Madison Square Garden was the home for the two Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concerts celebrated this week. Bruce Springsteen was scheduled to play the first night, Oct.29th. And it was a wonderful 6-hour show, with some of the greatest pop and rock stars on stage performing that night.
There was Jerry Lee Lewis and Crosby Stills & Nash, followed by Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Dion, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, John Legend, BB King, Sting and Jeff Beck.
The highlight, closing the show, were Bruce Springsteen & The Street Band, accompanied by Ed Manion, Curt Ramm and Clark Gayton on the horns.
Springsteen’s show kicked off with energy with «Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out». Next he invited soul legend Sam Moore onstage, to perform «Hold On I’m Comin» and «Soul Man» (as they had previously done at a Xmas show in Asbury Park in 2003). Bruce recalled how much he learned seeing Sam & Dave in New Jersey clubs when he was young. The next guest was Darlene Love to sing the classic Spector tune «A Fine Fine Boy», followed by «Da Doo Run Run». «A Fine Fine Boy» was a song Springsteen used to sing in 1975, during his Born to Run tour (though re-named «A Fine Fine Girl»).
Tom Morello came onstage moments later, for the now classic incendiary performance with Bruce on «The Ghost of Tom Joad». After introducing John Fogerty , the band went straight into a trio of rock classics: «Fortunate Son», «Proud Mary» and Roy Orbison’s «Oh, Pretty Woman».
The NYC epic of «Jungleland» came next, followed by the exiciting rock sounds of «London Calling» and «Badlands», with Tom Morello back in the band. New Jersey and Long Island met next in Manhattan, when Bruce invited Billy Joel onstage. They played and sang together on 4 songs, including the classics «New York State of Mind» and «Born To Run».
To end it all in grand style, there was a final jam, with everybody on stage, including now Peter Wolf and Jackson Browne, to sing Jackie Wilson’s «Higher and Higher», a song that, we dare say, should close from now on all the remaining shows of the Working on a Dream tour. Can you hear me, Boss?
Bruce Springsteen, this time with Roy Bittan, appeared again on the second Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden. It happened during U2’s show, the stars of the night, after Bono mentioned «we have royalty in the house», and that the next song was «very special… It’s a Bruce Springsteen song, so we’d like to ask him to join us, and it’s also a Patti Smith song». Then U2, Bruce and Patti Smith did a rather disasterous version of «Because the Night». So bad that they decided to play it again, this time with better results. Bruce and Roy stayed for the next song, «I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For», in which Bruce sang a verse and played guitar.
«Because the Night» 30.10.2009 (the disasterous first try):
«Higher and Higher» 29.10.2009:
«Soul Man» 29.10.2009, with Sam Moore: