Rosalita” as it does on The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.

10. You want rarities? We got rarities. Beyond the aforementioned, the Nassau shows feature “Rendezvous,” the first-ever version of the “Hungry Heart” b-side “Held Up Without a Gun,” sublime seasonal nuggets “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” plus Happy New Year covers of “In the Midnight Hour” and “Auld Lang Syne.” All that, plus 15 of the 20 songs on The River, including the under-played “Fade Away,” “Wreck on the Highway” and “The Price You Pay.”

A Final Note: Jon Altschiller’s new mix and mastering on 31/12/80 moves the listener from the 40th row to the first, proximity that reveals incredible new detail and musical power.

After electing to Plangent Process 29/12/80 for release, it was clear that 31/12/80 also deserved a Plangent-transferred new mix and mastering to match, as the version released in 2015 was not up to the same standards.
While the Plangent Processed and remixed version of 31/12/80 is being sold as a standalone release, anyone who bought the original can access the new upgraded audio for free via the “My Stash” section of the app, which provides streaming access to all shows purchased as downloads or CDs (no subscription required). Previous buyers of New Years Eve ’80 can log in with the account credentials they used to buy the show the first time.


December 31st, 1980 For the first time, multi-track master tapes of the classic New Year’s Eve 1980 show have been transferred via Plangent Processes and newly remixed by Jon Altschiller for superior sound. This upgraded edition breathes fresh life into a jaw-dropping 38-song performance which is packed with highlights, including “Spirit in the Night,” “Rendezvous,” “Fade Away,” “The Price You Pay,” “Held Up Without a Gun,” “In The Midnight Hour,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “Twist and Shout” and “Raise Your Hand.” The all-time fan favorite has never sounded better.

The Band:

  • Bruce Springsteen – Lead vocal, guitar, harmonica; Roy Bittan – Piano, keyboards; Clarence Clemons – Tenor and baritone saxophones, percussion, backing vocal; Danny Federici – Organ, glockenspiel, accordion; Garry Tallent – Bass; Stevie Van Zandt – Electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocal; Max Weinberg – Drums

Last night, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band brought The River Tour to Lisbon, Portugal for a set at the city’s Rock In Rio Festival. While The Boss and his band played each and every song off 1980’s The River at all North American stops on The River Tour, he’s mixed it up much more in Europe and on Thursday only performed three songs off the famed double album. Springsteen’s visit to Lisbon was webcast live and the whole performance can be viewed…at least as of press time. Springsteen, as you’d expect, stepped up his game in the face of such a challenge. Forgoing the usual River songs, he hit the crowd with a killer one-two punch of “Cover Me” and the tour premiere of “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” By the time he began physically interacting with the crowd during “Hungry Heart” by walking down the long catwalk and all over the field — which was dwarfed by a colorful Ferris Wheel in the distance and had a zip line (yes, a zip line) literally above it which festivalgoers periodically zoomed across during the concert — Springsteen had already begun massaging the crowd into the palm of his hand. They may not have been familiar with the “wife and kids in Baltimore Jack,” but their voices were definitely heard for the chorus.

During an emotional performance of “Hungry Heart”, Bruce Springsteen went down to the public, allowed to hug, smiled, greeted people, read the posters – one of them invited him to a wedding indicating date and all other said “Fuck Trump “- then took another, took him to the stage and showed it to the band: simply said” Promised Land “. Was the theme that played immediately afterwards – on request. no one could have predicted that the Portuguese crowd stretching as far as the eye could see in Parque da Bela Vista would be treated to five — count ’em, five — tour premieres. Another happy surprise: Springsteen fans across the world were also able to enjoy the concert thanks to a top-notch online live stream.

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The album Springsteen and the E Street Band did focus on was Born In The U.S.A. as the New Jersey natives played nine of the 12 songs from their incredibly successful 1984 LP. Forty shows into the tour The Boss kept the tour debuts coming with a total of five performed at Lisbon’s Parque de Bela Vista. “Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” “Downbound Train,” “I’m On Fire,” “Johnny 99” and “Spirit In The Night” each saw their first plays of 2016.

