1980-12-08, The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

The River Tour
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Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
PrincessCards wrote: While this show was fantastic!! However what I remember most is getting into the car after the concert hoping to hear some Ed Sciaky reviews and some more Bruuuce music. What we heard instead is the news that John Lennon had been shot. Apparently Bruce was told halfway through the show and decided not to announce it. I can only imagine what was going through Bruce's head as he finished a perfect performance with such a heavy heart.

Tom Cantillon wrote: My very first Bruce Springsteen concert and what was to signify only the beginning.

I went with no expectations, simply because I wasn't a fan. A friend, Bill, had an extra ticket and told me I did not have to pay if I did not like the show. I thought it would simply be a cheap night out. As I sat 12 rows away on the side of the stage, waiting for Bruce and band to come out, I was amused by all the anticipation from the crowd. Well, 4 songs into the show, I handed over my money to Bill. I was witnessing something I'd never seen before. Bruce and the E Street Band amazed me, thrilled me, blew me away, made me dance and sing and feel sorrow and heartache and joy, all within the span of 3 hours.

Listening to and seeing Born to Run, Badlands, Promised Land, Stolen Car, Because the Night, Two Hearts, Cadillac Ranch, Growin Up, The River, The Price You Pay, Thunder Road, Ramrod, Jungleland and Wreck on the Highway was unlike any other concert experience I'd ever been to. Bruce played with a seemingly endless passion and intensity that was simply astonishing to witness. I had never seen anyone play with so much passion and commitment to their music. It was as if every song and every note mattered the most. As I watched Bruce and band perform, I couldn't help but think that they play as if it's their first show, or could very well be their last, and regardless, they were determined to make it their best show. The arena no longer existed as I sat and listened to the lyrics. It was as if Bruce were performing in my own living room.

Most of the songs I'd never heard before, but that didn't matter. I remember listening to Thunder Road and Backstreets and thinking and feeling that this has to be a one-shot deal, that no one could possibly duplicate this any other night. But I was wrong. The next night, was as equally impressive.

The night of Decemeber 8th was also a strange night, because as I arrived home, excited, enthused, feeling so very much alive, my dad, who was getting up to go to work, asked me about the show, but then told me that one of the Beatles had been shot. It was the night John Lennon died. So the night and experience was an odd mix of finding salvation thru rock'n'roll, as well as losing an essential part of that whole salvational package.

I can honestly say that, to this day, I have not seen any one as consistent, as dedicated, as passionate, as powerful, as salvational as Bruce and the E Street Band. 25 years later, nearly 120 shows down the road, I had found inspiration and soul in one of the most unlikely places, a rock'n'roll concert. When I tell people about that experience and all the others that followed, I simply tell them, It's like going to church. The church of Bruce.

So, thanks Bruce and E Street Band, for keeping me company all these years. The music and performances have been a great companion during both the good and bad times. Here's to hoping for many more nights of simply the greatest rock'n'roll show out there--ever! Thanks for the inspiration and for the sheer pleasure of enjoying music that is, without a doubt, the most soulful I've ever heard. Amen!


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(1988 or 1988-07 or 1988-07-25)

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