by David Remnick
Bruce Springsteen has been around for a long time—as I say in my Profile this week, I first saw him onstage in 1973, when he was the opening act for Chicago—and the performances he is giving now, at sixty-two, even after losing Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, are extraordinary. He is as he always was: vividly alive, committed, goofy, ferocious, trying new things, deliciously too much. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that his most raucous concerts came in 1978, when the albums “Born to Run” and “Darkness at the Edge of Town” were part of the repertoire, the E Street Band was a well-practiced instrument, and he had honed his stagecraft to a feral fever pitch.
YouTube is full of performances from this golden period. There is a fine audio recording from a date at my beloved Capitol Theatre, in Passaic, New Jersey.
(Or this amazing version of Badlands from the Agora show in Cleveland 1978)
I’m too young to remember James Brown at the T.A.M.I. show, the Stones in 1969, or Dylan in 1966, but I was lucky enough to see some of those 1978 Springsteen dates.
Read a great piece on Bruce Springsteen by David Remnick in this weeks New Yorker.