Fans truly had no idea what song was coming next (until the encores, but by then everyone was having too much of a blast to care), and it was refreshingly thrilling. Take the “night” two-pack in the middle of the show: for every tour staple like crowd-favorite “Because the Night,” Bruce threw in a tour premiere such as “Spirit in the Night,” a more obscure track during which he made a point of physically interacting with the audience more than normal to ensure everyone was always along for the ride.

The River was represented by the album’s title track as well as “Out In The Street” and “Hungry Heart.” Other classics performed included “Because The Night,” “Atlantic City,” “Thunder Road,” “Born To Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” Bruce said farewell with a brief solo acoustic encore of “This Hard Land.”

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band continues the tour in Madrid on Saturday night.

Bruce Springsteen - Rock in Rio Lisboa 2016

Bruce Springsteen at the Ricoh Arena

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Bruce Springsteen is returning to the Ricoh Arena this summer.

Tickets to see The Boss on June 3rd go on sale next Thursday following same-day sell-outs of several European announcements. Back in 2013, 38,000 fans enjoyed a feast of songs from The Boss in another night to remember at the Coventry stadium

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone about the new tour, Springsteen said: “We stand toe-to-toe with any version of our band that’s been out there. “It’s a richer experience now because there is so much material to draw from. And that shared history you have with people makes the night very full, very beautiful.”

David Armstrong, group chief executive officer of Wasps, said bringing world-class performers such as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band to the region was a major part of the plans for the future of the venue.

He said: “Since we acquired the Ricoh Arena, we have been working hard behind-the-scenes to bring high-profile concerts to the Midlands and Bruce Springsteen is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.

“The fact Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are returning to the Ricoh Arena underlines how much they enjoyed themselves in Coventry. “This is really exciting news and we are expecting another special night when we welcome visitors to the city from across the UK and the globe to watch Bruce Springsteen and his talented band rock the night away at the Ricoh Arena.

Andy Gibb, managing director of the Ricoh Arena, said The River Tour was among a series of big music events coming up with MTV Crashes Coventry on May 27th and 28th and Rihanna opening the UK leg of her Anti World Tour on June 25th.

“Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be entertaining new and old fans alike with their string of classic hits spanning from the 1970s to their latest tracks,” he said.

Everyone who was at the Ricoh Arena for their Wrecking Ball world tour three years ago will remember their stunning tribute to their good friend and Sopranos actor James Gandolfini when they played the Born to Run album from start to finish. “No other artist has played for so long at the Ricoh Arena – particularly without a break – which is testament to his massive catalogue of songs.

“I would encourage fans to buy their tickets as quickly as possible because we don’t want anyone to miss out on another memorable night at the Ricoh Arena.

Tickets, priced from £55 plus booking fee, will go on sale at 9am next Thursday from and

Ring Them Door Bells

The Legendary E.Street Band


Bruce Springsteen specializes in heart-busting, big-life-moment songs told from the perspective of someone who knows time is short so you better make every second and every song  count. Also every concert.

The iconic New Jersey heartland rocker gave us over three hours of total passion and commitment at the Air Canada Centre, in support of his The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of 1980’s The River, a four-album effort that he and his nine-piece E Street Band played front to back.

The final chords of one song barely finished ringing out before The Boss, looking lean, tanned and handsome in hues of black and grey (and his trademark jeans), counted in the next one with gusto.

Occasionally he offered up an intro. Independence Day, he said, was about being stunned by the discovery of your parents’ humanity, of realizing for the first time that they once had dreams of their own. “It’s a song about adult compromises,” he said, “and the blessings those compromises brought.”

Uplift immediately returned with the familiar opening notes of Hungry Heart, especially when he held back for the first verse and let us sing it on our own.

The continued push-pull between serious and fun, between dark and light, between sprawling “compositions” and lighter-weight fare – Crush On You, You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch) – was hugely satisfying.

And after so many Behind The Music-type rock band documentaries, it was great to see seemingly genuine playfulness among the musicians onstage, many of whom have been in the E Street Band since the 70s and 80s. With drummer Max Weinberg and bassist Garry Tallent holding down a steady back beat, the others harmonized and soloed and did cute little moves in sync.

bruce-springsteen-air canada-ticket-3-2016

Blazing saxophone is as fundamental to Springsteen’s sound as lonesome harmonica, and Jake Clemons, nephew of deceased E Street member Clarence Clemons, captivated, especially on an epic rendition of The Price You Pay, one of the set’s standout numbers. Guitarists Patti Scialfa and  Steven Van Zandt turned out powerful harmonies all night, often sharing the centre mic with Springsteen and appearing on the Jumbo screens.

