Bruce Springsteen is one of the most electrifying live entertainers in music history. Full stop. Backed by his fabled E Street Band, “The Boss” is known to stage two-and-a-half, three and sometimes nearly four hour long marathons of sheer, unbridled rock and roll excellence. But while almost all Springsteen concerts carry that, change-your-life amount of emotion and vitality, some are greater than others.
Many pinpoint Springsteen’s 1978 tour promoting his album Darkness On The Edge Of Town as probably his greatest, sustained run of concerts, with many of the shows from that run etched into rock and roll legend. The gig at the Winterland in San Francisco springs to mind as a particularly incredible performance, as do his three-night stretch at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. But of all the shows he performed during that tour, the one-off night at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip in L.A. stands as maybe the most heralded.
Performed just after a gig at the larger LA Forum, Bruce and his band played a searing set to just 500 people, going on for over three hours, busting out an array of covers and deep cuts, including the live debut of his The River album standout “Independence Day.” As the show was broadcast over FM radio, it’s been widely bootlegged in the years since, but to mark its 40th anniversary, Springsteen has decided to clean it up and give it an official release.
Even if you’re only slightly interested in Bruce Springsteen, I can’t recommend this show highly enough. You can order your copy through his Nugs site here.