by Erik Flannigan, Bruce Springsteen Archivist
A fourth wave of Bruce Springsteen concert recordings arrives on nugs.net this September. Belmar is the latest monthly drop adding Springsteen’s Live Archive catalog to the streaming platform.
Belmar is anchored by five shows from the biggest tour of them all, Born in the U.S.A., including three 1984 arena performances in E. Rutherford, NJ and 1985 stadium gigs at Giants Stadium and the Coliseum in Los Angeles. Together they represent some of the most popular performances of Springsteen’s career, and feature not only songs from the chart-topping album, but powerful band performances of Nebraska material as well, including “Atlantic City,” “Highway Patrolman” and “Open All Night.”
The 1984 New Jersey concerts were part of a ten-night stand at Brendan Byrne Arena, the finale to which was the legendary August 20 performance featuring a surprise cameo from Stevie Van Zandt, who had left the E Street Band at that point to pursue his solo career. He returns to share the microphone with Springsteen on an extraordinarily moving cover of Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away.”
Bruce wouldn’t tour again until 1988, but in 1986 he did make a special appearance at Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert where he was joined by Nils Lofgren and Danny Federici. This unique set is also part of the Belmar drop and highlighted by the first ever acoustic performance of “Born in the U.S.A.”
To those six shows Belmar adds the complete North American leg of the 2016 River tour. These 38 concerts featured full-album performances of Springsteen’s 1980 double album The River, plus plenty more in the rest of the set, including choice River outtakes “Meet Me In The City,” “Be True,” “Loose Ends” and “Roulette” The passing of three music icons during the 2016 tour led to an equal number of stirring tribute performances. Opening night in Pittsburgh on January 16 it was “Rebel Rebel” to honor David Bowie. At the next show in Chicago on January 19, an acoustic take of The Eagles’ “Take It Easy” was performed to remember Glenn Frey. In late April, at the final dates in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Bruce and the band gave a triumphant reading of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
- “Born in the U.S.A.” LA Coliseum, September 27, 1985
- “Atlantic City” Brendan Byrne Arena, August 6, 1984
- “Open All Night” Brendan Byrne Arena, August 6, 1984
- “Highway Patrolman” Brendan Byrne Arena, August 5, 1984
- “I’m Goin’ Down” Brendan Byrne Arena, August 20, 1984
- “Downbound Train” Giants Stadium, August 22, 1985
- “Drift Away ” Brendan Byrne Arena, August 20, 1984
- “Born in the U.S.A.” Shoreline Amphitheatre, October 13, 1986
- “Meet Me In The City” Madison Square Garden, January 27, 2016
- “Roulette” TD Garden, February 4, 2016
- “Be True” Times Union Center, February 8, 2016
- “Loose Ends” XL Center, February 10, 2016
- “Stolen Car” Blue Cross Arena, February 27, 2016
- “The Price You Pay” Sports Arena, March 19, 2016
- “Rebel Rebel” Consol Energy Center, January 16, 2016
- “Take It Easy” United Center, January 19, 2016
- “Purple Rain” Barclays Center, April 23, 2016
Note: These concerts are only available to U.S. and Canada subscribers, and can be streamed now with a free trial to nugs.net.
Erik Flannigan is a music archivist, producer, author and manager. He has been writing about Bruce Springsteen’s live performances and recordings for more than 30 years.
Learn more about the previous exclusive Bruce Springsteen audio drops
For audiophiles, we also offer a HiFi tier that allows you to enjoy 24-bit MQA streaming, as well as select Springsteen recordings in immersive 360 Reality Audio. Start your free trial and delve in.