Crowd interaction was also high. Springsteen regularly left the singing to us, lighters came out during gorgeously melancholy The River, and an 89-year-old woman celebrating her birthday got the chance to waltz with The Boss during Dancing In The Dark during the greatest-hits portion of the set as her elated daughter looked on.

Despite the concert already being two hours deep by that point, it was that greatest hits section that offered up some of the most energetic moments.

Bruce Springsteen

The Promised Land (requested via a sign held high) hit hard. Patti Smith Group’s Because The Night, which Smith co-wrote with Springsteen, was a mind-blowing surprise, his version more triumphant than Smith’s during her last few visits to Toronto and featuring a dazzling, almost comically lengthy guitar solo by Nils Lofgren that ended with him shredding while spinning around and around in a spotlight.

Brilliant Disguise was gorgeous, with a slightly changed chorus melody. The crowd lost its mind during Badlands, Born To Run and the aforementioned Dancing In The Dark.

We hit the three-hour mark. “Are you ready to continue?” Springsteen shouted. “Are you ready to continue?”

Ready or not, he gave us Rosalita and a cover of the Isley Brothers’ Shout, which he repeatedly extended in an almost compulsive way. “I’m just a prisoner of rock and roll!” he shouted, almost apologetically, as it finally rolled to a close. There was, of course, no need for an encore.

Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live in Toronto on February 2nd, 2016

Concert Setlist:

1. Meet Me In The City
2. The Ties That Bind
3. Sherry Darling
4. Jackson Cage
5. Two Hearts (W/ It Takes Two ending)
6. Independence Day
7. Hungry Heart
8. Out in the Street
9. Crush On You
10. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
11. I Wanna Marry You (W/ Here She Comes intro)
12. The River
13. Point Blank
14. Cadillac Ranch
15. I’m A Rocker
16. Fade Away
17. Stolen Car
18. Ramrod
19. The Price You Pay
20. Drive All Night
21. Wreck on the Highway
22. The Promised Land
23. She’s The One
24. Candy’s Room
25. Because The Night
26. Brilliant Disguise
27. The Rising
28. Thunder Road

29. Badlands
30. Born To Run
31. Dancing in the Dark
32. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
33. Shout


There are so many triumphant moments built into Bruce Springsteen’s performance of “The River” that Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Before this tour, Springsteen and the E Street Band had only played all of “The River” once before, at The Garden in 2009 during a run of album-themed concerts.

Doing it now — all 20 songs — is a testament to how well it was made in 1980 and how well it has held up over the years. On January 27th at Madison Square Garden, Bruce Springsteen prefaced the E Street Band’s performance of his 1980 album, The River, by saying, “I wanted the record to contain fun, dancing, laughter, jokes, good comradeship, love, sex, faith, lonely nights, and teardrops.” Over the course of the next three hours, Springsteen and the band would provide all of the above, and then some.
It’s also a testament to how great the E Street Band was then and how great it is now. Van Zandt was thrilling throughout the night, offering call-and-response vocals or well-worn harmonies, while also offering metaphorical support. When Van Zandt pounds on Springsteen’s chest with his free hand during “Two Hearts,” it’s like best- man back-up for the love song, but also confirmation that “two hearts are better than one.”

As the sounds of “Big Boss Man” by the Pretty Things resounded from the loudspeakers a little after 8 p.m., the band took the stage in pairs, followed by the Boss himself, guitar aloft, greeting the crowd. House lights still on, E Street kicked into “Meet Me in the City,” an outtake from the 1980 River sessions included on the recent box set (The Ties That Bind: The River Collection).

“Hello, snowbound New York!” Bruce greeted the audience at the song’s conclusion, as the house lights came down. “Did you survive the blizzard?” he asked. “This is kind of a special night: The River was a record where I was trying to figure out where I fit in,” Springsteen continued, offering a brief introduction about the album before counting off its first track, “The Ties That Bind.” As advertised on the ticket, this tour’s main event is “Full The River Plus!,” or the performance of the entire River album from end to end with a selection of greatest hits rounding out the evening.

