Alan Vega of the influential synthpop duo Suicide died on July 16, at the age of 78, and Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to him today by beginning his concert at CASA Arena in Horsens, Denmark, with Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream.”
Springsteen has covered this song before, most notably on his solo Devils and Dust Tour in 2005, when it was a frequent show-closer. When he performed it then, he backed himself on pump organ. On today’s version — which he said was “for our good friend who just passed away, Alan Vega” — he played guitar, and was backed by the E Street Band. See the performance in the video, below.
Springsteen also released a version of the song on his 2014 album, High Hopes, making it one of the few songs not written by Springsteen himself to appear on a Springsteen album.
Suicide released the song as a single in 1979.
On July 18, Springsteen posted the following message on his web site, brucespringsteen.net:
Over here on E Street, we are saddened to hear of the passing of Alan Vega, one of the great revolutionary voices in rock and roll. The bravery and passion he showed throughout his career was deeply influential to me. I was lucky enough to get to know Alan slightly and he was always a generous and sweet spirit. The blunt force power of his greatest music both with Suicide and on his solo records can still shock and inspire today. There was simply no one else remotely like him.
Pearl Jam also paid tribute to Vega by covering “Dream Baby Dream” at their July 17 concert at the Pemberton Music Festival in British Columbia.
Here are videos of the new E Street Band version, and Pearl Jam’s performance: