You Never Can Tell

Chuck Berry, the Mark Twain of pop, and the E Street Band putting it together on the spot. This was fun. -Bruce

NYC Serenade

Finally, after being pursued from city to city (to city to city) by a man with a sign and a one track mind we hooked it up with the Roma Sinfonietta in Rome for the tour's only performance of "NYC Serenade."  Best, Bruce

Local Hero

Another highlight from the Wrecking Ball tour here, live from Leeds, is "Local Hero" in its first tour appearance. This song is one of my favorites off Lucky Town. A real "sleeper," this ought-a be played more often. Enjoy! -Bruce

This Hard Land

As we've been on break we've had a chance to look back on some of the tour highlights.
Here's "This Hard Land" from our last night in Kilkenny. Best, Bruce

“Sociedade Alternativa” from Rock In Rio

Bruce & The E Street Band kicked off the final show of the Wrecking Ball Tour last weekend in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, with Raul Seixas' "Sociedade Alternativa." Here is the video of that epic performance, recorded and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, edited by Thom Zimny.

Videos from South America

September 18, 2013 - Sao Paulo, Brazil
"Sociedade Alternativa" - music by Raul Seixas, lyrics by Paul Coelho


September 16, 2013 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
"Solo Le Pido A Dios" written by León Gieco

There is a song I planned to sing at our Buenos Aires concert that I learned from the wonderful Argentine singer, Mercedes Sosa. I wasn’t quite prepared that evening so I’m glad to send this out now to all of our friends and fans in Argentina.
- Bruce Springsteen

I Only Ask of God (English translation)

I only ask God
That pain be not indifferent to me.
That dry death won’t find me
Empty and alone
Without having done enough.

I only ask of God
That war be not indifferent to me,
It’s a big monster
And it tramples hard
On the poor innocence of people.

I only ask God
That injustice be not indifferent to me
That I will not be slapped on the other cheek
After a claw has torn me in this manner.

I only ask God
That deceit be not indifferent to me
If a traitor is mightier than a few
Let those few not forget it easily.

I only ask of God
That I am not indifferent to the future,
Hopeless is he who has to go
To live a different culture.


September 12, 2013 - Santiago, Chile
"Manifiesto" written by Victor Jara

On Thursday night in Santiago, Bruce performed Victor Jara’s “Manifiesto.” Bruce introduced the song in Spanish, translated by Backstreets to:

“In 1988 we played for Amnesty International in Mendoza, Argentina, but Chile was in our hearts. We met many families of desaparecidos, which had pictures of their loved ones. It was a moment that stays with me forever. A political musician, Victor Jara, remains a great inspiration. It’s a gift to be here and I take it with humbleness.”

Bruce performs Victor Jara’s “Manifiesto” in Chile

On Thursday night in Santiago, Bruce performed Victor Jara's "Manifiesto." Bruce introduced the song in Spanish, translated by Backstreets to:

"In 1988 we played for Amnesty International in Mendoza, Argentina, but Chile was in our hearts. We met many families of desaparecidos, which had pictures of their loved ones. It was a moment that stays with me forever. A political musician, Victor Jara, remains a great inspiration. It's a gift to be here and I take it with humbleness."

Bruce makes campaign stop for Obama in Virginia

Fourteen days before a landmark presidential election, Bruce Springsteen came to a city steeped in presidential history — Charlottesville, in electoral battleground Virginia — to rally about 3,500 people in support of President Obama’s re-election bid.

Springsteen’s stirring, six-song performance at an event sponsored by Obama for America took place the day after the third and final presidential debate, a progression that could be called “Big Bird... Binders… Battleship and bayonets… Bruce.”  It marked a first-of-its-kind doubleheader for Springsteen: Though he has performed at nearly a dozen campaign rallies for Democratic presidential candidates in 2004, 2008 and so far this year, today marked the first time he has combined a rally and a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour gig on the same day. He and the band play tonight at sold-out John Paul Jones Arena (named after the Revolutionary War hero, not the Led Zeppelin bassist).

Charlottesville, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western central Virginia, is home to the University of Virginia. Two presidents – Thomas Jefferson, whose Monticello plantation is four miles from the downtown nTelos Wireless Pavilion where the rally was held, and James Monroe — hailed from Charlottesville.

The Charlottesville rally was Springsteen’s third recent Obama campaign event, following October 18 rallies in Parma, Ohio and Ames, Iowa. Those occurred during a month-long break in the Wrecking Ball tour. Tonight is Springsteen’s first U.S. show since MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. In contrast to the downpour that famously delayed that show, today’s calendar-defying Southern Chamber of Commerce weather put the girls in their summer clothes and the trees in their finest fall colors.

Springsteen was introduced by former Virginia Gov. and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine, who said, “Being the last speaker before Bruce Springsteen. This is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Springsteen walked onstage at 3:18 pm and, after embracing Kaine, said, “I heard there was a good band playing near here tonight.” Then he launched into “No Surrender,” which built to a crescendo with Bruce strumming hard on his honey-burst-colored acoustic.

Springsteen then spoke, repeating the themes and much of the language of his speeches at the two previous re-election rallies.

“For 30 years, I’ve been writing about the distance between American dream and American reality,” Springsteen said. “I’ve seen it from both sides, as a young blue-collar working class kid from a little town in New Jersey. I watched my parents year after year struggling to make ends meet.  I walked in the 9th ward in New Orleans after Katrina…
Voting matters. Elections matter.”  He added, to laughs, “I’m a dad. I got three kids. I’m 63 years old. That deserves a big cheer.”

Springsteen recalled his joy on Election Night 2008, when “you could feel the locked doors of the past being blown open… Then comes the daily struggles to make those possibilities a reality in a world that is often brutally resistant to change.. But I’m here today because I’m thankful for universal healthcare, I’m thankful for a more regulated Wall Street, I’m thankful that GM is still making cars… I’m concerned about women’s rights and women’s health issues around the world…” Harking to a lyric in his song “Jackson Cage,” Springsteen said the disenfranchised end up as “the scenery in another man’s play.”

Springsteen then delighted the crowd with “The Promised Land.” He raised the drama of one of his most popular tunes by singing the final chorus a bit off mic.

Next, Springsteen joked, “Occasionally, late at night, the President gives me a phone call. Once twice a week it happens, it’s getting kind of annoying, actually.” Impersonating Obama, Springsteen said, “Bruce. Bruce. Bruce. I need a campaign song.”  Springsteen then performed that ditty, “Forward.”

The set concluded with three stunners: “The River”; “We Take Care of Our Own,” which included an appropriately reflective-sounding audience sing-along on the chorus; and “Thunder Road,” which Springsteen dedicate to Senate candidate Kaine.

“It’s a town full of losers / we’re pulling out of here to win.” It sounded like not only one of the greatest song endings in rock, but an urgent wish.

 —Steve Eisenstadt, backstreets.com

Tour premiere of “Drive All Night” in Gothenburg

The July 27 and 28 shows in Gothenburg's Ullevi Stadium mark the biggest concert event ever in the history of Northern Europe, with attendance passing 130,000 people. In addition, Bruce now has 16 of the top 100 albums on the iTunes Scandinavian Chart. As a thank you to all of our fans in Sweden and around the world, here is the live video of the rarely performed "Drive All Night" from our July 27 show at Gothenburg's Ullevi Stadium, directed by Chris Hilson and sound mixed by John Cooper. It features Jake Clemons on sax and was one of the 31 songs that Bruce and the band performed during a classic 3 hour and 43 minute show.

Photo by Danny Clinch

The Roots join Bruce and E Street Band at Roskilde

On July 7th, Bruce and the Band played for nearly 100,000 people at the classic Roskilde Festival, forty minutes outside of Copenhagen.  Bruce and E Street took the stage following a stellar performance by The Roots.  Naturally, when Bruce was ready to do "E Street Shuffle," he called his friends of The Legendary Roots Crew back up on stage to reprise their joint performance of the song from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon this past March.  The scintillating performance was captured in this Chris Hilson line cut with John Cooper's board mix.

Participating in the performance from The Roots are Black Thought, Kamal Gray, F. Knuckles, Captain Kirk Douglas, Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson, James Poyser, and Mark Kelley.