That was proven even when Springsteen blew the opening of “I Wanna Marry You” twice, forgetting that he and Van Zandt had worked out a gorgeous extended opening. “Sometimes the tightest band in the world ,” said Springsteen, later adding, “Didn’t want to leave that out.”

The push and pull between party anthems like the Stones-drenched “Crush on You” and the wrenching ballads like “Stolen Car” and “Independence Day” has only grown stronger over the years.

It was as if the crowd was transported back to 1980, when Springsteen was fierier and more straightforward in his writing and delivery. The crowd sang the opening verse of “Hungry Heart” effortlessly without prompting, a reminder of how potent Springsteen’s first Top 5 single still is. That nostalgic feeling was amplified by Jake Clemons’ saxophone solo, which replaced the organ solo of the original.

The only nod to the present during the first half of the show was his reference to the blizzard that led to his Sunday concert being postponed to March 28th.

“Point Blank,” the thirteenth song in the set, an intense tale of lost love and bad decisions, but that wasn’t due to the performance onstage. While audience chatter during the quieter numbers was at Saturday-night-bar level, Springsteen and the E Street Band still executed magnificent versions of their most difficult and challenging material: “Stolen Car,” an utterly bleak tale of hopelessness, was delivered with tremendous pathos and depth; “Fade Away,” a slight, country-flavored number, was presented with perfect, delicate timing that made you want to hold your breath; and the grand, rolling rendition of “The Price You Pay” saw Roy Bittan commanding the performance behind the grand piano.

In the final part of the three-hour show, Springsteen showed how his writing had grown deeper and more layered since “The River,” especially on the stirring “Wrecking Ball,” which he sped up and extended, leading the crowd in a lengthy loop of “Hard times come and hard times go.” That was followed by another recent anthem of shaking off setbacks, “The Rising.”

Springsteen then shifted in party mode, rolling from “Thunder Road” to “Born to Run” to “Dancing in the Dark.” By then the house lights were up and the crowd at the sold-out Garden could see everyone else was as giddy as they were, shouting along and pumping their fists with teenage abandon.

Springsteen didn’t stop there, bringing out his good-time anthem “Rosalita” and pairing it with a raucous version of The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” that brought the house down.

But an undeniable highlight of the evening was the breathtaking, heartrending “Drive All Night,” where Springsteen swore, “I’ll drive all night/just to buy you some shoes/and to taste your tender charms.” In that moment, every woman in the Garden wanted to be the recipient of that ardor, and the men wanted to be brave enough to say that to someone. As your heart grew three sizes larger, Jake Clemons stepped into the center spotlight to play the sax solo with a warmth and majesty that the crowd cheered with glee, and that would have made his uncle, the late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons, proud.

The crowd’s response seemed surprisingly uneven during the album set. At moments like “Sherry Darling,” “Hungry Heart,” or “The River,” the Garden echoed like the world’s largest Springsteen karaoke night. But at others — even fun numbers like “Crush on You” or “I’m a Rocker” — Springsteen had to work extra-hard, heading out into the crowd a second time (after his first sortie to crowdsurf during “Hungry Heart”) to get any reaction during the latter. He would also have to exhort the crowd, “Shake your booty!” at the beginning of “Ramrod,” a song that is, literally, about shaking one’s booty. (Bruce himself would bust some moves that looked suspiciously like the Robot during the song.)

At the end of the album performance, Springsteen would acknowledge the band, and the moment, before noting that he was going to keep playing, diving straight into “She’s the One” from 1975’s Born to Run. The crowd’s reaction was akin to a rocket being launched, loud and raucous and immediate, the complete opposite of what it had been during the album set. This energy level would only increase through the rest of the show, which in Springsteen-land translates into “another 11 songs.”


Bruce is no slouch at reading an audience, and he proceeded to give them exactly what they wanted, with another two “Darkness”-era numbers (“Candy’s Room” and “Because the Night”), before continuing with crowd-pleasing hit after crowd-pleasing hit. “Thunder Road” felt like it was being played for the first time ever, and just when you were missing Clarence something awful, Jake came to the front of the stage for the solo, pausing to point upward in acknowledgement, and things got a little misty.

