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Watch Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Roar Back to Life Three Weeks After Tour Postponement

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band roared back to life Wednesday night at Madrid, Spain’s Metropolitano Stadium, three weeks after they were forced to postpone shows so Springsteen could recover from vocal strain.

“Hola Madrid!” Springsteen said upon taking the stage. “Estáis preparados?” The spirited crowd was indeed ready for a 30-song, two-and-a-half hour set that included the first live rendition of the High Hopes deep cut “Frankie Fell in Love” since 2015 and a cover of John Fogerty’s 1975 classic “Rockin’ All Over the World,” which they hadn’t touched since 2016. They also broke out rarities “Seeds” and “If I Was the Priest.”

During the tour hiatus, Born in the U.S.A. celebrated its 40th anniversary. Unlike Born to Run, Darkness On the Edge of Town, and The River, the album wasn’t given the box set treatment. “First of all, what people need to understand is that most of the Born in the U.S.A. great outtakes are out there on Tracks 1,” Springsteen explained to Rolling Stone in 2022. “The Born in the U.S.A. stuff we have left either isn’t very good or there isn’t any of it. I’m not sure which. We’re hoarding no secrets. Unfortunately, the Born in the U.S.A. tour was not filmed very well either. This is simply where we have a paucity of material ourselves.”

Earlier this month, Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg looked back at Born In The U.S.A. on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast. “The [title track] is only two chords,” Bittan said. “Sometimes you can’t be afraid to be primitive, so to speak … To be able to just get down right down into your gut, and just lay into two chords and one riff, it’s elemental rock & roll. Now the fact that I was using a synthesizer is almost irrelevant. I could have been playing that on the piano the same way.”

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They also spoke about the full band sessions for Nebraska, which were ultimately shelved in favor of Springsteen’s stark, solo renditions of the songs. “I remember recording all of that [Nebraska] material and it was very much in the E Street Band style and very similar to what we do now when we play those songs, and it was great,” Weinberg said. “And it was a rock record … [Springsteen’s manager-producer] Jon Landau, during the writing of [Nebraska], suggested that I listen to John Wesley Harding, the Bob Dylan record. And he said, Bruce seems to be going more in this kind of direction. And there were some takes like that, with brushes, just a bare minimum rhythmic approach. And there were also rock versions of [some of] the Nebraska material.”

The E Street Band’s world tour resumes Friday night back at Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid. They head back to the America in mid-August, and play sporadic shows until wrapping up the year in Vancouver, British Columbia, on November 22. The four European shows they were forced to postpone due to Springsteen’s vocal issues have been rebooked for the summer of 2025. 

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