Remembering the last, remarkable NJ show by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, seven (!) years ago

by JAY LUSTIG
springsteen 2016

DANNY CLINCH

Bruce Springsteen with Nils Lofgren, left, and Jake Clemons, center.

Bruce Springsteen’s concert with the E Street Band at the Prudential Center in Newark, April 14, will be their first in New Jersey since Aug. 30, 2016. Except for their approximately decade-long hiatus from the late ’80s to the late ’90s, this is, by far, the longest gap between home-state performances since the band’s formation in the early ’70s.

The 8/30/16 show was at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. I reviewed it for the Bergen Record/NorthJersey.com (you can read that review and see the setlist here), but just to sum up some remarkable things about it:

At an even four hours, it was their longest U.S. concert to date, though they broke that record about a week later in Philadelphia. Their longest concert ever, ever, incidentally, took place in 2012 in Finland, clocking in at four hours and six minutes.

Springsteen opened with 11 songs from 1973 or earlier, including tracks from his first two albums (Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle) and covers of “Summertime Blues” and “Pretty Flamingo.” And show-opener “New York City Serenade” featured a string section.

“Secret Garden,” which Springsteen has rarely played live, opened the encores.

Rickie Lee Jones sang backing vocals on “Spirit in the Night,” “Summertime Blues” and “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).”

Springsteen had also played at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 23 and 25, but 17 of the 34 songs in this show had not been played at either of those concerts.

Though the tour was officially known as The River Tour — Springsteen had released a deluxe boxed set edition of his album The River in late 2015 — this show included only two songs from that album, “Hungry Heart” and “Out in the Street.”

Here are a few videos from 8/30/16. Click here for a complete list of all New Jersey E Street Band shows.

Springsteen and the E Street Band will return to MetLife Stadium later this year, for shows on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 and 3.

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