The house lights came back on for “Born to Run,” which felt like a party with your 18,000 closest friends. “Dancing in the Dark” had two dancers — one gentleman requesting a dance with Mrs. Springsteen, while a woman with a sign reading “52 days clean and sober and ready to dance” got the honors with Bruce. “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” caused a small riot, before the crowd got the place literally bouncing up and down by the time Springsteen brought the night to a close with his cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” Eighteen thousand concertgoers poured out of the Garden delighted and exhausted, thinking about fun, dancing, laughter, good comradeship, and more, just like the Boss had hoped for.

01/27/16: New York, NY
Soundcheck: Radio Nowhere, Meeting Across The River, Jungleland
  1. Meet Me In The City
  2. The Ties That Bind
  3. Sherry Darling
  4. Jackson Cage
  5. Two Hearts
  6. Independence Day
  7. Hungry Heart
  8. Out In The Street
  9. Crush On You
  10. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
  11. I Wanna Marry You
  12. The River
  13. Point Blank
  14. Cadillac Ranch
  15. I’m A Rocker
  16. Fade Away
  17. Stolen Car
  18. Ramrod
  19. The Price You Pay
  20. Drive All Night
  21. Wreck On The Highway
  22. She’s The One
  23. Candy’s Room
  24. Because The Night
  25. Brilliant Disguise
  26. Wrecking Ball
  27. The Rising
  28. Thunder Road
  29. Born To Run
  30. Dancing In The Dark
  31. Rosalita
  32. Shout

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have officially extended their current US tour and will extend the tour over to Europe! These have been recently talked about and highly rumored, now we finally have confirmation. We have also heard that the band may be coming back to the United States for a round of stadium shows after their European leg so be on the lookout for more info on that. Below are the official tour dates just released by The Boss himself along with their on sale dates and times. We also have added to the list the make-up date for the recently cancelled Madison Square Garden show which will be March 28.

LIVE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Latest Show: 1/19/16Top Downloads & CDS

Out here on E Street, we’re missing our fans at the Garden tonight and wanted to send this along.

Starting at 8PM EST tonight, the live recording of The River tour from the Jan. 19 Chicago show will be available as a free MP3 for the next two days.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band:1/19/16 United Center, Chicago, IL

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: 1/19/16
United Center, Chicago, IL

Meet Me In The City / 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 / Ramrod / The Price You Pay / Drive All Night / Wreck on the Highway / Night / No Surrender / Cover Me /She’s the One / Human Touch / The Rising /Thunder Road
Take It Easy / Born to Run / Dancing in the Dark / Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) / Shout

  • First performance of Take It Easy (Glenn Frey/The Eagles)
  • Bruce Springsteen – Lead vocal, electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica; Roy Bittan – Piano, electric keyboards; Jake Clemons – Saxophones, percussion, vocal; Charlie Giordano – Organ, electric keyboards; Nils Lofgren – Electric and acoustic guitar, pedal steel, vocal; Patti Scialfa –  vocal, acoustic guitar, percussion; Garry Tallent – Bass; Soozie Tyrell – Acoustic guitar, violin, percussion, vocal; Stevie Van Zandt – Electric guitars, mandolin, vocal; Max Weinberg – Drums
  • Recorded and Mixed by: John Cooper
  • Post-Production: Brad Serling and Micah Gordon
  • Artwork design: Michelle Holme
  • Tour Director: George Travis
  • Jon Landau Management:Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, Jan Stabile, Alison Oscar, Laura Kraus
  • HD Files are 24 bit / 48 kHz


07/11/13 Rome, IT
11/05/80 Tempe, AZ
12/31/80 Uniondale, NY
08/09/78 Cleveland, OH
04/23/88 Los Angeles, CA
07/31/05 Columbus, OH
08/05/84 East Rutherford, NJ
12/31/75 Upper Darby, PA
03/09/12 New York, NY
02/26/14 Brisbane, AU
© 2016 enterprises, LLC |

Photographer Danny Clinch joined Bruce & The E Street Band at recent rehearsals as they prepare for The River Tour 2016.

Check out his photos here, and make sure to tag yours at the upcoming shows using #TheRiverTour.


Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 opus “The River” has some of his most beloved songs — the title track, the pop hit “Hungry Heart,” the gorgeous “Drive All Night” — and others that the Boss himself had all but discarded.

