With the news breaking that the Izod Centerwillsoon be closed, one thinks, naturally enough, about some of the great concerts that have taken place there over the years. Certainly one of the most magical moments I witnessed was on June 24, 1993, when the East Rutherford building was still known as the Brendan Byrne Arena. It was a benefit for several local hunger charities, tacked on to the end of the Bruce Springsteen’s “Other Band Tour” along with a similar benefit at Madison Square Garden. This was Springsteen’s first tour without the E Street Band, but several E Streeters made guest appearances, including Clarence Clemons, who walked onto the stage as Springsteen sang his mythical song about the band’s formation, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out.”
Clemons walked out and startedplaying, in fact, as Springsteen was singing the line about him (“The change was made uptown/And the Big Man joined the band”). You couldn’t ask for better timing.
This was a perfect cap for the tour, though there was still that Garden show to come, two nights later. And it was also a sign that the band would surely be playing together in the future, though they didn’t actually do a reunion tour until 1999.
Check out the clip below.
New Jersey celebratedits 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. Andin the 350 Jersey Songs series, we markedthe occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.