As a fan tweeted this week, “It’s pretty nuts that Springsteen launches a tour ,where he’s guaranteed to play ‘The Price You Pay’ and ‘Crush On You’ 24 times.”

That will be almost as many times as he’s trotted them in the last 35 years, but when you embark on a full-album tour, as the mighty E Street Band did Saturday night at the sold-out Consol Energy Center, there are no shortcuts. What we got was a living, breathing classic with songs rarely played, especially here in this “Darkness on the Edge of Town” kind of town.

After camping out for several days of rehearsal at Consol, they hit the stage at the stroke of 8pm with a rocker he was crazy to cast aside, The rousing “River” outtake “Meet Me in the City.”

“We’re gonna take you to ‘The River’!” he said, interrupting the song. “I wanna know: Are you ready to be transformed?!”…..You know the answer.

“This was the record where I was trying to find out where I fit in…,” he said of the album, which has only been performed once live (2009, Madison Square Garden). “I wanted to make a record that was big enough that it felt like LIFE, or like an E Street Band show.”

They dropped the needle with the jubilant opener “The Ties That Bind,” a tone-setter for the album’s theme of finding what’s real and planting down roots. From there, “The River” ebbed and flowed from wild rollicking, ’60s-style frat rock to minor key ballads, reflecting the joys and struggles we all go through.

We can at least hope that everyone, at some point in their lives, has as much fun as the rowdies in “Sherry Darling” (the Boss dancing with his wife Patti Scialfa in that one), feels the passion of “Two Hearts,” carries the swagger of the guy in “Out in the Street” or has the kind of meaningful family interaction described in “Independence Day.”


The late-night conversation between father and son, sung on the darkened stage, was a beauty, that quickly gave way to the crowd belting out the opening of “Hungry Heart” and Bruce walking right into the heart of it. He got back to the stage by breaking the long distance crowd-surfing record for a 66-year-old.

“Crush on You,” which he has admitted might have been a better outtake, was still a loud, unruly blast, complete with a pretty funny dance. “I Wanna Marry You,” introduced as a song that’s “not about the real thing,” had an extended boardwalk doo-wop intro with guitarist and best man Steve Van Zandt. The title track, with the haunting harmonica cry, followed as the somber dose of reality, punctuated with a sad falsetto wail.


He took us down even lower into the abyss with “Point Blank,” before flipping the mood again with the rowdy middle of side three, “Cadillac Ranch,” with Soozie Tyrell fiddle solo, and “I’m a Rocker.”

The final run put the Boss at the wheel for the lonely and desperate “Stolen Car” (foreshadowing “Nebraska”) and the reckless “Ramrod,” building to an epic 10-minute “Drive All Night” that was indeed all heart and soul, with two great Jake Clemons sax solos. The end of the road was “Wreck on the Highway” and its sobering tale of tragedy and clarity.

“Thanks a lot. That’s ‘The River,'” he said. For most bands, two hours is a full night, but for the E Street Band, even with his voice getting weathered, the show must go on, and on, and it did with a roof-raising “Badlands.” When the crowd booed the Giants in “Wrecking Ball,” he laughed and said “Steelers?!”

From the Boss’ greatest masterpiece we got “Backstreets“ and “Thunder Road.” They raged through another great outtake, “Because the Night” (Nils Lofgren spinning on the screaming solo), “The Rising” and more.

He could not let the night pass without a tribute to a fallen rock god. Although they traveled different universes, Springsteen and the David Bowie had longtime connections. “He supported our music way back in the beginning, 1973,” he said, leading the band into first encore “Rebel Rebel.”

Opening night of The River Tour 2016. Bruce performs Rebel Rebel as a tribute to David Bowie.

At the three-hour mark, his voice fading but his energy still strong, he kept the engine going into “Bobby Jean,” “Dancing in the Dark” and a lights-up “Born to Run.” “Have you got anything left?” He hollered. “Do you have to get up for church tomorrow?” And with that, he rolled into the wild, celebratory finish of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” and ”Shout.“

Getting back to his original question: Were we transformed?…………Are we ever not?


This was even sweeter, because we witnessed a master doing one of his best albums, and one of the finest of all time, with the same conviction he had when he first created it. How could that not be transformative?